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10 Best Nootropics for Memory and Brain Health in 2024
Sep 25, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

10 Best Nootropics for Memory and Brain Health in 2024

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 18 min read
10 Best Nootropics for Memory and Brain Health in 2024

Ever dreamed of unlocking your mind’s full potential? Well, you're in for a treat. Imagine a world where your memory sharpens, your thinking speeds up, and your brain operates at peak performance.

Intrigued? You should be!

We're about to unveil the top 10 nootropics that are revolutionizing brain health.

First on our list are the heavy hitters: Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These natural wonders are rapidly becoming the ultimate allies for anyone keen on boosting their cognitive prowess.

But that's just the beginning. Joining this elite squad are Lion's Mane Mushroom, Rhodiola Rosea, Panax Ginseng, Huperzine A, Alpha GPC, Phosphatidylserine, and Vinpocetine.

Each brings unique strengths to enhance memory, accelerate cognitive speed, and support overall brain health. Picture them as your personal team of superheroes, each with their own superpower to elevate your mental game.

What makes these nootropics so extraordinary, you ask?

Some enhance blood flow to the brain, while others turbocharge your neurotransmitters. It's like having a customized toolkit designed to optimize your brain function!

But we're not stopping at a surface-level introduction. Prepare to delve into the fascinating details of how these top 10 nootropics work.

10 Nootropics to Sharpen Your Brain and Boost Your Memory

1. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri isn't just any herb; it's a memory master.

This little plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and packs a big punch in boosting brain power. Here's how it stands out:

  • Memory and Learning: Bacopa is celebrated for enhancing memory retention (1) and speeding up information processing (2). It's like a turbo boost for your brain's learning engine.
  • Stress Buster: Not only does it help with memory, but it's also excellent at reducing stress (3), which is often a sneaky culprit behind cognitive fog.

Picture this: You're studying or working on a complex project. With Bacopa Monnieri as part of your routine, those facts and figures stick in your mind more easily, and stress feels more manageable.

It's like having a wise old sage in your corner, whispering the secrets of mental sharpness and calm and boosting focus and concentration.🌿🧠✨

2. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is not just a supplement; it's like a time-honored friend for your brain.

Hailing from one of the oldest tree species, this leaf extract has been a staple in traditional medicine for improving memory and brain function. 

Let's dive into what makes Ginkgo Biloba a standout choice:

  • Circulation Supercharger: Ginkgo is known for boosting blood flow (4) to the brain (5), which is like giving your neurons a rejuvenating oxygen bath. Better circulation often translates to sharper cognition and better memory.
  • Age-Related Cognitive Support: Particularly popular among the older crowd, it helps combat the natural decline in cognitive function and memory as we age (6).

Imagine sitting down to work or study and feeling your brain into gear. That's the mental clarity Ginkgo Biloba can support—interestingly, this herb is also one of the best nootropics for studying.

It's like having a natural, leafy lieutenant in the battle against brain fog and forgetfulness.🍃🧠🔍

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are like the unsung heroes of brain health. Found in fish oil and various seeds and nuts, they're essential for maintaining cognitive function and boosting memory.

Here's why Omega-3s are a must-have in your cognitive toolkit:

  • Brain Cell Building Blocks: These fatty acids are critical components of brain cell membranes (7), supporting overall brain health and cognitive functions, including memory.
  • Mood and Cognitive Function: Beyond memory, they play a role in stabilizing mood (8) and protecting against cognitive decline, especially as you age.

Think of Omega-3s as the premium oil you put in your car. Like high-quality oil keeps the engine running smoothly, these fatty acids keep your brain functioning at its best. It's about long-term maintenance and care for your most critical organ.🐟🧠💡

4. Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion's Mane Mushroom isn't your average culinary delight; it's a superstar in cognitive enhancement.

Known for its unique nerve-regenerating properties (think: Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits), this mushroom is gaining fame as a brain booster. 

Here's what makes Lion's Mane a must-try for memory enhancement:

  • Neurological Nourishment: Lion's Mane is believed to stimulate the growth of brain cells and strengthen neural networks (9). It's like a workout supplement, but for your neurons!
  • Mental Clarity and Focus: Lion's mane fights brain fog, helping users enjoy improved concentration and focus. Those using this mushroom often report improved concentration and cognitive ability, making it a go-to for anyone needing an extra mental edge.

Imagine you're preparing for a big presentation or diving into a complex project. With Lion's Mane as part of your diet, your brain feels more like a well-oiled machine, ready to tackle those challenging cognitive tasks. 🍄🧠🌟

5. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea steps into the spotlight as a natural fatigue fighter (10) and a booster for your brain. This adaptogenic herb is not just about withstanding stress; it's about enhancing your cognitive arsenal, especially in demanding situations. 

Here's how Rhodiola Rosea stands out in the memory-enhancing arena:

  • Combat Mental Fatigue: Rhodiola is known for its ability to reduce fatigue and improve concentration, particularly during stress-filled periods. It's like a shield against the mental fog that stress brings.
  • Enhance Cognitive Function: Rhodiola can indirectly support better memory and cognitive clarity under pressure by bolstering your stress response (11).

Picture those days when deadlines loom, and your brain feels like it's in a pressure cooker. Rhodiola Rosea steps in as your herbal ally, helping to keep your mind clear and your memory sharp, even when the heat is on.🌿🧠💼💪

6. Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng, often hailed as the king of herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, is more than just an energy booster in the morning; it's a revered ally for memory and cognitive function. Here's what makes Panax Ginseng a standout in enhancing mental performance:

  • Memory and Mental Performance: Ginseng is known for its potential to improve working memory (12) and cognitive processing speed. It's like giving your brain a natural, herbal turbo boost.
  • Stress and Fatigue Fighter: Beyond memory, it helps combat stress and fatigue, contributing to mental stamina and endurance (13).

Imagine you're in the middle of a mentally taxing day, and everything feels like an uphill battle. That's where Panax Ginseng comes in, offering you a helping hand to endure and excel in mentally challenging situations.🌿🧠✨📚

7. Huperzine A

Huperzine A

Huperzine A, extracted from a type of moss found in China, has quietly emerged as a powerful player in the realm of cognitive enhancers. It's not just about memory; it's about sharpening your mental edge. 

Let's see what sets Huperzine A apart:

  • Neurotransmitter Boost: Huperzine A works by increasing levels of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory (14). It's like tuning up the communication lines within your brain.
  • Memory and Learning Enhancer: Regular intake of Huperzine A is associated with improved memory function (15), making it a popular choice among students and lifelong learners.

Picture a day filled with complex tasks and information overload. With Huperzine A in your corner, it's like having an extra layer of mental clarity, helping you absorb, retain, and recall information more effectively.🌱🧠🔍💡

8. Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC, a natural choline compound found in the brain, is quickly gaining popularity as a top-tier nootropic for enhancing cognitive function. 

It's not just another supplement; it's a brain health champion. Here's why Alpha GPC is a must-consider for your memory-boosting regimen:

  • Choline Supply for Your Brain: Alpha GPC provides your brain with choline, a vital nutrient that supports brain cell health (16) and is essential for memory formation.
  • Enhance Cognitive Functions: It's known for improving memory, reaction time, and overall mental clarity (17), making it a favorite among students, professionals, and anyone looking to keep their mind sharp.

Imagine you're tackling a day filled with complex tasks or studying for that big exam. With Alpha GPC, it's like giving your brain the optimal fuel to perform at its best, keeping you sharp and focused.🧠⚡🌿💭

9. Phosphatidylserine


Phosphatidylserine, a key player in maintaining cellular function in the brain, is like a guardian for your cognitive health. 

It's not just about boosting memory; it's about supporting your brain's overall well-being. Here's why Phosphatidylserine is a standout in the world of nootropics:

  • Supports Brain Neurons: Phosphatidylserine plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and fluidity of brain cell membranes (18), essential for preserving and improving memory (19) and cognitive function.
  • Enhances Cognitive Skills: Especially beneficial as we age, it helps combat natural cognitive decline and supports brain health during stressful periods.

Imagine navigating a day filled with complex decision-making or learning new information.

Phosphatidylserine is like the unsung hero, working behind the scenes to keep your brain cells healthy and your cognitive abilities sharp.🧠🌿💡🛡️

10. Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine, derived from the periwinkle plant, is not just a supplement; it's a cerebral enhancer known for boosting blood flow to the brain (20).

This increase in circulation is key to its ability to enhance memory and cognitive function. Let's explore what makes Vinpocetine a noteworthy choice for memory enhancement:

  • Boosts Brain Blood Flow: Vinpocetine enhances cerebral circulation, which means more oxygen and nutrients for your brain, leading to improved cognitive functions, including memory.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: It's also known for its potential in protecting the brain against damage (21) caused by lack of oxygen and aging.

Imagine tackling your day with a brain receiving a boost of everything it needs to function at its best. Vinpocetine is like a fine-tuned system ensuring optimal delivery of vital resources to your brain cells. 🌿🧠💧🚀

How to Use The Top 10 Nootropics for Memory

How to Use The Top 10 Nootropics for Memory

Now that you're acquainted with the top 10 nootropics for memory and cognitive enhancement, you're probably eager to know how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

The key to unlocking their full potential lies in understanding the optimal dosage, timing, and combination of these powerful supplements.

First and foremost, it's crucial to start with lower doses and gradually increase them as your body adapts.

This approach minimizes the risk of side effects and allows you to find your sweet spot for cognitive enhancement. For example, when starting with Bacopa Monnieri, begin with a daily dose of 300mg and increase it by 100mg every week until you reach the recommended range of 300-600mg per day.

Timing is also essential when it comes to maximizing the benefits of nootropics. Some, like Ginkgo Biloba and Panax Ginseng, are best taken in the morning to promote mental clarity and focus throughout the day.

Others, such as Phosphatidylserine and Huperzine A, are more effective when taken in divided doses, with one dose in the morning and another in the early afternoon.

To supercharge your results, consider creating a nootropic stack by combining complementary supplements.

For instance, pairing Bacopa Monnieri with Lion's Mane Mushroom can lead to even greater improvements in memory and overall cognitive function.

Similarly, combining Omega-3 Fatty Acids with Vinpocetine can enhance blood flow to the brain, providing a robust foundation for optimal brain health.

Remember, while nootropics are generally safe and well-tolerated, it's always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking prescription medications.

FAQs About the Best Nootropics for Memory

Are There Any Long-Term Effects Or Dependencies Associated With Using Nootropics For Memory Enhancement?

It's a valid concern many have when considering nootropic supplements. Most nootropics, especially natural ones, are considered safe for consumption and are not associated with dependency. However, the long-term effects can vary based on the type of nootropic and individual differences. 

As with any supplement or medication, prolonged usage might have unforeseen consequences. For this reason, it's always wise to cycle your nootropic intake (taking breaks) and continuously monitor any changes in your health or cognitive function. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting or continuing long-term usage of any supplement.

Can I Take Nootropics If I'm Already On Prescription Medications For Memory Or Other Cognitive Issues?

If you're already on prescription medication, especially for cognitive-related conditions, it's crucial to exercise caution. Some nootropics might interact with medications, dampening the medication's effect or leading to unforeseen side effects. 

It's always recommended to discuss with your doctor or a healthcare professional about potential interactions between your medication and any nootropic supplement you're considering.

With So Many Nootropics Available, How Often Should I Switch Them Up Or Combine Them For Optimal Results?

The world of nootropics is vast and intriguing, and it might be tempting to switch between them or combine multiple at once frequently. The best approach, especially for beginners, is to start with one nootropic and monitor its effects over a few weeks

This way, you can understand its impact on your cognitive function. Once you have a baseline, you can consider adding another nootropic to your regimen or switching to a different one

Combining or "stacking" nootropics can be beneficial, but it's essential to do so with knowledge and preferably under expert guidance to ensure safety and efficacy. Remember, it's not always about quantity but finding what works best for your unique brain chemistry.

Key Takeaways

In the fast-paced digital age we navigate, having an edge in memory and cognitive function isn't just a wish—it's a necessity. With the cornucopia of nootropics available, honing that mental prowess has never been more accessible or exciting. 

Remember, though, that these supplements are just tools in your cognitive toolkit. When paired with a balanced lifestyle, mindfulness practices, and good nutrition, they can unlock potential you might've never known you had.

But don't just take our word for it. Experiment (safely), experience, and elevate. Because your brain isn't just an organ; it's the vibrant epicenter of every thought, dream, and innovation.

Dying to share your nootropic experiences or have burning questions? Dive into the comment section below. We love hearing from our community—every shared story, question, or insight makes us all wiser. Together, let's make our cognitive journeys unforgettable!

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, (1),
  2. The Neurocognitive Effects of Bacopa monnieri and Cognitive Training on Markers of Brain Microstructure in Healthy Older Adults, (2),
  3. Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, (3),
  4. Effects of Ginkgo biloba on cerebral blood flow assessed by quantitative MR perfusion imaging: a pilot study, (4),
  5. Examining Brain-Cognition Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Brain Activation in the Left Temporal and Left Prefrontal Cortex in an Object Working Memory Task, (5),
  6. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia, (6),
  7. The Importance of Marine Omega-3s for Brain Development and the Prevention and Treatment of Behavior, Mood, and Other Brain Disorders, (7),
  8. Omega-3 fatty acids and the treatment of depression: a review of scientific evidence, (8),
  9. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (9),
  10. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review, (10),
  11. Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention, (11),
  12. Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults, (12),
  13. Cognition enhancing effect of panax ginseng in Korean volunteers with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, (13),
  14. Huperzine A and Its Neuroprotective Molecular Signaling in Alzheimer’s Disease, (14),
  15. New insights into huperzine A for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, (15),
  16. The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility, (16),
  17. Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine Increases Motivation in Healthy Volunteers: A Single-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Human Study, (17),
  18. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function, (18),
  19. Soybean-Derived Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Function of the Elderly Japanese Subjects with Memory Complaints, (19),
  20. An update on Vinpocetine: New discoveries and clinical implications, (20),
  21. Neuroprotective effects of vinpocetine, as a phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitor, on long-term potentiation in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease, (21),

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