What are nootropics?

What are nootropics? Drugs and herbals supposed to be for sharper thinking and concentration.

asked 10 Jun '13, 15:17

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Nootropics (commonly pronounced "new-trah'-pics" but probably properly pronounced "no'-uh-trah'-pics") are chemicals believed to have positive enhancing effects without negative side effects and without addiction risk. Nootropics include so-called "smart drugs" like memory and cognitive enhancers, as well as anti-aging and regenerative drugs.

Nootropics is mostly a marketing term. It provides a label for chemical substances sold with positive claims, but which may not be classified as drugs, may not be regulated, but which are generally considered "safe".

Unregulated substances are not tested for effectiveness (efficacy) and often sell based only on marketing claims or word of mouth reports of experiences.

At the time of this writing, Wikipedia credits a Romanian Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea for first use of the term in 1972, claiming the term is derived from the Greek words ???? nous, or "mind," and ??????? trepein meaning "to bend/turn". The "nootropic" moniker does help those researching mind-altering (mind-bending) drugs avoid using "psychedelic" and "psychoactive" as descriptive words. While LSD, marijuana, and heroin have been used to increase creativity and "open minds" the proponents of nootropics emphasize the label "smart drugs", claiming they help increase focus, sharpen attention, and encourage more clarity of thinking in their users.

According to one writer who experimented with various nootropic drugs, "The truly great thing about nootropics is that, by and large, they're utterly harmless; they're meant to boost mental function with little to no side effects--regardless of dosage. Because of this, most of them are available freely on the market as 'supplements.'"

See our growing list of nootropic drugs.


answered 10 Jun '13, 18:36

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Asked: 10 Jun '13, 15:17

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Last updated: 10 Jun '13, 18:46