Natural nootropics are usually very safe. When you’re using the best natural nootropics made by reputable manufacturers with high standards, then it is highly unlikely that you will experience any side effects whatsoever. It is even more unlikely that a natural nootropic supplement will cause brain damage. As far as we know, there are no commonly-used natural nootropics which are thought to cause brain damage in any way.
Now, this does not apply to every brain supplement in existence. There are lots of substances out there which are more than capable of causing brain damage if abused; Adderall is a prime example! This also doesn’t apply to people who have serious brain injuries or pre-existing problems with their brains. If that is you, you need to talk to your doctor before using ANY nootropics at all. In fact, we recommend getting proper advice from your regular physician before using any nootropic whoever you are.
But generally speaking, most people are not at risk of brain injury when using high-quality natural nootropic supplements like Mind Lab Pro or Performance Lab Mind.
In fact, the contrary is true: many natural nootropics can protect the brain from traumatic injury, and others can mitigate the effects of brain damage or persistent brain injury (e.g. from boxing). Some natural nootropics may even be able to promote recovery after brain injury.
So which nootropics are good for helping with brain injury?
Before we answer this question, we need to properly define brain injury to delineate what nootropics can and cannot do for brain damage.
Brain damage and brain injury: What is it?
It is important to clarify what we mean by brain damage and brain injury.
For our purposes, there is a big difference between a brain injury caused by trauma (known as a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI) and brain damage that is either genetic or caused by the body itself (this is known as Acquired Brain Injury or ABI).
In simple terms, a TBI is a brain injuries caused by things like boxing, or falling from height, or banging your head in some way. In other words, it’s when the external world effectively causes the injury.
An ABI, in contrast, is caused either by a genetic fault or by some kind of internal event such as a stroke or aneurysm.
Obviously, natural nootropics are not effective for protecting against ABIs. Nor are nootropics particularly useful for promoting recovery from ABIs or systemic brain damage.
But some natural nootropics have been found to be effective for protecting against and promoting recovery from traumatic brain injuries and minor brain damage.
Before we go any further, we need to point out that nootropics are not as effective for treating brain damage or brain injury of any kind than the medicine or treatments prescribed by your doctor. Brain injuries are extremely differential and very serious; you need tailored medical care to treat them and recover from them. Natural nootropics are not the answer; they just might help some people.
Symptoms of brain injuries
The symptoms of a brain injury of course depend on the type of brain injury, and the specific brain damage it has caused.
Significant damage to one part of the brain might impair motor skills, while brain damage in another area may cause rapid personality changes.
However, most instances of brain damage and brain injury have some similar side effects and symptoms. You should look out for these symptoms in people who have recently banged their head or been knocked unconscious as they can signal more serious brain damage.
Brain injury symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Impaired motor skills
- Aversion to light and sound
- Mood swings
- Personality change
Nootropics for brain damage & brain injury
What are the best nootropics to take for brain injuries and brain damage?
Let’s go through the best options.
Citicoline is the natural nootropic with the most robust clinical backing when it comes to benefiting people with brain damage and brain injury. Citicoline is a naturally occurring compound in the human brain. It offers the potential of neuroprotection, neurorecovery, and neurofacilitation to enhance recovery after TBI, as explained in this study It seems that the ability of citicoline to promote brain cell membrane formation may facilitate recovery from TBI. So strong is this effect that citicoline is currently used as a treatment for traumatic brain injury in over 50 countries, including the United States.
2. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s Mane Mushroom consumption promotes the release of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This neurotrophic factor regulates the repair, maintenance, growth, proliferation, differentiation, and death of neurons. Some brain damage manifests itself in brain cell atrophy. By increasing NGF, Lion’s Mane Mushroom can speed up recovery from brain injury.
3. Bacopa monnieri
Like Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bacopa monnieri can help people recover from brain injury by stimulating the growth of brain tissues. In the case of Bacopa monnieri though, it is not entire neurons which are targeted, but neuron dendrites.
Dendrites are the branches which connect the end of one neuron to the beginning of another; they are the communication lines of your brain cells. By stimulating the growth of dendrites, Bacopa monnieri can greatly accelerate recovery from TBI and ABI. What’s more, Bacopa monnieri is an adaptogen; it seems to support the body’s ability to deal with stress. This can further help recovery from brain injuries.
Using nootropics to repair, regenerate and grow new brain tissues
Natural nootropics can definitely help someone recover from a brain injury, particularly if it is a moderate instance of traumatic brain injury (serious ABIs being much less responsive to natural nootropics).
However, if you suspect you or someone else has suffered brain damage, it is vital that you seek proper medical attention immediately. Natural nootropics cannot fix brain damage; you need proper medical treatment by qualified doctors and specialists.
We are not doctors and this is not medical advice!
Some small studies show that some nootropic supplements can protect the brain from damage. But there is a lack of evidence from large, controlled studies to show that some of these supplements consistently work to prevent brain damage and are completely safe.