I recently discovered a series on Netflix called Limitless, an excellent show by-the-way. A major part of the plot is a memory-enhancing, mind- expanding, fictional drug called NZT-48.
NZT Is Not RealAlong about episode five or six of the show, it occurred to me on a whim to do an internet search for NZT. I was nonplussed to discover there were both ads and websites purporting to sell this imaginary drug. The prices that I noticed ranged from $50 to over $100. I shall not comment about those ads or websites.
It then occurred to me to do a search for any real drugs that can enhance memory and boost brain function...
How to Make Your Own "NZT" at HomeIt appears the only widely recognized, memory enhancing, brain-boosting, OTC "drug" out there is the well-known herb, ginkgo biloba. Valerian is a well-known herb that reduces stress. The St. John's Wort herb has been scientifically proven to increase the brain's serotonin levels; serotonin is the well-known brain chemical that enhances one's sense-of-well-being.
Quite frankly, it has been my experience that taking these herbs in their original capsule form has no effect whatsoever. I suspect this is because 90% of it passes through the digestive system undigested. Tea form, however, is an entirely different matter. Like many beverages, it passes directly from the stomach to the bloodstream. In this form, the effects can increase 10-fold.
3-herb, synergistic, tea concoction
- 2 capsules ginkgo biloba
- 1 capsule valerian
- 1 capsule St John's Wort
If needed, this particular herb article (opens in new tab or window) explains exactly how to turn the capsules into tea, i.e., taking apart the capsules, microwave times, etc.
Do not drink more than one cup of this tea per day. If you drink more, your digestive tract will probably issue a rather unpleasant complaint. For that matter, the first-time, single cup might elicit a sit-down as well.
Will it do what NZT does? Of course not, but it is better than nothing. Besides, without the imaginary enzyme to protect you against the imaginary NZT, the imaginary side-effects would eventually kill you anyway.
This 3-herb, tea concoction will temporarily impair your ability to drive, operate machinery, climb a ladder, or even safely use a pair of scissors, etc. So don't do any of those things or anything similar for awhile. The valerian component could very well induce a pleasant, afternoon nap. The ginkgo biloba and St. John's Wort components won't begin to have the sought-for effects until maybe a week's worth of daily tea consumption. However, the possibly disorienting side-effects occur almost immediately along with the valerian sedative effect.
Effects are much more pronounced on an empty stomach.
A necessary medical warning as to the St. John's Wort componentAs noted in the above referenced herb article relating to converting capsules into tea, St. John's Wort is the real deal when it comes to alleviating anxiety and depression. The effects are significant enough and pronounced enough that many websites advise when St. John's Wort is mixed with certain other medications, there is the possibility they may not interact well; this includes certain prescription drugs. If you are taking St. John's Wort in any form, let the doctor and pharmacist know. And read the warnings and cautions on the St. John's Wort container. And check the documentation included with any prescriptions you are taking to see if St. John's Wort is mentioned. Actually, it's a good idea to tell your doctor about all herbs and supplements you may be taking, even plain old multivitamins.
Congratulations on saving $50 to $100.
And while we are at it, here is a relevant article from the National Institute of Health about brain foods and anti-brain foods.
- Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids
- Spinach, nuts, and other foods rich in vitamin E
- Curcumin (found in the spice, turmeric)
- Coffee and other foods/beverages containing caffeine (but not to excess)
- Cheese, butter, whole milk, cream, regular ice cream, fatty fresh and processed meats, and any other foods high in saturated fat
- Candy, cookies, doughnuts, cake, lemonade, sodas, punch, and any other foods or beverages high in refined sugar