We strongly recommend caution against the use of stimulants for those with unresolved heart problems or high blood pressure. Use caution when combining stimulants. For people of reasonably good health and common sense, stimulants can be like a God-send; especially for those who have slowed metabolisms. Of course, we recommend dealing appropriately with whatever underlying issues might be causing a slowed metabolism, but sometimes a multi-pronged attack is prudent. Appropriately used stimulants can help a person to get into better shape, while providing the necessary energy to do so, at the same time. Again, common sense and responsible usage are prudent to ensure that more good is done than harm.
Our official recommendation is that people start slowly discovering how these various stimulants effect them independently. As Confucius once stated, "Never test the depth of the water with both feet at the same time". If used excessively or unwisely, these stimulants could cause serious health issues. The first major problem will be kidney stress for most individuals who use this information unwisely.
The Stimulants List
|This is almost certainly the most well known of natural stimulants. We have written about guarana, and described it as the natural Ritalin. A common misconception is that guarana simply provides caffeine, but its more active ingredient is actually guaranine. One study tested improvements in cognitive function from the guarana plant and it concluded that, "The effects cannot be attributed to caffeine alone". The Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit conducted another study, showing improved memory, concentration, and increased task performance. Researchers concluded that "the effects are unlikely to be attributable to its caffeine content". Unlike caffeine, guarana does not usually cause jitters, and its effect typically lasts for 8-10 hours, instead of the usual 2-3 hours as experienced with caffeine. Instead of just stimulating, it enhances all cognitive functions. Guarana is currently being tested for post-radiation therapy, in an attempt to provide energy and improved cognitive function in those who are suffering from "chemo-brain".
|Before guarana became popular, ginseng was the most common herbal stimulant. Korean ginseng is believed to be much more stimulating than American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). The ingredients label on ginseng supplements will reveal which type it contains. Korean ginseng has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and improve cognitive performance. American ginseng has likewise been shown to lower blood sugar and appears to be useful for the treatment of attention deficit disorder, particularly when combined with ginkgo biloba. Studies have shown that it boosts the immune system. According to the University of Maryland, American ginseng is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to better deal with various types of stress. Ginseng is also an appetite suppressant, which makes it ideal for dieters. The quick summary is that overall, American ginseng is better for health, but the Korean variety is more stimulating.
|Gotu kola is a mild stimulant which improves circulation. It has been found to augment the memory, improve mental clarity, and reduce anxiety. It also strengthens the veins and capillaries. It is popular amongst people with varicose veins, and was historically used by the Chinese to reduce scarring when applied soon after a wound. Like ginseng, it is an adaptogen, which means that it boosts the immune system in times of stress.
|Fo-ti stimulates a portion of the adrenal glands, which provides energy. It is often used to help with erectile dysfunction, and is used as an aphrodisiac. In addition, the root of the plant has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce hardening of the arteries.
|Vitamin B-12 is special. Be sure to get B-12 in the form of methylcobalamin, if possible. Hold it in the mouth or chew until it dissolves. Avoid the so-called "food-based" vitamins, which are usually yeast based and genetically engineered.
|Chlorophyll is responsible for the pigmentation of green plants. Chlorophyll extract can be purchased in health food stores, and it is sometimes so concentrated that it may actually look black until diluted. Chlorophyll provides mental clarity and physical energy by increasing the rate of oxygen absorption into cells. This is also an important component for the prevention of cancer, as oxygen deprivation is a primary cause of cancer. The Linus Pauling Institute discovered that chlorophyll speeds the healing of wounds when applied topically.
|Organic coconut oil can be purchased from a health food store or online. It provides energy rapidly, warms those who have cold-sensitivities, and it even kills candida. Coconut oil testifies to the phrase "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". You can cook with it or eat it plain. In many cases, a quarter of a teaspoon is adequate to get a dramatic energizing effect. An improvement will be felt both mentally and physically. There are very noticeable quality differences between organic, cold-pressed coconut oil, and the highly-processed coconut oil that is sold in most grocery stores. The cold-pressed organic coconut oil is much more effective in providing energy and health benefits.
|Taurine is an amino acid, which has been shown to improve athletic performance, energy, and stamina. It is responsible for regulating the mineral salts in the body. It is used with magnesium to regulate the pulse. It also protects against damage to the central nervous system. It is naturally found in all proteins. In another article, we wrote about how taurine is an effective antidote for monosodium glutamate (MSG). Taurine has been shown to be depleted in people with diabetes, so supplementation will be particularly helpful in those cases. One of the most interesting facets of taurine supplementation is that it has been shown to reverse some of the damage caused by smoking. Taurine has been known to stop heart attacks, especially when combined with cayenne pepper.
|DHEA has been extensively studied, and has been shown to provide energy, improve mood, reverse aging and improve memory. It has become very popular for its ability to improve sexual stamina and for its use as a weight loss aid. DHEA supplementation should be avoided in those who have adrenal fatigue or male pattern hair loss, because it can dangerously overdrive the adrenal glands of those who already have adrenal stress. Extreme doses in women can lead to the growth of facial hair.
|Ginkgo biloba is known primarily for its beneficial effect on circulation, and it is through this function that it increases the energy of those taking it. At the same time, it can actually increase the oxygen capacity of the blood and improve mood. According to the National Institutes of Health, ginkgo has been shown in numerous studies to alleviate leg pain that is caused by clogged arteries. It has also been shown to be very beneficial for those with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. It improves the vision of those with normal tension glaucoma.
|Hoodia is used primarily as a weight loss aid. It is powerful stimulant that does not cause jitters. This cactus-like plant from South Africa naturally suppresses the appetite and provides energy. Always read the ingredients on hoodia supplementation packages, and be sure to avoid chemical additives. Deceptive advertising is frequently used to trick people into taking minute amounts that are too small to be effective.
|Iodine deficiencies are rampant, which is largely due to fluoride poisoning. Fatigue is a symptom of both. Fluoride neutralizes iodine and simultaneously causes a body to need more iodine. Iodine supplementation should be used carefully and cautiously. Before supplementing with iodine, please reference the H.W. Report about iodine deficiencies. Supplementing improperly with iodine can be dangerous and even fatal for people having certain conditions.
|Kola nut has psychogenic effects and it contains some caffeine. Kola nut extracts are used by the pharmaceutical industry in products that are formulated to suppress nausea and migraine headaches. In Jamaica and Brazil, kola nut is consumed as a sexual stimulant and to treat erectile dysfunction. It can be chewed before meals to promote better digestion and to enhance taste. It is also used to heal superficial cuts throughout Brazil. Because it increases metabolism in the body while causing appetite suppression, kola nut can also be used as an aid in losing weight.
|Arginine is a mild stimulant for most people, but it tends to be more helpful for people aged over 40. This amino acid is produced by the bodies of young people, but it is produced less with age. In men, arginine can be a very helpful supplement for both increasing energy and for remedying erectile dysfunction. It is also useful for preventing heart attacks, clearing blood clots, and for strengthening the heart. However, as a strong notice of caution, arginine should never be used in the months following a heart attack, because it increases the chance of another heart attack during that period.