Natural stimulants are stimulant substances that occur in nature. A stimulant is a substance that affects the central nervous system and enhances brain activity in humans and other animals, increasing alertness and energy levels as well as improving mood. Caffeine, ephedrine, and nicotine are some of the most common types of stimulant. Other herbal stimulants include ginseng, guarana, and ginkgo.
Caffeine is one of the most well-known natural stimulants. It is a chemical that naturally occurs in coffee, tea, and kola nuts. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. It also acts like a diarrhetic, increasing the flow of urine as well as relaxing smooth muscles. Caffeine is an addictive substance and should be taken in moderation.
Ephedrine is another naturally occurring stimulant. It is extracted from the Ephedra equisetina plant. It is commonly found in herbal supplements to lower blood pressure, relieve asthma, and treat nasal congestion. Ephedrine is natural, but it is very similar to methamphetamine, an illegal, manufactured stimulant that is highly addictive. It affects the central nervous system much less than methamphetamine, however.
Nicotine is also among the natural stimulants. It is a highly addictive drug naturally occurring in the tobacco plant. This stimulant is fast acting, immediately increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Nicotine is most commonly found in cigarettes and cigars or chewing tobacco, but is also available in gum and patches.
Ginseng is another popular type of natural stimulant. Asian and American ginseng are the most commonly used,out of several types of ginseng, though the Asian strand is said to be the most effective. It is found in the ginseng root, dried and used to make capsules, teas, and creams. It is used as a stimulant and also boosts the immune system to improve overall health. The herb has also been known to lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Natural stimulants also include guarana. It comes from the guarana plant, native to Brazil, and is most often found in sodas. It has a unique sweet flavor, so less added sugar is needed. The effects of this herbal stimulant are similar to caffeine.
Ginkgo, also known as ginkgo biloba, is a well-known type of natural stimulant. The stimulant properties of this plant are said to improve circulation and brain function. Many physicians recommend ginkgo supplements to prevent memory and concentration problems associated with age. It is said to relieve stress, increase alertness, and serve as a powerful antioxidant. A European study reports that ginkgo is 50 percent effective in correcting erection failures.