Vinpocetine is being marketed as an all-natural nootropic with its main component being extracted from the periwinkle plant. The periwinkle plant has been used for more than a century as a tonic to ease the symptoms of a variety of conditions, including fatigue and low mental energy commonly associated with old age. It has been widely prescribed in Eastern Europe to treat memory impairment that comes with old age and several cerebrovascular conditions since it was mass produced a little over four decades ago.
As an herbal nootropic, vinpocetine is claimed to boost short-term memory and recall, mental focus, and that it has neuroprotective abilities. While the reviews on vinpocetine are generally positive on online retailing sites, a closer look at the reviews almost always reveal a split between occasional nootropic users and long-time users of nootropics. One of vinpocetine’s main mechanism action is to increase blood flow to the brain, which is thought to enhance its nootropic effects.
First synthesized in 1975 by Hungarian chemist Csaba Szántay, vinpocetine may be considered as one of the earliest, mass synthesized nootropics. It has been investigated as a potential cure for a variety of mental impairment conditions, which include Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Even though the drug has yet to gain FDA approval in the US, it can be sold as a dietary supplement.
Vinpocetine is also popular among the bodybuilding community as a vasodilator. Its ability to increase blood flow makes it an ideal addition to pre-workout stacks to get the muscles pre-pumped before training with weights.
As mentioned earlier vinpocetine garners generally good reviews and ratings on online retailing sites and most of these reviewers range from students who use it as a study aid, to the elderly who use it to boost their mental processes. The source of the nootropic effect of vinpocetine is not yet fully determined, but it has long been attributed to the drug’s ability to enhance blood flow to the brain, which is thought to speed up cognitive processes.
It would seem as if the positive reviews on vinpocetine as a nootropic comes mostly from users who have limited experience or are just occasional users of cognitive enhancers. More experienced users of nootropics are guarded at best, when it comes to their reviews concerning the drug. There are some who claim that not only does vinpocetine have no nootropic effect at all, its main mechanism of action may even be counterproductive to cognitive enhancement.
Although some experienced users do credit vinpocetine as having some nootropic effects, they are also quick to say that the effects are not consistent and not stable. Among the side effects attributed to its supplementation include nightmares, headaches, sleeplessness, stomach pain, and anxiety.
- All natural nootropic
- Ideal for new and occasional nootropic users
- Can be stacked as a pre-workout supplement for its ability to increase blood flow
- Widely available
- May not be as effective for experienced nootropic users
- Main mechanism of action may actually hinder cognitive enhancement
Vinpocetine is almost exclusively administered orally and one can dose between 15 to 50mg daily, preferably split several times during the day in smaller doses. People with clotting disorders should consult a physician first before supplementing with vinpocetine as it may induce bleeding due to its vasodilating properties.