Nootropics are brain pills that are supposed to help improve brain function. Some are actually pharmaceuticals (drugs) while other are nutraceuticals (supplements). However, even though supplements are not medications, they can contain some very active natural or synthetic chemicals. Some products like the nootropics at http://addium.us can contain some highly active ingredients.
Natural ingredients can be very potent. For example, people do not really think about it but caffeine is a drug. It is biologically active. It does something to your body when you ingest it. Another drug that has the opposite effect of caffeine is alcohol. Though it is a byproduct of fermentation of sugars and naturally present in beer and wine, it is a drug. Anyone who has ever drank an alcoholic beverage can declare how potent a substance it is.
Think about the food we eat. It is broken down into its constituent parts through digestion so our bodies can utilize the chemical compounds, amino acids, proteins and carbohydrates to fuel our bodies. Supplements can be highly active. People looking for a brain boost often turn first to caffeine. What college student cramming for an exam has not resorted to caffeine in coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks? However, caffeine can have so many negative effects. Plus, it takes more and more of it to keep getting the same boost. Many of the other so-called brain supplements are also just stimulants that wear off.
Some nooptropics work to increase neurotransmitter function in the brain. Some add vasodilators that increase blood flow to the brain. However, you do have to be aware that vasodilation will not be confined to just the brain, and that it can lower blood pressure depending on how much is taken. The bioactive chemicals in nutraceuticals can be very active and potent. Therefore, it is important to follow package directions, and for those who have any medical conditions or who are already taking medications it is important to check with a doctor first before using any supplements.