What are the Different Types of Natural Stimulants?

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  • Written By: Marisa O'Connor
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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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.


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Post 7

Ginseng is an adaptogen. It, like nicotine, can produce the effect the body requires - either an upper or soother. Ginseng is also powerful and should not be used continuously, perhaps three weeks on, one week off, at most. I was told by an herbalist that it can backfire on men using (Siberian) ginseng for sexual stamina; it can cause impotence! Treat these powerhouse herbs with respect, these are a few of the ones you want a herbalist or TCM practitioner to advise you on, to tailor the usage to your needs. One dose level doesn't suit all of us.

Post 5

I work in a job where I wake up at 7:30 to begin my schooling. Then, I go to work at 4:30, which requires constant movement, lifting, and running for eight hours. I come home closer to 1:30 a.m. just to finish up schooling online, go to bed and do it over again for five days every week. I've become a little nervous on my energy drink intake. I now have two energy drinks a day, specifically monsters. Sometimes it's three.

Post 4

Ephedrine works very well as a decongestant. However, it makes my heart skip beats and my pulse race.

I don't know if this is normal, but it's not something I can tolerate. I used ephedrine for a long time when I was dealing with congestion from allergies, but one day, I started having heart palpitations.

I worried that something was wrong with me. After I stopped taking ephedrine, the symptoms went away, though. Sadly, it's the only kind of decongestant that really worked for me.

Post 3

@giddion – I know what you mean. Even though energy drinks do contain natural stimulants, they definitely are not among the natural herbal remedies I would use to wake myself up.

Too much caffeine, especially when combined with guarana, can overstimulate your nervous system. I prefer to just drink coffee, because it isn't manufactured in a lab somewhere, and it has a natural flavor from the earth.

One cup is all it takes to get me going. If I go without it, I am sluggish, irritable, and I get a headache. I am dependent on it, but since I only use a small amount and it is a natural stimulant, I'm not concerned about this.

Post 2

I'm surprised that energy drinks are legal stimulants. They contain both caffeine and guarana, so they deliver quite the boost.

My husband drinks one before work, because he has to get up at 3 in the morning. He's a big guy, so it takes more than a cup of coffee to get him going.

I've heard about how bad energy drinks can be for you when you drink them regularly. I can't even tolerate more than a few sips, because I get all shaky and my heart races. I really hope that they aren't damaging my husband's body.

Post 1

I find it strange that so many stimulants can actually lower blood pressure. When I think of the word “stimulant,” an increase in pulse rate and blood pressure both come to mind.

I have had ginseng tea before, and I instantly felt better overall. The fatigue I had been dealing with went away, yet I felt relaxed and at ease. I've heard that it is good at relieving stress and many ailments, and it stimulates you at the same time.

I drink it during my period, because it helps with the cramps and the general icky feeling. I also drink it whenever I'm feeling worn out or achy.

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