European doctors are aware of the memory boosting powers of the pretty periwinkle plant, and have prescribed it to millions of patients, especially for the treatment of cerebral blood flow disorders.  It has not caught on yet in the U.S.

Are you getting enough oxygen from blood flow alone to stay sharp, focused and mentally agile? Chances are you’re not. Your “gray matter” needs more blood than any other organ in your body, including your heart. One-seventh of the blood from every single heartbeat goes to the brain, so it is no wonder your brain needs more energy to keep it running smoothly. Without oxygen from this blood your brain cells die off.

Within the lovely stem of the periwinkle plant is a brain-booster called vinpocetine, reported to enhance the flow of blood to the brain. Vinpocetine, also goes by the brand names: Cavinton and Intelectol, and the chemical name of ethyl apovincaminate.

Vinpocetine is a supplement that is used for the widening of blood vessels as a result of smooth muscle cells relaxing within the vessel walls – especially in large arteries, large veins, and smaller arterioles. This is just the opposite of narrowing of blood vessels.

Blood flow is increased when blood vessels dilate. When arterial blood vessels dilate it causes a lowering of blood pressure. The response could be the result of hormones, problems with the nervous system, could be throughout the entire system, or localized to a specific area due to strenuous exercise.

When we are young our brain makes it’s own brain food (Vinpocetine). As we age, into early adulthood, the production seems to go down. Starving for this key chemical nutrient, our mental ability starts to diminish. When you feed your brain again it will come back.

Vinpocetine is widely marketed as a nootropic or as a “smart drug” that many use to enhance different brain functions. It is said to improve memory, intelligence, cognitive functions, motivation, attention and concentration. 

By altering the availability of the supply of neurochemical to the brain, such as neurotransmitters, enzymes and hormones, nootropics improve the brain’s oxygen supply and stimulate nerve growth.

“Researchers at the Center for Neurosciences discovered vinpocetine helps prevent the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a kind of free radical that can damage your brain’s neurons.”  They found in their study that vinpocetine can aid in the reduction of inflammation, which many are finding could be used to help in the treatment of such brain diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Some believe it could improve brain function and the ability to focus by activating cerebral metabolism, and has little side effects – the worst being a mild stomachache.




About the author:

Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life. His CDs and memory products are also available online at



Can a Flower Make You Smarter?

Wikipedia – Noontropic:

Wikipedia – Vinpocetine