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Uncovering the Fascinating History of Nootropics


The history of nootropics is an intriguing one. For thousands of years, people have sought to gain a mental edge by using various substances and techniques - some more effective than others. Today, we are seeing the emergence of modern nootropic compounds that promise greater cognitive enhancement without the risks associated with traditional methods. In this blog post, we'll explore how far back these practices go in human history and take a look at what new developments could be on the horizon for nootropics in the future.

Exploring the history of nootropics takes us on a long journey back through time, much further than what many of you would have guessed. The use of nootropics can be traced back to ancient cultures and dates back thousands of years. In Chinese civilization, the earliest known record of nootropic herbs and plants can be found in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (神农本草经), a book written by the legendary emperor Shennong around 2,000 BC. This book contains descriptions of various medicinal plants and their effects on human health. It is believed that some of these plants were used to enhance cognitive function, memory, and focus.

Ancient History of Nootropics


In India, Ayurveda has been practiced for over 5,000 years as an ancient system of healing which includes herbal remedies to treat physical ailments as well as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Herbs like ashwagandha have been used for centuries to improve cognitive performance and reduce stress levels. Other herbs such as bacopa monnieri are also thought to have nootropic properties due to their ability to increase blood flow in the brain which can help with concentration and focus.


Ginkgo biloba is another herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for its potential benefits on cognition including improved memory recall and increased alertness. Ginkgo has been shown to improve circulation throughout the body including within the brain where it may help protect against age-related decline in cognitive function or dementia related conditions such Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

The ancient history of nootropics is an intriguing one, with its roots in traditional medicine and alchemy. With the advent of modern science, these compounds have become more accessible than ever before - but their origins remain shrouded in mystery. Let's explore the modern history of nootropics to uncover how they've evolved over time.

Key Takeaway:

Nootropics have been used for thousands of years in various cultures, including Chinese and Indian. Herbs such as ashwagandha, bacopa monnieri, and ginkgo biloba are believed to improve cognitive performance, memory recall, alertness and protect against age-related decline.


Modern History of Nootropics

The modern history of nootropics began in 1964 with the discovery of piracetam by Romanian chemist Corneliu Giurgea. This compound was found to improve cognitive function and memory, leading to its classification as a “nootropic” or “smart drug.” Since then, other compounds have been developed that are also classified as nootropics due to their ability to enhance cognition.

Aniracetam is one such compound, first synthesized in 1979 by Hoffman-La Roche AG. It has an effect on both cholinergic and glutamatergic systems, making it more potent than piracetam at improving learning and memory formation. Aniracetam has also been shown to reduce anxiety levels and improve mood without affecting motor coordination or alertness.


Oxiracetam was created shortly after aniracetam in the 1980s by ICF Italia SPA for use as a cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent. Its effects are similar to those of piracetam but stronger; oxiracetam can increase mental energy levels while enhancing focus and concentration abilities. Additionally, it may be useful for treating Alzheimer's disease due to its ability to protect neurons from damage caused by oxidative stressors like free radicals.

Phenylpiracetam is another widely used nootropic, synthesized in 1983 by Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer). It has a similar structure to piracetam but contains an additional phenyl group, making it significantly more potent. Phenylpiracetam can improve physical performance as well as cognitive abilities and memory formation, comparable to those seen with other racetams such as aniracetam or oxiracetam.


In conclusion, the modern history of nootropics began with the discovery of piracetam in 1964 which led researchers down a path towards creating new compounds designed specifically for cognitive enhancement purposes such as aniracetam, oxiracetam, and phenylpiracetam. These drugs have become increasingly popular among biohackers looking for ways to boost their brain power naturally without resorting to pharmaceutical medications.

The modern history of nootropics is a fascinating journey of discovery, leading to the development and use of new cognitive enhancers that have the potential to revolutionize how we think about mental performance. As we look towards the future, it will be interesting to see what new advances in nootropic technology are made.

Key Takeaway:

Nootropics are a class of compounds designed to enhance cognitive function, including piracetam (1964), aniracetam (1979), oxiracetam (1980s) and phenylpiracetam (1983). They can increase mental energy, focus and concentration while reducing anxiety levels.

The Future of Nootropics

The potential for nootropics to improve cognitive performance and mental health is vast. In the future, advances in neuroscience could lead to new discoveries about how these compounds can be used to enhance brain function. For example, researchers are exploring ways that nootropics can help with memory formation and recall, as well as learning and creativity.


Biohacking is another area where nootropics may have a role in the future. By taking advantage of natural supplements or synthesized compounds, biohackers aim to optimize their physical and mental performance through self-experimentation. Nootropic substances such as caffeine, L-theanine, Rhodiola rosea extract, Bacopa monnieri extract, omega-3 fatty acids and more are being studied for their potential effects on improving focus and concentration while reducing stress levels.

Psychedelic exploration has recently been gaining attention due to its potential therapeutic benefits for treating depression and anxiety disorders, among other conditions. While psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms or LSD remain illegal in many countries around the world, some research suggests that certain types of psychedelic experiences can provide lasting positive changes in moods or behavior when combined with psychotherapy sessions or counseling services.


Nootropics may also have a role here; they could be used alongside psychedelics to reduce anxiety during trips while enhancing the overall experience by increasing clarity of thought processes and providing greater insight into one's inner workings during meditation sessions afterwards.

Nootropic supplements are also becoming increasingly popular among athletes looking for an edge over their competition without having to resort to dangerous stimulants like amphetamines which often come with serious side effects including addiction risk factors if abused long term use . Compounds such as creatine monohydrate , acetyl l carnitine , alpha GPC , phosphatidylserine , huperzine A , tyrosine etc have all been shown promising results when it comes down helping increase energy levels & endurance while decreasing fatigue & recovery time from strenuous exercise routines .

Overall, there is much promise ahead regarding what nootropic compounds will bring us both now and into the future. Whether it is aiding our everyday lives by providing increased focus and productivity at work or school settings, or even helping those suffering from debilitating psychological illnesses find relief - we should all look forward to what lies ahead.

Key Takeaway:

Nootropics have the potential to improve cognitive performance and mental health, through biohacking, psychedelic exploration and aiding athletes. Benefits include increased focus and productivity at work or school settings as well as providing relief for those suffering from psychological illnesses.


It's amazing to see how far we've come in understanding and utilizing these substances for our own benefit. As we move forward into the future, it will be interesting to see what new discoveries are made and how they can help us further enhance our cognitive abilities. We have only just begun exploring this realm of possibilities, so who knows what lies ahead?


Are you curious about the history of nootropics and psychedelics? Are you looking for answers to your questions on how they can help improve cognitive performance, mental health, creativity, and overall well-being? Join us as we explore the past and present use of these powerful compounds. Discover their potential benefits through our comprehensive blog posts that feature expert opinions from researchers in the field. Together let’s uncover solutions to make sure everyone has access to safe products backed by science!

Jonathan Gold


Planet Kambo Ltd.

Plant medicine veteran & Planet Kambo co-founder Jonathan Gold, left an unfulfilling 10 year IT career to pursue a higher path of healing, self discovery & enlightenment uniting him serendipitously with the transformational healing power of Kambo frog medicine. 


Now a skilled facilitator boasting thousands of recovery testimonials, Jonathan escaped the matrix of corporate enslavement & lives a life of service, duty & soul alignment.

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