on Facebookon Twitter on YoutubeRSS
Blog & Articles
Nootropics & Smart Drugs

Nootropic Ingredients Comparison

Go back to previous page
Nootropic Ingredients
Recommended Daily
Side Effects
Eleutherococcus Senticosus

Recommended Daily

It's a good idea to break up dosages between a dose first thing in the morning, and a noon or mid-afternoon dose. Taking it later in the evening may disturb sleep.
It's one Nootropic that you don't want to take in an attack dose, you'll want to start with a low dosage and work your way up, to quote Introspecta:
"Very low doses which are found in some Teas worked great for me but whenever I tried the supplements they were too stimulating and gave me anxiety. I was under the impression that Eleuthero didn't cause anxiety but was wrong."


The top cofactors as mentioned frequently in human studies are Rhodiola Rosea and Schisandra Chinensis together in Adapt-232.
A few redditors enthusiastically reported that it potentates Kratom, a none-Nootropic performance enhancer with a notoriously steep tolerance curve.

Side Effects

After reading numerous self experimentation reports of Eleuthero, I've come to the conclusion that the only side effect of Eleuthero you should be seriously worried about is anxiety or mania resulting from excessive dosage or combining with other stimulants. This is one Nootropic you don't want take at crazy doses or stack with a bunch of other things.
A German double blind study monitored the human study subjects for 5 months after dosing and noted no negative side effects.

Since it's a stimulant taking it with other stimulants like coffee is maybe not a great idea. Currently no known enzyme interactions that would interfere with pharmaceuticals.

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    
Eleutherococcus senticosus, is another historical Nootropic known for "invigorating qi and strengthening the spleen, tonifying kidney to relieve mental strain" in traditional Chinese medicine. It's a classic adaptogen, that modulates our hormones and many subtleties of how our biology responds to internal and external stressors. Commonly just referred to as Eleuthero. ...
Eleutherococcus Senticosus

Recommended Daily

  • 200 Milligrams - 600 Milligrams daily for extracts of at least 3% rosavins and 0.8-1% salidroside.
  • 100 - 170 Milligrams daily for 3.6% rosavin extract
  • 180 - 300 Milligrams daily for 2% rosavin extract

One study administered as much as 680 Milligrams daily to treat mild depression and negative side effects were not reported.
However, less is more with Rhodiola, if you take too high a dosage (especially with the higher percentage extracts) it has some contrary effects to what’s probably desired. So start with a low dosage as opposed to an attack dosage. As low as 50 milligrams daily to prevent fatigue.



A number of self experimenters report that it has a synergistic effect on memory and cognition with Piracetam. Based upon the glowing recommendation in Piracetam Protocol, I’m going to include Rhodiola in the Piracetam Protocol.

The Soviet Formula

From it’s space program and it’s wars in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan to its fierce spirit of athletic competition the Soviet Union made extreme performance demands of its citizenry. From the labs behind the iron curtain emerged a hardcore herbal formula for peak performance and resilience...

Also known as Adapt-232. A 2010 Double-blind, placebo-controlled Armenian study of 40 healthy women, came to some optimistic conclusions, from it’s abstract:
“The subjects in the ADAPT-232 group quickly (two hours after verum was taken) gained improved attention and increased speed and accuracy during stressful cognitive tasks, in comparison to placebo. There was also a tendency of ADAPT-232 to reduce percentage of errors, which means better accuracy, quality of the work, and degree of care in the volunteers under stressful conditions.”

The bad news... Is that if you want to try Adapt-232 you can’t. It’s not for sale anywhere. So I’ve decided to study the documentation, formulate it and will sell it, I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to be updated when it’s available.

Herbal Cofactors

For some it has a marvelous effect in combination with St. John’s Wort, to quote Sasha in the UK:
“I started taking 1 capsule of Rhodiola and 1 of St John's wort together twice daily. I can't fathom how these two plants work synergetically (perhaps someone here can enlighten me) but they sure do for me, I got better mood, more energy/stamina, and felt stimulated without feeling stressed or jittery. My concentration got better, and although I think I was intellectually stimulated I can't tell wether this kind of stimulation might be beneficial for someone who deals with important mental tasks.”

Side Effects:

Rhodiola rosea, when taken at high dosages has side effects typical of stimulant nootropics; restlessness, insomnia, irritability, and increased heart rate and possibly increased blood pressure. Don’t take it before bed.

No interactions are reported on WebMD.

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    
This adaptogenic herbal stimulant has been used as an energy boosting agent in Russia and China for centuries. It stimulates the nervous system, helps with work, along with combating stress and fatigue. It also contains a number of phytochemicals, neuroprotective antioxidizing agents and is a stress reducing agent. ...
Schisandra Chinensis


Most of the more promising placebo controlled human studies including Schisandra, were done on the Adapt-232 formula of which Schisandra is one third of, the other ingredients are the adaptogens Eleuthero and Rhodiola Rosea.
One of the human studies that demonstrated positive effect on blood flow was using Sesamin extract which is also a Lignan in conjunction with Schisandra extract.

Rhaponticum and schisandra enhance reading comprehension, aptitude, and speed.(p. 94) Talk about a reading lifehack!

Side Effects

Can include heartburn, acid indigestion and stomach pain.

It's been demonstrated to wash the drug Warfarin out of the body faster, diminishing Warfarin's effects.

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    
A delicious five flavored Adaptogen that has been used for thousands of years to Biohack Yin and Yang. A notable herbal cofactor that enables the body to process other supplements and drugs. 
Schisandra Chinensis

Recommended Daily


Ginkgo Biloba
Together they had an exponential effect on alertness, relaxation and appetite. From a Bulgarian study:
"The favorable effects on learning and memory of the combination of [Panax Ginseng] plus [Ginkgo Biloba] and the other pharmacological activities inherent in the extracts characterize this combination, offered as Gincosan as a particularly promising drug in geriatric practice."
Rhodiola Rosea
Another excellent adaptogenic herb, debatably it has a powerful synergy with Ginseng.
Kai Xin San
Kai Xin San, is the delivering servant of Panax Ginseng in folk medicine annals, which a handful of Beijing studies agree with. A 2012 review out of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University emphasized the relative safety of taking Rhodiola as part of a smart drug stack:
"Being an adaptogen, Rhodiola rosea bears various pharmacological effects. It is particularly useful in that it does not interfere with other drugs nor have any adverse effects in the course of clinical trials..."

Side Effects

"Moreover, long -term use of the herb— especially in doses exceeding 3 grams a day— is cause for concern. Some adolescent boys and others who have taken megadoses of Panax ginseng to build strength and endurance have experienced estrogen-like effects, such as painful swelling of the breasts." [1]

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    
An adaptogenic medicinal herb of mythological potency for increasing stamina and a profound sense of well-being.

Recommended Daily

Researching Ashwaghanda you may find some dosage recommendations in the range of multiple grams as opposed hundreds of milligrams; this is referring to consuming whole root, as opposed to extracts. The majority of human studies done demonstrating a helpful effect where done using Ashwaghanda extracts. Here's the dosages suggested in the scientific literature:

If you do consume the whole root you'll want to take between 2 - 6 grams daily
Another great option is taking just a few drops in liquid form from an Ashwaghanda Tincture.
Adaptogens recommends:
(1:5): 30–40 drops, 3 times per day.
(p. 141)
The recommended dosage in liquid tincture form is about a dropperful three times daily.
It has a half life of just several hours; so you'll want to dose several times a day, take it with a meal for optimal absorption.
Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, rhaponticum, and rhodiola generally are safe to consume daily, but they have a medicinal taste that few people would enjoy or consider as a “beverage.”
(p. 254)


According to Jill Stansbury a prominent naturopathic physician adaptogenic stacks are an effective Biohack for alleviating the various unpleasant manifestations of menopause:
I often use adaptogens (ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, eleuthero, rhodiola) for perimenopausal women with stress symptoms, insomnia, and anxiety and emotional disturbance. I expect to see results within a week or so.
(p. 244)
Blue vervain also is used with ashwagandha and skullcap for people with nervous tics, restless leg syndrome, mild Tourette’s syndrome (a tic disorder), and tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the muscles and tongue). It especially is indicated for women who have premenstrual or menopausal anxiety or other issues related to hormonal fluctuations.
(p. 207)
She was extremely driven to increase the company’s business and had been working at least twelve-hour days for about three years. Spelman gave her a tincture combination of ashwagandha, licorice, and reishi. After two weeks, she stated she was amazed at the increase in her energy level; she even had enough energy to cook for herself when she got home late in the evenings from a fourteen-hour workday.
(p. 243)
Terminalia Arjuna for physical performance enhancement. From a 2010 paper:
"Our study showed that Withania somnifera increased velocity, power and VO2 max whereas Terminalia arjuna increased VO2 max and lowered resting systolic blood pressure. When given in combination, the improvement was seen in all parameters except balance and diastolic blood pressure."

Side Effects

Like many Nootropic herbs. it's pretty benign; you have to use it at pretty unreasonable dosages to run into trouble.
In vitro studies have suggested that it has no toxicity for humans at standard doses.
WebMD rates it as LIKELY UNSAFE for those who are pregnant.
Blood pressure. Along with it's effect on stress and cortisol it lowers blood pressure. So it should be used with caution in combination with blood pressure meds.
Diabetics will want to monitor their blood sugar levels while using Ashwaghanda as it may lower blood sugar.
Auto-immune diseases maybe exacerbated by Ashwaghanda as it stimulates the immune system.

MAO inhibitors
JNK inhibitors
Ashwagandha can enhance or increase the effect of barbiturates.
(p. 141)

Another historical Nootropic and a member of the Adaptogen family of natural performance enhancers which empower Biohackers to live vigorously. Organic Ashwagandha as a Nootropic helps with anxiety, insomnia, aging signs and as an adaptogen to manage stress. This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying...