Nootropics in the traditional sense are not very stimulatory. They target certain functional systems, like working memory and sentence formation. That is the essence of the stack we’re going to discuss.
Nootropic lab in my apartment
Years ago, when I was formulating the Cortex nootropic stack, I sourced in a bunch of foreign compounds and got to work.
My living room was a lab! I spent most of my waking hours experimenting. I had a large table in my living room with a bunch of bulk powders, empty capsules, and scales. It looked like a legit drug house.
And in that process, I sourced in an interesting herb from Ayurveda that proponents of Ayurvedic medicine claim helps with “improving intellect,” called Shankhpushpi. It seemed interesting, because Shankhpushpi is actually 4 different compounds combined into one nootropic herb.
Little did I know, I stumbled upon quite the powerful nootropic compound that I still use to this day in certain situations. And who knew? I mean really. Who the hell has ever heard of Shankhpushpi?
Stumbling upon a killer stack
But, at the time, I really wanted to find a way to implement artichoke extract into the Cortex stack. I knew it would be useful for the “wow” effect, but I wanted to try to get it to synergize well with the Uridine monophosphate and CDP Choline I had in the stack at the time (both of which stayed in the stack).
And in that process, I remember omitting the Uridine and the CDP Choline, and just taking artichoke extract and Shankhpushpi together.
After about 15 minutes, the typical timeframe in which nootropics start to affect me, I felt virtually nothing. 20 minutes, nothing. 30 minutes, nothing.
But then something interesting happened. Right around the 35 minute mark, I started getting the strong urge to work. I noticed a pretty overtly discernible sharpness bubbling up in my frontal lobes.
I ran and snatched my big notebook of experiments to write down what I was experiencing, and in the process, it became apparent that my working memory, and my ability to retrieve information in my long term memory was stellar.
I was blown away. I sat there and consciously tried to remember things in my life and past. It worked. It worked well.
And for about the next hour or so, I read all of the available literature/anecdotal information on Shankhpushpi. I tried to understand what the hell was going on that was making my brain work so well.
Was it just the artichoke extract? We know that it’s a potent PDE4 inhibitor, as explained by the CILTEP folks in their stack, and that promotes memory.
But is there something more happening here, that makes artichoke extract super synergistic with Shankhpushpi?
Probably. Looking at some of the goodies inside of it, as laid out by this pubmed paper, it all makes perfect sense:
“A wide range of secondary metabolites, including triterpenoids, flavonol glycosides, anthocyanins, and steroids, has been isolated and may be responsible for Shankhpushpi’s nootropic and memory-enhancing properties in addition to other pharmacological activities”
Epic. I was hooked.
Dose and duration of the artichoke extract/shankhpushpi nootropic stack
Dose is important. I haven’t been able to replicate these effects with different doses. There’s basically one dose that works for me every time.
- 500MG artichoke extract
- 500MG shankhpushpi
That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
But in all its awesomeness, there is one particularly crappy drawback to taking this stack: it doesn’t last very long.
Aniracetam is known for short duration effect times. That makes it particularly annoying, with many doses throughout the day needed to keep the nootropic effects up.
This stack is the same way. For me, it lasts about an hour and some change. After about an hour, it starts to fade fast, and then at hour 1.5, it’s totally gone.
So then the question of practical uses comes to mind.
Practical uses for the artichoke extract/shankhpushpi nootropic stack
- A quick study session for a test
- Long form blog post
- Giving a speech
- An hour of gaming (Battlefield 4 or something!)
- A political debate in which memory accessibility is critical
- Taking a test!!
- Navigating around an accounting software platform, like Quickbooks
And I’m sure other practical uses. I snagged a bag of Shankhpushpi from Amazon. It literally came from India.
For more ideas on great nootropic stacks, head over to the Corpina website. I just came across it, and it seems to have a plethora of great information around nootropics. They did a killer blog post on nootropics blogs you should check out too.
I have no affiliation with this link, but it seems like a legit source of the compound. This isn’t quite the link I used, because that one doesn’t exist anymore. Here it is.