Moxie Nerve Food

From Kook Science

Moxie Nerve Food
Creator(s) Augustin Thompson
Year created 1885
Vendors Moxie Nerve Food Co.

Moxie Nerve Food was the brand-name of a remedy for "nervous exhaustion" and other complaints of such character, originally formulated in April 1885 by Augustin Thompson and trade-marked as "Moxie" by his Moxie Nerve Food Company in July of the same year. According to the company's legend, the secret ingredient that made Moxie was a plant discovered by one Lieutenant Moxie, though this was purely a fabrication on the part of Thompson.


Francis Wyatt in Medical World (1887) presented an analysis of Moxie Nerve Food, giving the ingredients as "three-fourths per cent. alcohol, and one-fourth per cent. of the essential oils of sassafras, wintergreen and anise," as well as gentian root (gentiana), checkerberry (gaultheria procumbens), and quassia amara,[1] and Oleson's Secret Nostrums and Systems of Medicine (1890) suggests the the syrup itself was made from oats.[2]


Competitors wishing to capitalise on the success of Moxie produced products with brand names like "Standard Nerve Food", "Imperial Nerve Food", "East India Nerve Food", "Excelsior Nerve Food" and even "Noxie Nerve Food." For their part, Moxie Nerve Food Co. was diligent in their prosecution of such trademark offenders and the knockoffs were rarely around for very long.[3]


  1. "Moxie Nerve Food", The Medical World 5 (11): 429, Nov. 1887, 
  2. Oleson, Charles W. (1890), "Moxie — A Nerve Food", Secret Nostrums and Systems of Medicine: a Book of Formulas, p. 127, 
  3. "HISTORY OF THE TRADE-MARK "MOXIE"", Bulletin of the United States Trade-Mark Association 3: 33-38, 1907,