Huperzine A

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a naturally derived, nootropic supplement popularly used by students to improve focus and memory.

It helps increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Often used in conjunction with other nootropic supplements, its ability to improve memory makes acquiring and recalling new information easier.

What is A Review of Huperzine A

It is a naturally derived nootropic alkaloid compound extracted from Chinese club moss. It has been used for centuries in China as a component in their traditional herbal medicine. This is due to its ability to enhance memory and other cognitive faculties. It is frequently consumed by healthy individuals to improve memory and focus.

It has been shown to have beneficial effects for improvement of mental function, and the activities of daily living.

Furthermore, in a review of multiple randomized studies, it has demonstrated some degree of effectiveness in improving the global clinical assessment of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers. This improvement is measured using the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale.[1]

It has been studied to verify its effectiveness for students. [2]

A selection of students underwent a memory test, then consumed either Huperzine A or a placebo. They continued taking it twice a day for four weeks. Retesting at the end of this time showed significant improvements in the test subject’s recall ability.

Other Names for Huperzine A

Huperzine A also goes by a variety of other names: Chien Tseng Ta, Jin Bu Buan, and selagine.

Editor’s Note

It sounds like a great tool to enhance mental performance and improve my memory in particular. So, I decided to give it a shot and see what effects (if any) I would experience so I could share them with you.

Initially, I didn’t feel any different after taking Huperzine A. After the first week, I noticed that routine memory tasks became much less difficult. These tasks included remembering phone numbers and driving directions.

Although not touted as such, I have found that my mood has improved somewhat while taking Huperzine A. I am feeling less fatigued at the end of the day. However, this may be due to the increased ease I’m experiencing in learning and remembering things.

I started taking the lowest dose of Huperzine A I could find, which was 50mcg. I was impressed by how well I seemed to be doing as I entered the second and third weeks of my trial.

After the first month, I noticed that the effects seemed to be leveling off. Therefore, I increased the daily dosage to 100mcg. Here is where things got a little strange.

I assumed that increasing the dose would amplify the positive effects I initially experienced. However, I found that this was not the case. While I didn’t notice my memory and focus getting any worse, neither did it improve.

I decided to increase the amount I took daily up to the maximum recommended dose: 200mcg. It is safe in much higher doses.

Within a couple of days, I started to feel that great sensation. I was able to learn and recall facts quickly and easily.

Of course, my experience is anecdotal. I didn’t test myself or try to measure the improvements I felt.

Huperzine A Reviews

There are hundreds of positive reviews and research studies showing the benefits of using Huperzine A. It can improve your cognitive function.

Some people have called it a “game changer” in their professional lives. College students routinely report a significant increase in their grade point average.

Reviews on Amazon have many people who were suffering age-related memory problems reporting noticeable improvements. They mention improvements in recall, mental clarity, and the ability to learn new information.

Benefits and effects

It has some beneficial effects on cognition that could make it the ingredient you need to improve your performance.

Memory Improvement

It is commonly used to improve short and long-term memory performance in a wide range of people, from those suffering age-related memory loss to students aiming to improve their scholastic performance.

Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Huperzine A in improving the cognitive performance and recall ability of adolescent students.

This makes Huperzine A a good choice in nootropic supplement for school age individuals as well as people involved in professions that require a strong ability to acquire new information. [3]

Relieving the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a large body of evidence that indicates that Huperzine A is effective in the treatment of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Meta-analysis has found evidence that it may improve the cognitive performance of Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers through its function as a cholinesterase inhibitor.

The increased levels of acetylcholine in the brain have the effect of improving mental clarity, recall and learning ability in people over a large range of ages and walks of life.

Huperzine A will help the increasing number of people who are, or will be suffering from the inevitable cognitive decline associated with age.[4]

Neuroprotective Benefits

Based on animal studies, Huperzine A has shown significant neuroprotective benefits through a powerful anti-inflammatory response, providing protection from excitotoxicity and neuronal death.

This mechanism has the effect of protecting the neurons of the brain from chemical and morbidity related damage, preserving the necessary brain structures that maintain cognitive function.

It will have a valuable role to play as a protective agent against the negative impact of toxic chemicals in our environment on our cognitive abilities and brain health. [5]

Huperzine A Treats Cognitive Impairment Due to Major Depressive Disorder

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as Huperzine A, have proven to be effective in improving the effects of cognitive impairment resulting from major depressive disorder.

Adjunctive treatment with Huperzine A positively correlated with quicker resolution of cognitive impairment associated with major depressive disorder.

If you suffer from depression and the decline in mental performance that comes with it; Huperzine A could be a way to help. [6]

How It Works

It is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which simply means that it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, increasing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical released by nerve cells to communicate with other nerve cells, essential for proper brain function.

At the neuromuscular junction, acetylcholine serves as the neurotransmitter released by the body’s motor neurons. Drugs that diminish acetylcholine can cause convulsions or paralysis.

Conversely, the acetylcholine friendly effects of Huperzine A will improve a wide range of all kinds of nervous communication in the body. [7]

How Long does it Take to Start Working?

A typical cycle of Huperzine A use will last from two to four weeks.

The speed at which improvement can be observed varies widely between individuals, depending on several factors such as the exact dosage being taken, as well as the age and body weight of the individual.

Many anecdotal accounts claim that individuals can observe the positive effects of Huperzine A consumption within as little as twenty-four hours from taking the first dose.

How long do the Effects Last?

The effects of Huperzine A use appear to last only as long as the supplement is regularly consumed. Even though Huperzine A has a relatively long half-life in the body, anecdotal evidence indicates a rapid loss of benefits from approximately twenty-four hours after the last dose.

There is no firm indication that the effects of Huperzine A will diminish with long-term use. However, most people who use this nootropic substance will cycle their use over a period of weeks, with a gap in use after that time. The optimal cycle period has not been determined.[8]

Optimal Huperzine A Dosage

Optimal Huperzine A dosages range from 50mcg to 200mcg. Although the dose can be divided into multiple dosages throughout the day, it is frequently taken as a single dose.

The long half-life of this chemical in the body does indicate that regardless of dose, it will remain in the body for many hours after your last dose.

Huperzine A appears to be water soluble. The recommendations regarding whether it’s better to take this supplement with food or not indicate that you can take Huperzine A in a fasted state.

There is no literature that recommends the optimal Huperzine A dosage relative to age, sex or body weight. It appears that a Huperzine A user will have to determine what the optimal dose is for themselves depending on how much cognitive improvement they experience at different dosages. [8]

Side Effects

Huperzine A has shown cholinergenic negative reactions. Some people have experienced hyperactivity as a result of Huperzine A use, as well as insomnia, dizziness, and anxiety. [9]

Gastrointestinal Issues

Some gastrointestinal side effects include; diarrhea and constipation. Users have experienced unusual levels of thirst and vomiting. [9]

Cardiac Issues Have Been Observed

One Huperzine A trial even reported electrocardiogram pattern abnormalities such as cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia. This is not surprising considering that Huperzine A can affect the transmission of motor neuron signals. [9]

Nasal Congestion

A respiratory side effect observed with Huperzine A use is nasal obstruction, causing discomfort and difficulty breathing.[9]

Stacking Huperzine A

While Huperzine A can have significant positive effects on cognitive ability used by itself, there are ways to stack this supplement that potentially magnify the memory enhancing effects.

Huperzine A and Choline Supplementation

Consuming Huperzine A with a choline supplement will increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain.

Most people don’t consume enough of this essential nutrient, and Huperzine A can only prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain already.

Taking a choline supplement along with Huperzine A should, therefore, result in an even greater increase in acetylcholine levels, magnifying the effects of Huperzine A on your cognitive function.

Huperzine A and Racetams

The racetams are believed to activate the glutamine receptors near the acetylcholine receptors in the brain. This sensitizes the acetylcholine receptors, increasing the likelihood of acetylcholine receptor activation.

This stack will increase the effects of Huperzine A by increasing the effects of higher acetylcholine levels in the brain.

Huperzine A and Noopept

Noopept stimulates the AMPA and NMDA receptors and their pathways, which are involved in memory creation and storage.

The Huperzine A and Noopept stack will work synergistically to maximize the cognitive boost that you would experience using Huperzine A alone.

Alternatives to Huperzine A

Choline Supplementation

Although there are many nootropic supplements, each with its specific mechanism of action in the brain, when it comes to Huperzine A there is a simple alternative. Choline supplementation.

  • About $10 per 100 tablets
  • Dosage is 500mg once per day
  • Will provide the benefits of increased acetyl-choline in the brain

Choline supplementation alone can possibly improve memory if you happen to be choline deficient, since Huperzine A only acts to preserve the acetylcholine levels you already have. Buy choline supplements to ensure that your brain has what it needs to function at its best.


Another fine alternative to using Huperzine A is Noopept. As mentioned earlier, Noopept stimulates the AMPA and NMDA receptors and their pathways, which are involved in memory creation and storage.

If you need an alternative nootropic that will possibly improve your memory and learning ability, Noopept could be a good alternative.

  • $10 for 30 capsules
  • Dosage is 30mg once per day
  • Will help you improve your cognitive function through memory enhancement

Consider using noopept to enhance your brain’s ability to learn and recall new information if you’re a student or have an information intensive profession.

Closing Thoughts

Huperzine A is a great nootropic supplement for improving memory and cognition. Derived from natural plant sources, Huperzine A prevents the breakdown of a vital nutrient already present in your brain.

The effects on memory have been the subject of dozens of research studies and met-analysis that strongly indicates Huperzine A’s positive effects on cognitive enhancement.

If you need your mental faculties to be at their peak to perform effectively in your studies or your career, then Huperzine A is a nootropic that you should investigate.



Also read our blog on How to Heal a Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier

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