Does Huperzine A Really Work?

Huperzine A is a potent nootropic substance extracted from a Chinese herb known as club moss (Huperzia serrata). The extracts of this herb have been used for ages in china as a tradition treatment for headaches and fever (source).  The drug has a great potential as a cognitive booster and memory enhancer. It is known to improve cognitive function and speed up learning by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine; a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with learning and intelligence.

Huperzine A has also been shown to protect the brain against stress from injuries such as stroke and physical fatigue. In addition, researchers have used the compound to treat neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease with some impressive results. To determine whether this supplement works, let’s take a quick look at some of its effects and benefits.

Huperzine A Effects & Benefits

Boosts cognitive power and memory: Huperzine A is known to enhance cognitive function by improving memory, mental clarity, focus and the speed of learning. It does this by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine hence boosting its levels in your brain. Most neuroscientists describe acetylcholine as learning transmitter’; this is because it improves electrochemical communication between the neurons which in turn promotes memory retention.

It protects the brain: Research on some elderly individual has revealed that Huperzine A can help protect your brain from neuron effect damage. Additionally, it has been shown to alleviate the oxidative brain damage from glutamine toxicity. Studies have also revealed that this supplement can help to hasten recovery from traumatic brain and spinal cord injury by preventing damage to the mitochondria and postponing cell death.

Prevents Alzheimer’s disease: Aggregate data from multiple Alzheimer’s studies has shown that Huperzine A has a stronger effect on treating Alzheimer’s disease compared to other interventions. This supplement is thought to improve mental ability and overall well-being as well as reduce inflammation which in turn prevents Alzheimer’s escalations.

Can help with Epileptic Seizures: Studies conducted on animals have shown that the drug can protect the brain cells from overexcitement and death associated with convulsions. Additionally, it makes the brain tissue more resistant to various forms of epilepsy-induced seizures.

A safe way to treat addiction: Several studies based on self-administration revealed that Huperzine A can decrease an individual’s perception of the cocaine, which could be a safe way of treating the addiction.

Traditional uses: Club moss extract has been used for centuries in China as a traditional medicine in the treatment of headaches, fever, strains, swelling, and bruises. More recently, club moss extract has been used in treating rheumatism, colds, organophosphate poisoning, schizophrenia, and myasthenia gravis.

Huperzine A Dosing Guidelines

This is an extremely potent substance with very powerful effects. It can be taken orally by ingestion or as an injection. Each method of administration has its own circumstances. For instance, injections can be given on a daily basis to patients with muscle weakness caused by diseases such as myasthenia gravis. On the other hand, oral ingestion is best recommended for Alzheimer’s patients who have intellectual skills decline.

The general recommended dosage range for Huperzine A is between 100mcg and 200mcg (micrograms) once per day. In patients with senile dementia, two doses of 30 mcg per day are recommended, which should be increased to two doses of 100mcg per day in adolescents.

Some suppliers recommend a single dose of 200mcg per day for those who are simply in for its cognitive benefits. However, it is highly recommend that you read the label carefully or visit the manufacturer’s website to see their recommendations on dosage.

Possible Side Effects Include…

Huperzine A is generally a safe substance and does not cause any serious side effects even with daily use. Users may not notice any reactions within the first month of using the compound under the recommended dosage rate. However, at slightly high doses, some users have reported side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, blurred vision, sweating, muscle twitching, slurred speech, restlessness and increased saliva.

Users who are pregnant or nursing, and those with any history of a heart disease or epilepsy should not take this drug. In general, self-medicating users who are new to this kind of drugs should start with smaller doses and only consider to increasing to higher doses when they have fully understood the drug’s effects.


Huperzine A is an excellent supplement for enhancing cognitive performance, boosting memory and protecting your brain. It’s one of the very few brain supplements that offer numerous nootropic and neuroprotective properties with massive acceptance by the research and neuroscience community.

Nicole Sanders

Hi, I'm Nicole, chief editor at Nootropics Revealed. Learn more about me and my mission here.