Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata) – Benefits, Side effects, Dosage and Reviews

Huperzine A or Huperzia Serrata (selagine) is one of the best Chinese supplement for Alzheimer Disease, Brain Fog, and all potential tricky cognitive functions. 

Huperzine A or HupA comes from a plant called Chinese club moss, and most residents in Eastern Asian countries use it as a treatment for Dementia and many other brain functions that need a boost, memory included.

Wang has been the first Chinese scientist to analyze the extract from Huperzia Serrata and find its cognitive effects on humans. Did you know that Huperzine A has been a forbidden substance for many years in Asian countries, due to its potential over stimulant abilities?

Stay with us to know more about the actions and interactions of Huperzia A with other prescription drugs. You can also learn how to take it and help you effectively deal with brain disease having adverse effects on your cognitive and memory function.

What is Huperzine A?

Huperzine A or HupA is the main active ingredient isolated from the Chinese club moss plant’s roots. It is one of the substances that makes you think better and improves all your cognitive functions.

You cannot find HupA by itself in the market. Onnit Alpha Brain, one of the best supplements for Brain Fog and Memory Boost, has Huperzine A as its primary active substance. 

It comes in capsule form so that you can take it twice a day and help you with all brain functions. Clinical trials published in many studies you can find on google suggest that HupA is one of the primary reasons for mental clarity and optimal health condition for people who have Dementia.

Read more to find out about the specific function of Huperzine A when absorbed in your brain. According to a scholar view, people who take Huperzine A regularly have more chances to improve their overall mental health and adjust their brain function to optimal levels.

Huperzine A: the main function

HupA is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It is a molecule stopping the acetylcholinesterase secretion and action in your brain cells. As we all know, acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter between the brain cells. 

Huperzine A has 1000 times more affinity for acetylcholine compared to any other drug you will find online. Acetylcholinesterase is a molecule that destroys acetylcholine upon its presence to the synaptic gap between the nerve cells.

Patients who suffer from dyskinesia or myasthenia gravis (a rare disease that affects skeletal muscles) can find their cure using Huperzine A as their drug for disease treatment. The existence of more acetylcholine in their brain can make them move faster and be more active.

Additionally, HupA, as Tang, Wang, and Zhang proved in their abstract analysis in rats can make them boost their memory and reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These Chinese scientists have reported several benefits of Hup to patients with the cognitive disease, bringing new evidence and data about acetylcholinesterase inhibitors action.

Where does Huperzine A come from?

Huperzine A is the extract of the Chinese Club Moss plant. It is a plant you can easily find in China and Eastern Asian Countries. The seeds and the moss areas of the plants are the ones that contain the Huperzine A ingredient. 

The collection and harvesting of the Club Moss plant take place in early summer. It is crucial to let the flowers of the plant blossom so that the concentration in HupA remains high. Chinese people used to take the Club Moss plant extract and apply it to potions for dementia and memory boost.

Today you don’t have to travel to China to find the best acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Onnit Alpha Brain remains the first and only nootropic supplement that is rich in Huperzine A. Two capsules per day are enough to restore your cognitive function, improve your memory, and enhance your overall brain health.

Huperzine A plant

Let’s go on and see which are the best benefits that Huperzine A can offer to patients who have Alzheimer disease and other types of cognitive function impairment.

The 10 Huperzine A Benefits

1- Makes you sleep better

According to several article studies, Huperzine A can give you a better night’s sleep. That happens because it regulates the balance between acetylcholine and other neuronal signaling molecules in your brain. 

Using Hup can give you a long sleep and a better quality one. Most patients have reported that when taking HupA, they began to dream again since they stay a lot more to the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, where more dreams are present.

2- Improves your memory

Ancient Chinese doctors new that Huperzine A present in Club Moss leaves can make patients restore their memory function. Today Tang, Wang, and Zhang have reported in their analysis against placebo that HupA is the substance to improve memory in rats and human patients.

 The action of memory boosting has to do with internal acetylcholine paths in brain cells. It seems like Huperzine can block the acetylcholinesterase. This inhibitor action gives more time for nerve cells to interact with each other and provide induced memory action in less than weeks from initial consumption.

3- Deals with movement disorders

According to several PubMed studies, movement disorders are due to the lack of acetylcholine between nerve cells. Huperzine A has a proven record as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor leaving the acetylcholine to act for a longer time.

In randomized controlled trials organized by Tang and Wang, Huperzine A proved to improve the motor function of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Published in PubMed and google scholar, this study is the first to determine that regular administration of HupA to patients with movement disorders is beneficial for their health.

It looks like the cholinergic action of Huperzine A is enough to restore efficient movement patterns to such patients. After all, acetylcholine is the primary nerve signal for muscles, and patients can improve their movement ache without taking any other medicine.

4- Regulates the Acetylcholine Neurotransmission and Signaling

Huperzine A is among the best acetylcholinesterase inhibitors listed in PubMed and google scholar. There is enough evidence that Hup is the molecule to have a pure cholinergic action on nerve cells in any rat or human patient organization. 

Zhang and Tang have proved in a recent study found on google scholar that HupA contributes to an induced smooth neuron signaling. That is the base for every cognitive disease (like Alzheimer) and memory function disorder. 

The cholinergic action of Hup gives more evidence to clinical trials organized for that reason. Patients who suffer from neurotransmission and memory disease can finally receive a medicine-free treatment like Huperzine A.

5- Fights against Dementia

Dementia is the most common cognitive disease of our ages. It makes people forget and shrinks their short-term memory. Huperzine A can increase the presence of acetylcholine to the nerve cells.

In this way, the cholinergic action of HupA makes the effect of nerve signaling more apparent. Memory seems to relate strongly to the acetylcholine receptors, which is why patients who have Dementia, improve after a few weeks of treatment with Huperzine A.  

A recent review from Chinese doctors published on Google Scholar shows that Huperzine A (the primary substance in Onnit Alpha Brain supplement) can rapidly block the action of acetylcholinesterase. That prolongs the life of acetylcholine in nerve cells, giving Dementia patients better memory abilities.  

6- Slows down the development of Alzheimer Disease

People over 70 years old in developed countries have Alzheimer Disease. It is a neurodegenerative disease that affects brain cells. Patients having Alzheimer cannot remember where they live or who is their close family.

A review of reported clinical trials controlled with placebo has proved that Huperzine A can improve memory and cognitive function in such patients.

Zhang, Tang, and Wang, the three Chinese investigators, have published a review released in PubMed, proving that HupA can restore memory to Alzheimer patients.

Acetylcholine can freely flow in brain cells upon the administration of Hup capsules regularly within several weeks. The blocking of acetylcholinesterase provides prolonged cholinergic action. In return, it brings back memory and cognitive function to these patients.

7- Helps in Cocaine Addiction Treatment

The latest clinical trials for cocaine drug abuse have shown that Huperzine A administration to addicts can help them recover. The Hup mechanism of action is not precise. However, the cholinergic predominance in brain cells brings back the lost cognitive balance.

Patients that get addicted to cocaine usually take a placebo medicine to ensure the reported data are accurate. With HupA, patients seem to gain brain function and memory in less than four weeks.

8- Protects the Brain Cells

It seems like Huperzine A can relieve oxidative stress from brain cells. HupA can act as a selective inhibitor of glutamate that is a potentially dangerous chemical substance responsible for neurodegenerative disease. 

The latest studies available on PubMed and Google Scholar make it evident that Hup can help support brain health, having almost zero side effects on your memory and cognitive function.

9- Aids in Recovery from Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries

An article published on PubMed, based on a vigorous clinical trial, brought evidence that Huperzine A can increase the brain blood flow. That means patients with excessive brain or spinal cord damage can revive their nerve cells using the HupA help.

Tang and Zhang reported on the abstract analysis that the long-term effects of Hup to live organisms, rats, and human patients need to get further verified. Chinese traditional medicine uses the Club Moss extract (Huperzine A) to heal the brain and spinal cord injuries for centuries.

10- Reduces the Seizure and Epilepsy symptoms

Preliminary evidence from a study performed in rats and published on PubMed shows that Huperzine A can act as a seizure and epilepsy symptoms suppressor. It seems like HupA can upscale the cognitive function of rats, probably thanks to its cholinergic action.

The predominance of acetylcholine to the brain cells of a rat can make him more stable, especially when seizures and epilepsy episodes happen frequently. Further investigation is always welcome for Huperzine A and its effects on human epileptic patients, who cannot tolerate other drugs and show signs of reduced brain and cognitive function.

Composition of Huperzine A

Huperzine A is the extract from the leaves of the Chinese Club Moss plants. Although Chinese doctors used the HupA from the plant by drying and stirring it to full containers, there are other methods to get it more manageable.

As Zhang, Tang, and Wang suggest (the leading scientists to perform modern Huperzine A analysis, recently referred to as PubMed and Google Scholar), there is always the chance to create the HupA in vitro using simpler alkaloids that derive from the Club Moss plant.

Have in mind that Huperzine A is an unstable molecule that creates permanent bonds with other alkaloids found in nature. 

For that reason, only Onnit Alpha Brain has managed to create a stable version of the Hup compound and integrate it into the supplement capsules.

Huperzine has a long half-life time, and patients should consume it right away to receive the beneficial cognitive and brain effects.

huperzine a composition

How Effective is Huperzine A for Brain Fog?

A recent study published on PubMed and is available on Google Scholar has been proven the effectiveness of Huperzine A for Brain Fog. Chinese scientists have used the results of Wang, Tang, and Zhang to determine that HupA is an efficient treatment for Alzheimer disease.

A group of patients having Alzheimer have received Huperzine A for at least four weeks and compared with a placebo control group.

The results were in favor of Hup that seemed to give them back significant parts of their brain and cognitive function.

In another meta-analysis by Wang, patients with Alzheimer disease and Dementia have received 300-500 mcg of Huperzine A for a period of eight to twenty-four weeks.

Although there was no placebo clinical trial group to compare it to, the study presented clear evidence that Hup can improve brain function, memory, and mental abilities to such patients. Both studies show that patients well tolerate all supplements containing Huperzine A. Not to mention that they have zero negative interaction with any other drugs.

Who is Huperzine A for?

You can take Huperzine A if living a busy life and need something to anticipate your memory loss and brain confusion. If you are about to take HupA for the first time, make sure you get your doctor’s advice, especially if you take other drugs regularly.

Hup is the ultimate substance for mental clarity and brain function, taking advantage of the cholinergic action. It is the compound that makes your brain cells communicate a lot better and faster.

Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking Huperzine A, as it could be dangerous for the fetus or baby. Also, patients that suffer from a particular neuromuscular disease should alter their medicine to take Hup regularly.

Pros and Cons of Huperzine A

As with all drugs, the administration of Huperzine A has some pros and cons. These are the following

Increases the levels of the neurotransmittersMay provoke irritation to the stomach and bowel of patients 
Boosts memory in a natural wayHuperzine A is sensitive to sunlight and heat, so you need to keep the supplements in temperature-controlled places
Improves cholinergic function making the subtle motor movements even easierThere is no need for a prescription to receive HupA
It is one of the few compounds that have undergone many clinical trials being placebo-controlled
HupA is the only selective inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, not affecting other neurotransmitters in the synaptic area
One of the few nootropic compounds that can pass the blood-brain barrier
Hup can also improve cognitive function only after a few weeks of consumption

Dosage: How to Use Huperzine A

When to start and when to stop?

Patients can start taking Huperzine A early in the morning and then start your day having breakfast as usual. It is crucial to take it before you initiate any cognitive function of your brain. 

Then you can take the next dosage in the afternoon when coming from work. HupA administration can help you fight against brain ache and memory function impairment when taken regularly. 

What are the dosages to respect

The scientists view Huperzine A as a substance patients can have either oral or intramuscular. Abstract and analysis reported in PubMed and Google Scholar suggest that safe Hup dosage should be as follows:

For Alzheimer disease

300-500 mcg daily is the regular dose for Huperzine A. The substance is also present in Onnit Alpha Brain, the popular nootropic supplement, and you don’t have to take it separately.

For Dementia

Patients diagnosed with Dementia should receive 100 mcg of Huperzine A twice a day. The clinical study analysis of HupA effects makes scientists confident about the decisive action of this dosage to patients.

Several studies examine the dosage of intramuscular Huperzine A injection to patients who have Dementia. The right dosage for them would be 30-50mcg of Hup, using the intramuscular administration. Patients with the mental and cognitive disease are more likely to accept the intramuscular administration since the pill usually needs more training to get it right.

huperzine a bottle

What to do in case of overdose?

In case you had more than the approved daily dosage, you need to contact your health care professional immediately. The acetylcholine activity can increase your blood pressure and decrease the heart rate to dangerous for your life levels.

If you think you had too much Huperzine A, you better have to refer to the emergency medical care.

Precautions to take when using Huperzine A

When using HupA, you have to regulate the levels of other neurological drugs. Many drugs that affect your central nervous system should be carefully taken like:

  • Atropine
  • Scopolamine
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines

Furthermore, there is strong evidence that any medicine prescribed for Alzheimer disease and Dementia can affect the cholinergic action of Huperzine A. 

The effects and side effects of Hup can increase due to the consumption of Alzheimer and Dementia drugs. Patients should always ask their doctor before taking Huperzine.

Finally, patients with Glaucoma (increased eye pressure) could get affected by the Huperzine A consumption. Since HupA affects the same receptors for acetylcholine with Glaucoma drugs, patients should be cautious if they take:

  • Pilocarpine
  • Donepezil
  • Tacrine

You also need to ensure that Huperzine A remains out of the reach of children. They could be severely affected by the presence of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors to their body in any given portion.

How to keep Huperzine A

Huperzine A comes into capsules that patients can easily swallow. Manufacturers insist that you place them in a dark and dry place where direct sunshine exposure is not an option.

Keeping them in the container is also expanding Huperzine A lifespan, as long as it relents the oxidation process.

Risks, Hazards and Side Effects of Huperzine A

Some of the potential side effects that connect to the Huperzine A consumption are:

1- High Blood Pressure

Some patients experience higher than normal blood pressure after taking Hup. It may happen due to the cholinergic action of this substance to the heart and vessels.

2-Slowed Heart Rate

A study in reported clinical trial groups receiving Huperzine A for a few weeks has shown a slow down to the heart rate of patients. The inhibitor activity to acetylcholinesterase can decrease the contraction pace of heart muscle cells and slow down the heart rate.

3-Appetite Loss

Since appetite has a secure connection to the cholinergic system, it can get suppressed by Huperzine A consumption. Patients who receive the top doses of Hup can lose weight in less than four weeks upon treatment initiation.

4-Nausea, Diarrhea, and Vomiting

Patients with known hypersensitivity in Huperzine A may suffer from gastrointestinal loss of normal function. Zhang, Tang, and Wang have proved that Hup can affect the peptic internal nervous system, mastered by acetylcholine. 

That is why clinical trials for Dementia often show patients with such side effects after oral administration of Huperzine A.

5-Increased Urine and Saliva secretion

Alzheimer disease patients often have some increased urine and saliva secretion effects after receiving Huperzine A. In the researchers’ point of view, saliva and urine are coming from glands that answer the cholinergic action of Hup. 

Hup acts as a selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. That makes acetylcholine more active to these glands, over producing urine and saliva.

6-Spontaneous contraction of lean muscles and cramping

Side effects of Huperzine A include contraction of muscle fibers due to its cholinergic action. Acetylcholine is the fundamental substance for nerve-muscle communication.

That is why Hup can become a permanent inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. That promotes a more active presence of acetylcholine to the nerve cells and junctions.

Huperzine A: Reviews

Here are some of the product reviews from customers:

review huperzine A

How to Buy Huperzine A: the complete guide

You can find Huperzine A pills and capsules on Amazon and EBay for as low as $21.99 for 120 tablets of Hup measuring 200mcg. There are also other bargains for 60 tablets of Huperzine A at 50mcg that cost about $13.66

One of the first patented nootropic supplements that contain Huperzine A is Onnit Alpha Brain. According to the experts’ view, Alpha Brain keeps on being the best supplement for memory boost and cognitive function restoration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Huperzine A used for?

Huperzine A is the active substance coming from Chinese Club Moss extract. It works as an efficient treatment for Alzheimer Disease and Dementia.

Patients with a neurodegenerative disease history can have Huperzine A. They benefit from Hup cholinergic effects on their nerve cells.

Which foods contain Huperzine A?

Foods like eggs, meat, and fish are rich in choline, which is the producing molecule for Huperzine A. When eating that food, you can ensure you get enough choline for your body to strengthen the production of Alkaloids like Huperzine A.

Is Huperzine A dangerous?

Huperzine A is not dangerous, provided that you respect the dosage scheme. If you belong to a particular clinical trial group and receive any medicine for Alzheimer of Dementia, then you should be careful when taking Huperzine A.

For general populations (except children), HupA can be beneficial when taken as a part of a natural diet. Especially when you get it through dietary supplements like Onnit Alpha Brain, you can rapidly see improvement in your cognitive and memory functions.

How long does Huperzine A take to work?

It may take up to four weeks to see the first results from Huperzine A consumption. That happens because the acetylcholine overproduction needs new sprouts from your nerve cells to develop. The more HupA you get regularly, the best effects you are going to experience.

Does Huperzine A give you energy?

As Tang, Wang, and Zhang suggest in their abstract and article studies, Huperzine A can give you energy by stimulating your nerve and muscle cells. Being an inhibitor to the acetylcholinesterase, Huperzine A can provide you a cholinergic surplus.

That surplus will make your cells work more efficiently and give you more energy to function daily.

Does Huperzine A cause insomnia?

In some patients, Huperzine A can cause insomnia, especially when they get HupA pills close to their sleeping time. Excessive cholinergic action can make your brain cells to work better. However, it could be the reason for severe insomnia that can ruin your life.

Patients who regulate the dosage of HupA to the acceptable levels can reduce the chance of developing insomnia.

Does Huperzine A raise blood pressure?

Huperzine A is an active cholinergic molecule that binds to the vessel pressure receptor. The more acetylcholine it produces, the highest the blood pressure increases effects.

That is why patients who take blood pressure drugs should be cautious with the daily consumption of Hup. Respecting the recommended dose from your doctor can help you to minimize the blood pressure raise symptoms. At the same time, you would enjoy the memory boost and cognitive function benefits of Huperzine A.

Can you take Huperzine A every day?

Most patients receive Huperzine A daily. It is safe to do so for as long as you respect the recommended dosage. If you take any other drugs, you should inform your healthcare provider to adjust the dosage for your benefit.

HupA is the compound that ancient Chinese doctors used for the treatment of memory loss and brain disease. That is why you can still use it daily if you want to avoid damage in your nerve cells.

Does Huperzine A Help ADHD?

Huperzine enhances cognition in the brain, therefore helping with ADHD.

Does Huperzine A increase dopamine?

Yes, it does. It increases the levels of acetycholine in the brain, which in turn increases the dopamine levels in the hippocampus.

Is Huperzine A natural?

Huperzine A is a natural substance coming from the extracts of the Chinese Club Moss plant. There are ways to produce HupA in vitro; however, the natural material is always better to consume.

Onnit Alpha Brain is the only nootropic supplement that contains natural Huperzine A and can give you all its benefits.


As we all know, today’s busy life can make you have brain fog and deteriorate your cognitive and mental function. That is why Huperzine A substance is popular.

Coming from the Club Moss plant, HupA is the most efficient acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. You can have the prolonged action of acetylcholine to your brain and nerve cells, getting back your brain clarity.

If you liked the article, you can share it on your social media and let your friends know more about the benefits of Huperzine A.

Only a natural boost to your memory like the one induced by Huperzine A is worth mentioning. It is the molecule that has undergone clinical trials and attracted the interest of modern medicine for its actions on Alzheimer disease and Dementia

The existence of studies published in Google Scholar and PubMed makes Huperzine A the best compound for your mental and cognitive health.

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