Huperzine A Overview:
Also Known As:
What Is Huperzine A?
Huperzine A is a plant-derived source that is soluble in water and shares the properties of an Alkaloid – this enables it to cross the blood-brain barrier and act directly on the brain!
It was discovered by some Chinese scientists in the 1980s – the process of its discovery still remains under shadow.
As is with most Chinese herbs – Huperzine A had emerged as a potent medicine in ancient China.
Where its properties were used to treat various dermatological diseases and muscular disorders.
It was also used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Huperzine A has a remarkable property of enhancing the blood flow.
Today, it is employed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other memory-related disorders.
It can also enhance the energy levels in the brain whilst promoting cognitive function.
With the advancement in scientific technologies, the pharmaceutical industry has realized its role in the brain and how it can nurture the mind to enable a whiz-bang of superior performance!
Now that you are mildly acquainted with this alkaloid – let us find out how it can benefit YOU!
How Does Huperzine A Work To Sharpen The Brain?
That enzyme is known as Acetylcholine Esterase or AchE.
Raised Acetylcholine levels means you get to form and recall memories with a better quality whilst also feeling an improvement in cognition.
Your response time hastens and so do your motor skills!
Huperzine A can also work by controlling the levels of glutamate in the brain.
Excess glutamate can damage cells in the hippocampal region of the brain – the region associated with behavior and personality!
This is made possible by its ability to perform as an NMDA receptor antagonist.
Thus serving a neuroprotective role as well.
And it also has a minor antioxidant role – to eliminate free radicals from the area of damage and making ways for healing!
Backing It Up With Science – Proof That Huperzine A Works!
And it binds to it tightly – but is also reversible and can let go of the enzyme whence needed! (1)
Now that we are aware of its main mechanism of action – let’s move on to how it yields results.
Huperzine A upon combining with curcumin was dosed in individuals who were suffering from lack of cognition.
These individuals included Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
In a time span of 6-12 weeks, their score on the Alzheimer’s disease assessment scale (cognitive subscale) showed improved scores!
Alzheimer’s patients also showed improvement in a task-switching activity – this was proven by a double-blind study.
Huperzine A has been regarded as an ‘AchE inhibitor’ with high pharmacological potential’.
Another experiment was conducted, this time with rats as specimens undergoing the Alzheimer’s model.
Their scores were recorded on the Hasegawa Dementia scale – which by the end of the experiment showed improvement in the cognitive functions of rats after therapy with Huperzine A.
Now that we’ve gathered enough proof of its role as a memory and cognition booster – let’s move on to its neuroprotective abilities.
Huperzine A binds to NMDA receptors to block or antagonize its effects.
NMDA receptors are ionotropic glutamate channels – which means they can allow the entry of ions.
When these receptors are hyperactivated, they can lead to the phenomenon of excitotoxicity.
Even though glutamate is beneficial for our brains, but its concentration is what determines its outcome.
Huperzine A controls the excess glutamate inflow into the membranes by blocking the channel.
It can also prevent seizures, thanks to the same ability!
Moving over to its antioxidant effects!
Its antioxidant activity has shown to decrease inflammation and control cognitive imbalance.
So you’re getting energy to fight off neurotoxins and track forward towards healing!
It also hunts down free radicals and dampens the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
It offers its protective functions to cells who use it to increase their chances of survival.
What Is The Proper Dosage Of Huperzine A?
However, if you are a healthy individual who simply seeks to enjoy the benefits of this herb, then 100 mcg daily will do you good!
Playing around with the doses carelessly will result in a bunch of adverse effects (which we will list below).
Despite being a safe nootropic, it is always advised to follow the dosage protocol as per your condition.
It is to be noted that it is water-soluble, so you may take it with or without a meal – it won’t really make a difference.
There is not enough evidence to suggest that overdosing on Huperzine A would prove to be fatal.
It is best to take it during the morning when you are required to put your cognition and memory skills to test!
The half-life of Huperzine A is 10 to 12 hours! (sometimes a bit more)
This is pretty long, which is why I would advise you to cycle it – you can take it every second day or just twice a week.
What Are The Benefits Of Huperzine A?
What it does...
How / Why...
Are There Any Side Effects Of Huperzine A?
Most people do not report any side effects with their use.
Side Effects Are listed Below:
Huperzine A Side Effects:
Huperzine A Warnings / Interactions
- Slow heart rate or similar cardiovascular disorder
- GI blockage
- Urinary tract blockage
- Reproductive system blockage
- Stomach ulceration
- COPD/Asthma/Other lung diseases
- Anticholinergics (eg. Atropine)
- Anti-Histamines/Anti-Allergy medicines
(All three of these are drying medications – the effects of which are often opposed by Huperzine A.)
- Acetylcholine Esterase inhibitors/Alzheimer’s medications – (This might aggravate the effects of Alzheimer’s medications.)
- Cholinergic drugs/Glaucoma medications – (This again might aggravate the adverse effects of these medications.)
Where Can I Buy Huperzine A?
You can easily find them in stores or online – without any prescription.
Another option to get some of these supplements is on Amazon.com, where you can find it under different brands and forms. >> Click here to see the top huperzine A supplements on Amazon.
The Art Of Stacking Huperzine A – Stack Ideas!
With Alpha-GPC or Choline
To amp up on those Acetylcholine levels for superior memory skills!
With Gingko Biloba
For neuroprotective properties and putting neurodegenerative events at bay.
This is mostly achieved by lowering the Nitric Oxide levels which can cause detrimental effects on the brain.
To learn more about Gingko Biloba, see our full article Here.
For a jam-packed duo!
You can benefit from increased levels of NGF and BDNF by this stack.
I recommend you purchase noopept from this nootropics manufactuer here.
This is beacause they provide a real certificate of analysis (proving it’s the real deal), and has a ton of awesome reviews and feedback. It’s also my personal choice for buying noopept.
* Not only that, they sell all forms of it, including: Powder, Capsules, & Sublingual Solution
To learn more about Noopept, see our full article Here.
With Aniracetam / Oxiracetam
Their use as a stack amps up the Acetylcholine levels.
This happens because Racetams happen to sensitize the glutamate receptors right next to the Acetylcholine receptors.
The activation of the former leads to activity in the latter as well!
The best source we have found (as far as price and potency) is from our trusted source here: Buy Aniracetam Online
*They also provide a certificate of authenticity so you know you’re getting the real thing!
Not the most popular choice for stacking, but technically it should boost memory skills.
Because Centrophenoxine also involves an increased flow of Acetylcholine, similar to Huperzine A.
Some Awesome Supplements From Which You Can Benefit From Huperzine A!
Pure Nootropics is one of those brands that emerged into the nootropic industry recently but hastened their way to develop a good reputation and customer base of loyal bio-hackers and nootropics enthusiasts (Like myself!)
Their 200 mcg Huperzine A is not only high quality but affordable as well!
It is more than a 3 months supply – if you cycle it! You can Buy it Online Here
I am super excited to talk about this one!
It contains trade-marked ingredients, which in my opinion have better check and balance in terms of quality and certification.
This is in the form of a powder and it all comes down to the preference of the route of administration at this point.
If you don’t like popping pills, try this one! Click Here
I like how Alpha Brain stacks Huperzine A together with Alpha-GPC in this nutritional supplement.
They’ve categorized their blend according to ‘Flow, Focus, and Fuel’.
So you get to know which ingredients work for which category – this in my opinion increases transparency and allows the consumers to ‘make sense’ of the product that they are using. You can buy Alpha Brain Here.
I am recommending this for those individuals who wish to ‘build-up’ their levels of Huperzine A – since it contains only 100 mcg of it.
This also makes cycling easier and a wee bit safer. You can Buy it Here
Source Naturals is another excellent option for nutritional supplements.
NOTE: If you prefer 200 mcg dosages, they have a 200 mcg version.
This contains 300 mcg of Huperzine A – probably the highest dose I have come across amongst the dietary supplements I have researched upon.
Where this might be a bit too much for young healthy individuals who only wish to reap the benefits of this herb – it might just prove to be the ideal dose for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Or even those who suffer from cognitive dysfunction.
This one I would recommend for old aged individuals. You can Find it on Amazon.
Why Is It Necessary To Cycle Huperzine A?
But it’s time I owe you an explanation for it!
I have already mentioned its long half-life, but it sometimes happens to extend its stay in the body for long periods of time.
This is what causes the problem.
Amped up levels of Acetylcholine are great – but not all the time.
It will distort the brain regulatory mechanisms and result in a cascade of adverse effects.
You need to allow the enzyme Acetylcholinesterase to tame down the levels of Acetylcholine, only then is it beneficial to renew those levels again.
You must allow at least 24 hours for this enzyme to start forming, after which it will take some more time to get its job done.
All in all, you must cycle Huperzine A for at LEAST 24 hours.
Huperzine A – Final Thoughts…
It is not only for debilitated individuals but also for academics and business tycoons who need to put their best skills forth at all times.
Even children can take Huperzine A – only for a month though!
I would always suggest to ‘try’ new nootropics to find out the one that suits you best – but ALWAYS keep the dosage and regimen under constant check and balance.