Huperzine A – The Chinese Club Moss Herb With Nootropic Properties!

Written by David Gracey

Huperzine A Overview:

Also Known As:
L-huperzine A, firmoss Huperzia serrata, Huperzine, Huperzia Serrata Club Moss, Selagine
Helps With:
Improved memory (recall memories), motor skills, cognitive function
Ranges vary Between 300-500 mcg daily for Alzheimer Patients, 100 mcg daily for healthy adults
Approx: ~ 10 hours
Huperzine A has emanated from the Huperzia Serrata Club Moss – it is now being configured by the hands of science to open portals that can expand the brain’s functions!

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?

One of the most important mechanism pathways for Huperzine A is its ability to enhance Acetylcholine levels by blocking the enzyme that causes its breakdown.

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!

Huperzine A has demonstrated a high affinity for the enzyme AchE – to simplify the concept, just imagine that Huperzine A simply loves the crystal structure of AchE.

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.

happy brain
And things can go really ugly once excitotoxicity ignites – they might even lead to some neurodegenerative disorders.

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.

Its antioxidant activity is mostly accounted for by its ability to pump up mitochondrial function and causing it to release more ATP – you can think of ATP as packs of energy!

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?

For Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, the recommended dosage is 300-500 mcg daily.

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...
Boosts Memory
Prevents Neurodegenerative Disorders & Performs A Neuroprotective Role
Keeps Glutamate Toxicity Or Excitotoxicity At Bay
Helps The Mitochondria Perform Better & Raises Brain Energy Levels
Increases The Levels Of The Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
May Help In Promoting Quality Sleep
How / Why...
By enhancing Acetylcholine levels.
Via its antioxidant activity.
By antagonizing the NMDA receptors.
By triggering it to release more ATP.
By triggering its release.
Due to its antioxidant properties and neuroprotective nature, your brain gets the pampering it deserves!

Are There Any Side Effects Of Huperzine A?

Regardless of its common side effects, Huperzine A is labeled as safe to use nootropic.

Most people do not report any side effects with their use.

Side Effects Are listed Below:

Huperzine A Side Effects:
Gastrointestinal disorders
Hazy vision or slurred speech
High blood pressure or lower heart rate
Note: If you are taking Huperzine A in stacked form, do not top it up with any more of it.

Huperzine A Warnings / Interactions

Do not take Huperzine A if you have the following conditions:
  • Seizures/epilepsy
  • Slow heart rate or similar cardiovascular disorder
  • GI blockage
  • Urinary tract blockage
  • Reproductive system blockage
  • Stomach ulceration
  • COPD/Asthma/Other lung diseases
  • Pregnancy/Lactation
Do not take Huperzine A if you are on the following drugs:
  • Anticholinergics (eg. Atropine)
  • Anti-Histamines/Anti-Allergy medicines
  • Anti-depressants
    (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.

We highly recommend These Huperzine A Capsules as they are high grade from one of our trusted sources, and our #1 pick!
You can buy them here

Another option to get some of these supplements is on, 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!

You can buy our recommended brand of Alpha-GPC Supplement Here


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.

Gingko biloba comes in both powder form, and capsule form, however my personal favorite is This Specific Brand of Gingko Biloba Powder Here.

To learn more about Gingko Biloba, see our full article Here.

With Noopept

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

>> Buy Authentic Noopept Here

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!

With Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is an Alkaloid and with Huperzine A, the brain energy levels can be enhanced to impart faster memory and neuroprotective effects.

With Centrophenoxine

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’ 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

huperzine a - pure nootropics

Genius Consciousness by The Genius Brand

I am super excited to talk about this one!

Genius Conscious is the best seller on Amazon (As you can see Here) – and not that I’ve tried and tested its formula but the ingredient list itself looks tremendous!

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

Onnit’s Alpha Brain

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.

Source Naturals’ Huperzine A

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.

Double Wood’s Huperzine A

Probably the most popular choice these days for individual supplements.

Double Woods’ formula contains 200 mcg of Huperzine A – in my opinion, that is the ideal dosage for those who want faster results.

But do remember to cycle it!

Nutricost’s Huperzine A

Undoubtedly one of THE most affordable options out there.

For under 20 dollars (currently at the time of writing this) , with Nutricost Brand you are getting 240 capsules offering 200 mcg of Huperzine A per serving.

It can easily last you two seasons!

Jalion Acres’ Huperzine A

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.

Lift Modes’ Huperzine A

Another powder supplement that offers you 67 servings worth Huperzine A – just under 15 dollars!  Find it on Amazon

Why Is It Necessary To Cycle Huperzine A?

I have already told you how 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…

final thoughts question
Huperzine A can help you a lot with your hectic schedules and routines.

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.

List Of Nootropics Related to Huperzine A


About David:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) I created this website as an outlet to share my passion for self improvement and cognitive brain enhancement. Got questions? Shoot me a message!










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About David Gracey

About David Gracey

Founder of

Hey! My name is David Gracey.  I am the brain child of and a Cognitive Brain Function Researcher, Avid Biohacker, Lucid Dreamer, Morning Ritual Master, and Self-Proclaimed Nootropic Junkie of Sorts! 

In other words, I am completely obsessed with anything and everything related to cognitive brain enhancement! 

Whether it's nootropics supplements, challenging brain puzzles, or even meditation techniques, chances are, I've tried it!  This website is my outlet to give back and share what I've learned in the past 15+ years in this field of study. 

You Can Read my Other Posts Here:  David Gracey's Articles