Huperzine A is a very popular acetylcholine supplement. It is unlikely that you have not already heard about it mentioned when people talk about cognitive enhancers. Some experts refer to this supplement as Selagine. It is an alkaloid (known scientifically as sesquiterpene) derived from Chinese Club Moss (Huperzia Serrata).

Its extract has been in use for several centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of certain blood disorders, fever, and edema. In the 1980s, this herb has received a lot of attention as researchers have realized it can enhance cognitive performance and memory because of its effect on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

How Does Huperzine A Work?

Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter in your brain responsible for a number of mental and physical functions. Your body synthesizes acetylcholine from dietary choline but this is sufficient just enough for normal brain functions. If you want to unlock the full benefits of acetylcholine then you need more of this neurotransmitter present in your brain.

Well, an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase destroys acetylcholine after it is used in the gap where neurons communicate. We do not want this to happen and we want the acetylcholine to stay there to enhance your brain power, that is why we use Huperzine A. It inhibits the actions of acetylcholinesterase to increase the concentration of acetylcholine in your brain.

Benefits of Huperzine A

Research suggests that taking Huperzine A orally for up to 8 weeks may help improve memory, mental function, and behavior if you are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You can also benefit from it if you are suffering from age-related memory loss. It is also a great choice if you are looking for a supplement that can help improve alertness, focus, and energy. It is a potent neuroprotector preserving your nerves from poisonous agents.

The Right Dosage

If you are a young person looking for a nootropic agent to boost memory, focus, and energy, experts say you can take 100 mcg twice a day. A good way to get better results is to stack Huperzine A with cholinergic supplements such Alpha GPC, Noopept or Vinpocetine. For Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the recommended dosage is 50 to 200 mcg twice daily. However, always consult with the medical expert before taking any medication.


Zangara A (2003). “The psychopharmacology of huperzine A: an alkaloid with cognitive enhancing and neuroprotective properties of interest in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease”Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior75 (3): 675–686. PMID 12895686doi:10.1016/S0091-3057(03)00111-4.

Raves ML, Harel M, Pang YP, Silman I, Kozikowski AP, Sussman JL (1997). “Structure of acetylcholinesterase complexed with the nootropic alkaloid, (–)-huperzine A”Nature Structural & Molecular Biology4 (1): 57–63. PMID 8989325doi:10.1038/nsb0197-57