Other names Huperzine A, Huperzia Serrata, Hup-A
Huperzine-A is a natural nootropic used by many people, especially students, to improve learning, memory, and productivity. But is it an effective cognitive enhancer? Read on to find out what the science says.
Read about the effects of Huperzine-A in relation to the amount of evidence we've found
The legality and side effects of Huperzine-A
You should always consider the risks of a nootropic before you use it.
No negative side effects were seen in the study that we reviewed.
Supplements and drugs can interact with Huperzine-A to increase or decrease the positive or negative effects you experience. If you are already using any supplements or drugs, speak with your trusted medical professional before you experiment with Huperzine-A. To learn more about the potential interactions between Huperzine-A and other substances, use interaction-checker.
Is your country not included? Learn how to find out if Huperzine-A is legal in your country.
The contents herein are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While we have done our best to be as accurate as possible in the information we convey to you about the legality of nootropics, there is a risk for inaccuracies and errors. If you’re uncertain about the legality of any of your actions, contact a legal counsel or your local authorities governing the legality of various substances you may want to use/import/travel with.
How To Use
Dose, frequency and duration
It is usually safer and more effective to use nootropics as they have been used in studies on humans. In the the studies that we’ve reviewed, Huperzine-A was used in the following ways:
- 100 Microgram doses for acute effects
Frequently asked questions about Huperzine-A
How does it feel when you take Huperzine A?
The following qualitative user experience reports and reviews are included to give you an understanding of what the experience of taking Huperzine A is like.
Anecdotal Huperzine A experience reports and reviews from Reddit
One person reported no negative side effects, and the following benefits from use of 150mcg Huperzine A daily for about one month:
"Mainly focus, and a sort of "detachment" from my senses, but in a good way. Like, I'm more in control of my mind and body, less impulsive, and less sensitive to small things that would have frustrated me before. Also, my memory is much better." 
Another redditor said the following about their Huperzine A experiences:
"I used to take Huperzine A a couple years ago and noticed a huge mood improvement not a big antidepressant kind of effect but just in the mood effect." 
One person said they thought they got the following benefits from Huperzine A consumption, but this person also consumed other supplements and drugs frequently, so it is hard to tell which substance is to thank for the cognitive effects experienced:
"It's stimulating feeling sorta; definitely has enhanced my memory. Very fluid intelligence and ease of grasping concepts." 
Finally, one redditor reported the following negative side effects from Huperzine A:
"I seemed to become more and more tired with each day. I used maybe only 50mcg of Huperzine-A. Maybe 75mcg one day. That's a fairly safe, low dose. I felt not only tired, but unmotivated. This reminded me of the way I felt when I was going through nicotine withdrawals months ago." 
How does Huperzine A move in the body?
It is eliminated rather slowly, with a half-life of around 12h. 
Is Huperzine A neuroprotective?
It was found that Huperzine A was neuroprotective when cholinergic neurons were impaired and under conditions in which glutamatergic functions were compromised, in one cell study. 
It is likely that Huperzine A is neuroprotective in humans as well, but no confirmatory human studies are necessary for us to know for sure whether such an effect exists.
How does Huperzine A work in the brain?
Studies that have examined the neurobiological effects of Huperzine A in animals and cells have found that Huperzine A exerts the following effects:
- Regulated the expression and secretion of nerve growth factor (NGF) and NGF signaling 
- Modified of beta-amyloid peptide processing 
- Reduced oxidative stress 
- Inhibited Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), in all tested brain regions (hippocampus, striatum, hypothalamus and frontal cortex) 
- Increased acetylcholine, dopamine, and norepinephrine, but not serotonin 
- Blocked the NMDA ion channel 
- Increased hippocampal neurogenesis ("Administration of Hup A to adult mice significantly enhanced the cell proliferation in dentate gyrus of hippocampus, and increased the remaining newborn cells 4 weeks after the drug administration.") 
Who should use Huperzine-A?
There’s a need for more high-quality scientific information about the safety and effectiveness of Huperzine-A. Specifically, there’s a great degree of individual variance in how people respond to nootropics in general and Huperzine-A in particular. This means that if you use Huperzine-A, you may not experience the same effects as those that were seen in scientific studies on it.
It is currently largely unknown what factors play a role in whether a nootropic will be effective for a person.
While we wait for science to explain who is likely to respond to which nootropics, patient self-experimentation with nootropics that have been found safe and effective in placebo-controlled studies in healthy humans is a proven strategy to feel and perform better with the help of nootropics.
Studies conducted on the effects of Huperzine-A in healthy humans
In the 1 study that met our inclusion criteria, 34 participants received Huperzine-A. In total, we examined 1 studies on the effects Huperzine-A, which you can find summaries of below.
This study is used in our recommendation engine calculations. Learn more about how we select studies
Huperzine-A had a moderate positive effect on cognitive performance in healthy children
Children using 100 Microgram
Last updated Saturday, June 10, 2023