Huperzine A

Plant Part Used

Isolated from Chinese club moss.

Introduction

Huperzine A is an extract from a club moss that has been used for centuries in Chinese folk medicine for conditions such as blood loss, fever, as a diuretic, and for irregular menstruation. Modern science, especially in China, has focused on huperzine A’s potential benefit in memory and learning, along with patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

50mcg, 1-3 times daily.

Most Common Dosage

50mcg once daily.

Standardization

Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.

Not applicable.

Reported Uses

Scientists think huperzine A works by preventing the break down of acetylcholine, a substance that is involved in memory and learning. It may also stimulate neurons. Because Alzheimer’s disease is associated with acetylcholine deficiency, huperzine A may offer treatment for the disorder. (1) , (2) , (3) These acetylcholine-boosting properties may be of benefit to people with dementia as well.

Huperzine A may also have the ability to enhance general memory and learning capacity in people without mental disorders.

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. This dietary supplement may cause temporary dizziness. (4) Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

This supplement should not be used in children unless recommended by your physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Bai DL, et al. Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Curr Med Chem. Mar2000;7(3):355-74.
  2. View Abstract: Tang XC. Huperzine A (shuangyiping): a promising drug for Alzheimer's disease. Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao. Nov1996;17(6):481-4.
  3. View Abstract: Xiao XQ, Zhang HY, Tang XC. Huperzine A attenuates amyloid beta-peptide fragment 25-35-induced apoptosis in rat cortical neurons via inhibiting reactive oxygen species formation and caspase-3 activation. J Neurosci Res. Jan2002;67(1):30-6.
  4. Skolnick AA. Old Chinese herbal medicine used for fever yields possible new Alzheimer disease therapy. JAMA. Mar1997;277(10):776.