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WebMD: Huperzine A - Uses, Side Effects, And More

Updated: Mar 28

Huperzine A is a natural compound derived from the Huperzia serrata plant. It is known for its potential health benefits, which include improving cognitive function, protecting brain health, and reducing inflammation. Huperzine A works by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in memory and learning.

10 Key Takeaways

  1. Improves Cognitive Function: Huperzine A has been shown to enhance cognitive function and memory in both healthy individuals and those with cognitive impairment.

  2. Protects Brain Health: Huperzine A has been shown to protect brain cells against oxidative stress and inflammation, which can help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

  3. Reduces Inflammation: Huperzine A has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall health.

  4. Boosts Mood: Huperzine A has been shown to have an antidepressant-like effect in animal studies, and may help boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

  5. Enhances Learning: Huperzine A has been shown to improve learning and memory retention in animal studies.

  6. Supports Nerve Health: Huperzine A has neuroprotective effects that can help support nerve health and prevent damage to nerve cells.

  7. May Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease: Huperzine A has been studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease, and has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of the disease in some studies.

  8. Improves Sleep Quality: Huperzine A has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakenings in individuals with insomnia.

  9. Enhances Athletic Performance: Huperzine A has been used as a pre-workout supplement because it can improve endurance and reduce fatigue during exercise.

  10. May Help Treat Glaucoma: Huperzine A has been studied as a potential treatment for glaucoma, and has been shown to improve visual function in some studies.


Huperzine supplements may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea or diarrhea, and may interact with certain medications, including anticholinergic drugs and blood thinners. Precautions when taking huperzine supplements include avoiding high doses, consulting with a healthcare provider before use, and monitoring for potential side effects, especially in individuals with medical conditions or taking medications.



  2. Wang, R., Yan, H., Tang, X., Liang, Y., Han, Y., & Yang, L. (2020). Huperzine A: A promising antiepileptic agent. Epilepsy Research, 168, 106475.

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