Huperzine A is a herbal supplement that is usually given to patients who have Alzheimer’s disease. It is a cognitive enhancer that is extracted from club moss, a plant that is native to certain parts of Southeast Asia and India.
Huperzine A works by promoting acetylcholine through inhibiting the enzyme which breaks it down called acetylcholinesterase. Some companies market it as a dietary supplement that is designed to improve memory and mental function.
Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s usually have high levels in acetylcholinesterase in their brain, so they are believed to benefit from taking Huperzine A. Healthy people who choose to use Huperzine A as a designer drug, however, should be aware of the lack of scientific data regarding the effects of prolonged use. Since Huperzine A is a natural anti-depressant, people should also be cautious of its side effects which include breathing problems, insomnia, and lower blood pressure.