Huperzine A is a herbal extract from the Chinese moss Huperzia Serrata. Although it has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for reducing pain, fever and inflammation, it is also commonly used as a diuretic, antispasmodic, and hemostyptic (a compound that reduces blood flow) as well as a herb known for it's memory enhancing properties.

It is only recently that western science has turned it's attention to this “wonder drug” as a therapeutic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other memory loss disorders such as senile dementia and age-related cognitive decline as they have discovered that it can protect brain cells against beta-amyloid protein, glutamate, free radicals, reduced blood flow to the brain and nerve cell death – without any major side-effects (although excessive dosages may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea).

Huperzine A works by inhibiting the activity of acetylcholine esterase the chemical that depletes the body of acetylcholine whilst actively creating further acetylcholine allowing the neurotransmitter to work for longer and more efficiently increasing cognition and brain function. As we have already covered previously acetylcholine is an extremely important neurotransmitter as it enhances communication between nerve cells and which is responsible for memory function, concentration and focus and if it is broken down or destroyed too quickly it causes incomplete nerve firings and failure to send the correct messages between nerve cells. The advantages that Huperzine A has over the pharmaceutical drugs that aim to do the same thing (and they are big advantages) is that it has fewer side-effects and its action is more powerful and longer lasting!

I would recommend one to two 50mcg capsules of Huperzine A daily as this will improve memory and may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. However, because it has similar actions to other medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease (for example tacrine, physostigmine and donepezil) you should consult your general practitioner before taking Huperzine A. Also a final contraindication is that any one suffering from high blood pressure should note take Huperzine A.

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Steffan H. Abel D.C. has been involved in Chiropractic and healthcare research for over 20 years. He has run his own successful practice in the north of England for the last 19 years. During which time he has treated over 10,000 patients and given over 100,000 treatments. He has lectured and taught extensively in both Europe and America to students, chiropractors and medical doctors.

He has studied Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and qualified as a Life Coach. He has also studied various Chiropractic-based treatments (gaining a M.Sc. in post graduate Clinical Chiropractic in 2003) as well as energy therapies such as Seichem and Reiki. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors and a Fellow of the Association of Osteomyology and in 2007 became a Fellow of the European Academy of Chiropractic.

In his spare time he spends between 15 and 25 hours per week researching all areas of “alternative” and allopathic healthcare in order to bring the best advice to his patients through his practice and writing and has just finished his latest book The Alzheimer's Alternative ( When not working he is to be found enjoying life with Sue, his partner, – whom he loves tremendously!

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