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Observations placeholder

Huperzine A



Type of Spiritual Experience


Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, as such we can very roughly classify it within the acetylcholine category as its effects are very similar.

 It is widely used in Chinese medicine and is found in Huperzia serrata (TCM = Qian Ceng Ta/Jin Bu Huan) - a plant known as a firmoss, a species native to India and southeast Asia. Further research in China on the entire Huperziaceae species to see if any other plants contained the chemical, found that the highest content of HupA was found in Phlegmariurus carinatus. Members of the genus Phlegmariurus possessed higher levels of HupA than Huperzia species. H. serrata plants growing in humid forests contained significantly more HupA than plants growing in less humid environments. Finally, HupA content varied significantly by season, with the highest levels being found in mid fall and the lowest levels in early spring, suggesting that HupA is turned over in the plant.

A description of the experience

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Aug;34(16):2018-23. [Research advances of Huperzia serrata (Thunb.) Trev]. [Article in Chinese] Guo B, Xu L, Wei Y, Liu C. College of Life Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China. guobin@nwu.edu.cn

Qiancengta, a traditional Chinese medicine produced from the whole plant of the club moss Huperzia serrata, has been used for a long history in China for treatment of a number of ailments, including contusions, strains, swellings, schizophrenia, myasthenia gravis and now organophosphate poisoning. It has become known worldwide as a medicinal plant since Chinese scientists discovered huperzine A from it in the 1980s, which is reversible, potent and selective acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibitors by in vitro and in vivo pharmacological, and produce definite effects in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Now, Qiancengta is popular in all over the word for his famous pharmacological actions. For further exploitation this valuable resource under protection of nature environmental, its biological and ecological features, pharmaceutical active ingredients, artificial propagation and in vitro tissue culture, were reviewed, and the sustainable use of Qiancengta natural resource through plant biotechnology was put on the agenda.

PMID:  19938535

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps