Geo Bell 27/12/2015
The Galantamine vs Huperzine A debate is a long-standing disagreement over which supplement is the best option for facilitating lucid dreams. Both are sold over the internet as individual supplements, or form the basis of popular Lucid Dreaming Supplements. This article explores the pros and cons of both compounds, so you can decide for yourself which one reigns supreme.
Both Huperzine A and Galantamine are commonly used 'short-cuts' for novice oneironauts, however the use of either supplement is generally met with more success by the intermediate/advanced lucid dreamer. The use of these dream aids greatly enhances dream recall, awareness, and general likelihood of achieving lucidity whilst dreaming. Neither supplement guarantees lucidity, and should be used sensibly to compliment good technique!
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How they work
Both Galantamine and Huperzine A are classified as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs).  These compounds are used by lucid dreamers to boost awareness in dreams, by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter involved in both wakefulness and the formation and stabilisation of REM sleep.  In addition, Galantamine also stimulates the release of dopamine and noradrenaline, binds to and sensitises nicotinic receptors.
Note that both Galantamine and Huperzine A are usually taken in combination with other supplements such as Choline salts; or form part of a pre-formulated Lucid Dreaming Supplement, such as DreamLeaf, Lucidimine and ViviDream.
Galantamine is a naturally occurring compound found in plants such as Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata), Caucasian Snowdrop (Galanthus caucasicus) and others. It has been used in Russia and Eastern Europe for decades, in the treatment of nervous system disorders, headaches, myopathy and myasthenia. Synthetic Galantamine has been prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease since the 1990's.
Substantial evidence from clinical research shows that Galantamine improves memory in patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease.  A common “side effect” quickly noted by researchers was Galantamine's ability to induce highly vivid and easily recalled dreams. Galantamine has long been used off-label by lucid dreamers, but is available only as a prescription drug in many countries across the world*.
Galantamine also binds to and sensitises nicotinic receptors,  and frequent use can quickly lead to the build up of tolerance to its positive effects on dreaming, and increase the likelihood of side effects*. Galantamine also stimulates the release of dopamine and noradrenaline, which author of Advanced Lucid Dreaming, Thomas Yuschak, notes to have profound effects on dream control and vividness. 
Huperzine A is a naturally occuring compound extracted from Huperzia serrata.  Like Galantamine, Huperzine A is a cognitive enhancer and potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. The efficacy of Huperzine A as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders is currently a topic of research. 
With a good safety profile and availability worldwide, Huperzine A is quickly becoming a popular choice for oneironauts supplementing their dreamlife.
Having enjoyed the use of both Huperzine A and Galantamine over the years, it's clear to me that both supplements have earned their place in the lucid dreamer's toolbox. Whether or not you choose to use either supplement is down to you. Importantly, the use of supplements should form just one tool in an arsenal of highly practised techniques, well developed dream recall, and other lucidity cultivating habits. Supplements won't do all the hard work, but they can certainly help.
Always check the legal status of supplements in your country before purchasing. Please note our DISCLAIMER.
1. Wang, B., Wang, H., Wei, Z., Song, Y., Zhang, L. and Chen, H. (2009) 'Efficacy and safety of natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: an updated meta-analysis.' Journal of Neural Transmission, vol. 116, no. 4, pp.457-465.
2. Lilienfeld, S. (2002) 'Galantamine — a Novel Cholinergic Drug with a Unique Dual Mode of Action for the Treatment of Patients with Alzheimer's Disease', CNS Drug Reviews, Vol. 8, No, 2, pp. 159-176
3. Watson, C., Baghdoyan, H. & Lydic, R. (2010) 'Neuropharmacology of Sleep and Wakefulnes'. Sleep Medicine Clinics, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 513-528.
4. Yuschak, T. (2006) Advanced lucid dreaming, Morrisville, United States: Lulu Enterprises.
5. Yuschak, T. (2008) 'Substances that facilitate lucid dreaming – A Case Study', Advanced LD.
6. Kramer, M., Glucksman, M. (2015) 'Dream Research: Contributions to Clinical Practice', Routledge
7. Li, J., Wu, H., Zhou, R., Liu, G. and Dong, B. (2008). Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
8. Bai, D. (2007) 'Development of huperzine A and B for treatment of Alzheimer's disease', Pure Appl. Chem., vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 469-479