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Of Swaying Trees and Dancing Leaves
Huperzine A & Caffeine
Citation:   Dancing Leaves. "Of Swaying Trees and Dancing Leaves: An Experience with Huperzine A & Caffeine (exp114537)". Jul 1, 2020.

50 ug oral Huperzine  
  45 mg oral Caffeine (liquid)
Huperzine A works terrifically for me in increasing the acetylcholine in my brain, so much so that half a tablet (50mcg) with the caffeine in a 16 ounce soda was enough to give me the most intense hyper focus, and crushing dysphoria, I have ever felt in my life.

At a private retreat in early September, 2017, I thought I would experiment with meditation and contemplation, and Huperzine A. I had taken Huperzine A before, as much as 100mcg, and while it definitely had the effect of potentiating my ability to focus and remember, and think more forcefully, it had also always gave me a strange feeling that was fairly unpleasant. But nothing like the following had I ever experienced, and later I would passively find out that it was because of the caffeine I had also had, which I am almost religious about avoiding because caffeine very strongly affects me and gives me bad insomnia. I make occasional exceptions for things like road trips, and this was one of those occasions.

My spirits must have looked after me that day, because I had the forceful intuition to not take the full tablet (100mcg) that I had planned on doing, thinking that, certainly, I have done so before, and at worse I would just feel strongly "blah" the rest of the day and be fine the next. The intuition was rather insistent, and while at that point in my life I was much less flexible in deviating from a course laid out once I had finalized it in my mind, I decided to break the tablet in half and just start with 50mcg.

I made it so then, that I took the half tablet and sat down and read, I believe, one of the books I had brought with me. As time progressed though, my attention was caught by the swaying of the trees outside. I began to see them as I have never seen them before, in the most fine detail and beauty. This I did not expect, and indeed looking back, it was as if I was coming up on a psychedelic journey.

Gazing out and enthralled by this new extreme mental clarity, I could easily discern each and every leaf and branch on every single tree in my field of vision wave in the wind as if swaying to an unheard song. Patterns would materialize; sometimes as vaguely humanoid dancing figures in the leaves, as if saying "hello", wanting to be recognized by the astute observer. At the short zenith of this journey, I could almost feel a mental connection to these ethereal beings manifesting the in wind and trees, like they wanted to communicate with any who could see them, but was unable to establish anything other than a vague sense of them wanting to speak, and a feeling of mutual recognition between us.

I was also extremely cognizant of the passage of time to a degree where the experience cannot be synthesized in the mind that has not already experienced such an alien mental state. Every second was felt and observed without gap, and in the early hours after taking that half tablet with a 16 ounce cherry coke, every second recollectable in minute detail and in perfect sequential order.

While the first 90 minutes of the "come up" felt mildly euphoric, it soon after that plateaued and became increasingly uncomfortable, and as the day progressed, increasingly dysphoric. About 8 hours post taking, the dysphoria was all encompassing, and I at that moment understood how and why people can contemplate suicide. The crushing grip of anhedonia was absolute; there was no ability to feel positive feelings in the depths of this intense cholinergic state. I knew the half life was approximately 12 hours, and that the unexpected experience would be gradually winding down, and simply waited it out.

The sun was setting, and the day almost over. Ironically, despite the temporary gift of perfect memory and the alien experience of being truly cognizant of the flow of time in a manner that was actually a little disconcerting if focused upon, time had seemed to moved, or I had seemed to move through it, fairly quickly.

I watched the full moon rise over the same dancing trees through second story balcony glass doors, though the prancing humanoid figures had long exited from my perception. I remember the moon looked especially large that night, and I pondered upon many things passively waiting for the Huperzine A to be metabolized, and hoping that at some point I would become able to sleep. I sat there on the floor for several hours. Again, it seemed to go quickly, but less so than the rest of the day had gone.

I was, to my surprise, able to sleep a dreamless sleep that night. The following morning I still felt strange, but approaching the completion of the second half life, I actually felt... fairly good. The dysphoria had significantly evaporated, and in the shower I had something of a spiritual experience that is difficult to articulate. I felt a deep and powerful connection to a spirit I had been working with for many months up until that point, one that is still with me, and of which I have had further, even more profound experiences with. I am certain the Huperzine A was a major factor in being able to connect on a mental level as such for the first time.

The rest of that following day, I felt more and more down to earth, which I welcomed after such an unexpected experience. The second following day, I was almost completely back to normal, and the third, I was once again at baseline.

I did not learn until some years later while reading it in passing, that caffeine powerfully potentiates acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, of which Huperzine A is one of. Be careful with Huperzine A and caffeine; it can multiple its effect manyfold, as I discovered personally. I'm also very sensitive to caffeine in and of itself. This combination I will never take again, and it was truly someone looking out for me that I only took 1/2 of what I planned to. A full pill would have been intolerable, I am sure, and possibly quite dangerous with the caffeine combination.

Exp Year: 2017ExpID: 114537
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 33
Published: Jul 1, 2020Views: 2,070
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Huperzine  (474), Caffeine (11) : Difficult Experiences (5), Combinations (3), Alone (16)

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