Hordenine is a chemical naturally found in barley (Hordeum vulgare). It can also be found in algae, cacti, and some grass species. It is similar in chemical structure to stimulants found in bitter orange. Hordenine is included in many dietary supplements used for athletic performance and weight loss.

People take hordenine by mouth for obesity and improving athletic performance, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Hordenine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Hordenine is similar in structure to stimulants found in bitter orange. In theory, hordenine might have similar stimulant effects and side effects such as rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if hordenine is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

High blood pressure: Hordenine is similar to stimulants found in bitter orange. In theory, taking hordenine might make high blood pressure worse.

Kidney stones: Taking hordenine might increase the risk for kidney stones.

Surgery: Hordenine might interfere with surgery by increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Stop taking hordenine at least 2 weeks before surgery.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Athletic performance.
  • Obesity.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate hordenine for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate dose of hordenine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hordenine (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications for depression (MAOIs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Hordenine might stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can increase chemicals that also have stimulant effects. Taking hordenine with these medications used for depression might cause serious side effects including fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, nervousness, and others.

Some of these medications used for depression include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Stimulant drugs

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heartbeat. Hordenine might also speed up the nervous system. In theory, taking hordenine along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with hordenine.

Some stimulant drugs include amphetamine, caffeine, methylphenidate, pseudoephedrine, and many others.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements with stimulant properties: Herbs and supplements with stimulant properties, such as ephedra, caffeine, and caffeine-containing supplements such as coffee, cola nut, guarana, and mate, might increase the risk of high blood pressure and serious side effects affecting the heart when used with hordenine.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 23/10/2022 20:11:03 and last updated on 20/10/2020 22:31:55. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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