Hordenine: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

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Key Information

Hordenine is a natural stimulant:

Hordenine is an extract from a cactus plant that can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and norepinephrine levels.

Hordenine can inhibit melanin production:

Hordenine can reduce the pigment that gives skin color, which may help with some skin issues.

Hordenine is a MAO inhibitor:

Hordenine can prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine, which may affect mood and motivation.

Hordenine has not been well-studied:

Hordenine has limited human research and may have serious side effects when taken with other medications or supplements.

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In the vast world of nootropics and cognitive enhancers, hordenine has recently gained attention for its potential benefits. As a plant-derived alkaloid, hordenine is found in various natural sources and has been investigated for its stimulant and nootropic properties.

At Holistic Nootropics, we dive deep into the science behind this intriguing compound, exploring its mechanisms of action, potential benefits, dosage recommendations, and safety considerations. Our mission is to provide you with comprehensive, evidence-based information to help you make informed decisions about integrating hordenine into your cognitive enhancement regimen.

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What is Hordenine?

Hordenine, chemically known as N,N-dimethyltyramine, is an alkaloid compound naturally present in a variety of plants. Its chemical structure closely resembles that of other well-known neuroactive compounds such as tyramine and phenethylamine. The most common natural sources of hordenine include:

  • Barley (Hordeum vulgare) seedlings
  • Certain cacti species, such as Trichocereus candicans
  • Algae and seaweed
  • Malt and beer
Plant SourceHordenine Content
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Seedlings~0.2% or 2000 µg/g
Cactus Trichocereus candicans0.5-5.0%
Malt21-67 µg/g

How Hordenine Works in the Brain

Hordenine exerts its effects on the brain through multiple mechanisms of action. One of the primary ways hordenine influences neurotransmitter levels is by acting as a monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitor[1]. MAO-B is an enzyme responsible for breaking down certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and phenethylamine. By inhibiting MAO-B, hordenine effectively increases the levels and prolongs the effects of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

Another mechanism through which hordenine affects brain chemistry is by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine[2]. Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is a neurotransmitter involved in attention, focus, and arousal. By blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine, hordenine prolongs its effects, leading to increased mental energy and alertness.

Hordenine Benefits & Uses

The unique pharmacological properties of hordenine give rise to several potential benefits and uses, particularly in the realm of cognitive enhancement. Some of the reported benefits of hordenine include:

  • Enhancing cognitive function and mental clarity
  • Improving focus and concentration
  • Increasing mental energy and reducing fatigue
  • Boosting motivation and productivity

While research on hordenine’s nootropic effects is still limited, many users report positive experiences with this natural compound. Learn More: Best Nootropics For Motivation

Hordenine Dosage

When it comes to hordenine dosage, it’s essential to start with a conservative approach and gradually adjust based on individual tolerance and response. The typical dosage range for hordenine is between 25-50 mg per day. It’s crucial not to exceed recommended doses without consulting a healthcare professional.

Hordenine supplements are available in two main forms: hordenine HCl and hordenine freebase. Hordenine HCl, the hydrochloride salt form, is more commonly used in supplements due to its higher solubility and stability. The freebase form, on the other hand, may have slightly different pharmacokinetic properties.

Hordenine Side Effects & Safety

While hordenine is generally well-tolerated at recommended doses, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and safety considerations. Some reported side effects of hordenine include:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Restlessness and jitteriness
  • Headaches
  • Digestive discomfort

Due to its stimulant properties, hordenine may interact with certain medications, particularly those affecting the cardiovascular and nervous systems. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting hordenine supplementation, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

It’s also worth noting that hordenine may have addictive potential when used in high doses or combined with other substances. Learn More: 13 Best Nootropics For Addiction Recovery

Hordenine Stacks

Hordenine is often used in combination with other nootropic compounds to create synergistic effects and maximize benefits. One popular stack is the combination of hordenine with phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is a natural neuromodulator known for its mood-enhancing and motivational effects. When combined with hordenine, which acts as an MAO-B inhibitor, the effects of PEA are prolonged and intensified.

Some pre-made nootropic stacks also include hordenine as one of the key ingredients. Learn More: Qualia Mind Review- Quick-Start Your Brain w. This Fully-Loaded Nootropic

FAQ About Hordenine

Where to Buy Hordenine

When purchasing hordenine supplements, it’s essential to choose reputable vendors that prioritize quality, purity, and transparency. Look for supplements that have undergone third-party testing and provide clear labeling and dosage information.

Learn More: Amazon’s Fake/Counterfeit Supplement Problem

While hordenine supplements are widely available, it’s also possible to obtain hordenine from natural sources such as barley grass and malt. However, the concentration of hordenine in these sources is typically lower compared to standardized supplements.

Hordenine Discussions on Reddit

Combining Hordenine with PEA

Selegiline by far works the best wit it. Literally turns the supplement into crack for me

u/omara69 in discussion ‘What MAOI could I take to really activate phenylethylamine? (besides hordenine)’

This discussion highlights the potent combination of hordenine with selegiline, a prescription MAO-B inhibitor. While this synergistic effect can significantly enhance the effects of PEA, it also underscores the importance of caution and responsible use, as the combination may have a high potential for addiction and abuse.

Safety & Side Effects

PEA appears to be a photosensitiser for the skin, and it may have renal toxicity.

u/Smooth_Imagination in discussion ‘Dissociative-like state from PEA and Hordenine’

This comment raises concerns about the potential side effects of PEA, particularly its photosensitizing properties and possible renal toxicity. It serves as a reminder to thoroughly research the safety profile of any substance before incorporating it into your supplementation regimen.


Hordenine is a promising natural compound with potential nootropic benefits, including enhanced cognitive function, increased mental energy, and improved focus. Its unique mechanisms of action, such as MAO-B inhibition and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition, contribute to its effects on brain chemistry and neurotransmitter levels.

However, as with any nootropic substance, it’s crucial to approach hordenine supplementation with caution and to prioritize safety. Always start with the lowest effective dose, monitor your individual response, and be aware of potential side effects and interactions.

At Holistic Nootropics, we believe in empowering our readers with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their cognitive enhancement journey. By providing comprehensive, science-backed information on compounds like hordenine, we aim to promote responsible use and help you optimize your mental performance while prioritizing overall health and well-being.

Remember, nootropics are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cognitive optimization. A holistic approach that encompasses nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and mindfulness is essential for achieving lasting, sustainable results.

If you have any personal experiences, insights, or questions about hordenine, we encourage you to share them in the comments section below. Let’s continue the conversation and learn from each other’s experiences in the fascinating world of nootropics.


[1] Barwell CJ, Basma AN, Lafi MA, Leake LD. Deamination of hordenine by monoamine oxidase and its action on vasa deferentia of the rat. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1989 Jun;41(6):421-3. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.1989.tb06492.x. PMID: 2570842.

[2] Hapke HJ, Strathmann W. [Pharmacological effects of hordenine]. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1995 Jun;102(6):228-32. PMID: 8582256.

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.