Last Updated: September 28 2022

Higenamine (Norcoclaurine) is part of the Nandina plant that has traditionally been used as an anti-asthmatic and is currently used as a fat burner due to sharing similar mechanisms to ephedrine; limited evidence on these claims.

Higenamine is most often used for


Higenamine is a molecule derived from a variety of fruits and plants that appears to have anti-asthmatic properties via dilating the bronchial tubes (a mechanism known as Beta(2)adrenergic agonism). This mechanism is also the same one underlying the fat burning potential of ephedrine, and as such Higenamine is currently being used as a fat burner.

Currently, there is no human evidence using Higenamine and it appears to be similarly potent to some established beta(2)adrenergic agonists in preliminary studies (in regards to anti-asthmatic effects).

Beyond that mechanism, it may also exert anti-inflammatory effects and injections may be useful in a clinical setting against sepsis.

Higenamine is on the FDA's Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List as of April, 2019. These are ingredients that do not appear to be lawful ingredients in dietary supplements. The list is subject to change (check the provided link for current status).

What else is Higenamine known as?
Note that Higenamine is also known as:
  • Norcoclaurine
  • 1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)methyl-1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-6
  • 7-diol
Dosage information

Higenamine tends to be dosed in similar levels as synephrine or ephedrine, meaning a dose of 20-30mg taken 2-3 times daily. There is currently no evidence to support this as an optimal dose.

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1.^Kam SC, Do JM, Choi JH, Jeon BT, Roh GS, Chang KC, Hyun JSThe relaxation effect and mechanism of action of higenamine in the rat corpus cavernosumInt J Impot Res.(2012 Mar-Apr)
2.^Tsukiyama M, Ueki T, Yasuda Y, Kikuchi H, Akaishi T, Okumura H, Abe KBeta2-adrenoceptor-mediated tracheal relaxation induced by higenamine from Nandina domestica ThunbergPlanta Med.(2009 Oct)
3.^Ueki T, Akaishi T, Okumura H, Morioka T, Abe KBiphasic tracheal relaxation induced by higenamine and nantenine from Nandina domestica ThunbergJ Pharmacol Sci.(2011)
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12.^Feng S, Jiang J, Hu P, Zhang JY, Liu T, Zhao Q, Li BLA phase I study on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of higenamine in healthy Chinese subjectsActa Pharmacol Sin.(2012 Nov)
16.^Shin JS, Yun-Choi HS, Kim EI, Lee MKInhibitory effects of higenamine on dopamine content in PC12 cellsPlanta Med.(1999 Jun)
17.^Tabrez S, Jabir NR, Shakil S, Greig NH, Alam Q, Abuzenadah AM, Damanhouri GA, Kamal MAA synopsis on the role of tyrosine hydroxylase in Parkinson's diseaseCNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets.(2012 Jun 1)
19.^Lee YS, Kang YJ, Kim HJ, Park MK, Seo HG, Lee JH, Yun-Choi HS, Chang KCHigenamine reduces apoptotic cell death by induction of heme oxygenase-1 in rat myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injuryApoptosis.(2006 Jul)
21.^Yun-Choi HS, Pyo MK, Park KM, Chang KC, Lee DHAntithrombotic effects of YS-49 and YS-51--1-naphthylmethyl analogs of higenamineThromb Res.(2001 Nov 15)
22.^Halushka PVThromboxane A(2) receptors: where have you goneProstaglandins Other Lipid Mediat.(2000 Mar)
23.^Yun-Choi HS, Pyo MK, Park KM, Chang KC, Lee DHAnti-thrombotic effects of higenaminePlanta Med.(2001 Oct)
27.^Liu W, Sato Y, Hosoda Y, Hirasawa K, Hanai HEffects of higenamine on regulation of ion transport in guinea pig distal colonJpn J Pharmacol.(2000 Nov)
28.^Park CW, Chang KC, Lim JKEffects of higenamine on isolated heart adrenoceptor of rabbitArch Int Pharmacodyn Ther.(1984 Feb)
30.^Park JE, Kang YJ, Park MK, Lee YS, Kim HJ, Seo HG, Lee JH, Hye Sook YC, Shin JS, Lee HW, Ahn SK, Chang KCEnantiomers of higenamine inhibit LPS-induced iNOS in a macrophage cell line and improve the survival of mice with experimental endotoxemiaInt Immunopharmacol.(2006 Feb)