Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Dendrobe Noble, Dendrobium Extract, Dendrobium nobile, Dendrobium officinale, Extrait de Dendrobium, Jin Chai Shi Hu (D. nobile), Nobile Dendrobium (D. nobile), Orchid Stem, Stem-Orchid, Tie Pi Shi (D. officinale), Vinterdendrobium (D. nobile).


Dendrobium is in the orchid plant family. This type of orchid is native to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and other temperate and tropical Asian regions.

Traditionally, dendrobium plants have been used in Traditional Chinese medicine. Today, dendrobium is showing up in pre-workout supplements used to boost physical and athletic performance. Some experts are claiming that dendrobium will be the next hot stimulant supplement. Some are touting it as a replacement for the stimulant dimethylamylamine (DMAA).

As of March 16, 2012, the manufacturer of a popular dendrobium supplement (Craze, Driven Sports) was the subject of a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the product contains amphetamine drugs, that the product is manufactured in a non-compliant facility, and that the ingredient, dendrobium, is a new dietary ingredient (NDI), which requires an NDI notification to FDA. There is concern that this and other dendrobium containing products might be spiked with synthetic stimulant drugs. For example, the dendrobium-containing commercial product Craze by Driven Sports contains the stimulant phenylethylamine which some experts say does not occur naturally in dendrobium plants. Phenylethylamine is a stimulant with effects similar to amphetamine.

How does it work?

Dendrobium contains several chemicals. Some of these chemicals might have effects in the body. They might lower blood pressure, increase blood sugar, and reduce pain. They might also increase the chance of seizure. However, none of these effects have been studied in people. Therefore, the effects of dendrobium in people are not clear.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dendrobium for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough information to know if dendrobium is safe or what side effects it might cause.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: There isn't enough information to know if dendrobium is safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Until more is known, avoid using.

Seizures: There is a concern that dendrobium could potentially increase the chance of seizure in some people. Dendrobium contains a chemical that might increase the chance of seizure. If you have ever had a seizure, don't use dendrobium.


Medications that increase the chance of having a seizure (Seizure threshold lowering drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications increase the chance of having a seizure. Taking dendrobium might cause seizures in some people. If this combination is taken, it might increase the chance of having a seizure. Do not take dendrobium with medications that increase the chance of having a seizure.

Some medications that increase the chance of having a seizure include anesthesia (propofol, others), antiarrhythmics (mexiletine), antibiotics (amphotericin, penicillin, cephalosporins, imipenem), antidepressants (bupropion, others), antihistamines (cyproheptadine, others), immunosuppressants (cyclosporine), narcotics (fentanyl, others), stimulants (methylphenidate), theophylline, and others.

Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Dendrobium might also affect chemicals in the brain in a way that might possibly decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures.

Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Dendrobium might decrease blood pressure. Taking dendrobium along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.


The appropriate dose of dendrobium 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 dendrobium. 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.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Danniells S. Dendrobium-containing Craze pre-workout supplement hit with CA class action., May 21, 2012. Available at: (Accessed May 23, 2012).

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available at:

Parker EM, Cubeddu LX. Comparative effects of amphetamine, phenylethylamine and related drugs on dopamine efflux, dopamine uptake and mazindol binding. J Pharm Exp Therapeutics 1988;245:199-210. View abstract.

Schultz H. Is DMAA successor dendrobium legit? Questions about the chemistry of dendrobium extract. Functional Ingredients eNewsletter, May 17, 2012. Available at: (Accessed May 23, 2012).

Yang HY, Neff NH. Beta-phenylethylamine: a specific substrate for type B monoamine oxidase of brain. J Pharm Exp Therapeutics 1973;187:365-71. View abstract.