Acacia rigidula, Acaciopsis rigidula, Blackbrush, Blackbush, Chaparro Prieto, Vachellia rigidula.
Acacia rigidula is a shrub that grows in southwest and west Texas, as well as in the northern states of Mexico. The chemicals in Acacia rigidula might have stimulant effects, which is why it is used in some weight loss and athletic performance supplements.
Many dietary supplements that list Acacia rigidula as an ingredient have been shown to contain large amounts of the chemical phenethylamine. While phenethylamine is found in Acacia rigidula leaves naturally, the amounts found in these supplements is often greater than would be expected from the plant parts alone.
In addition to phenethylamine, many supplements listing Acacia rigidula as an ingredient have been found to contain another unlisted ingredient called beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA). This ingredient is a stimulant similar to amphetamine. But unlike phenethylamine, it is not found naturally in Acacia rigidula or any other known plants. In April 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that BMPEA does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient. Therefore, any products containing BMPEA are considered misbranded.
How does it work?
Acacia rigidula contains many different chemicals that have stimulant effects. Because of this, it is often promoted for weight loss and athletic performance. But many products listing Acacia rigidula as an ingredient also contain an amphetamine-like chemical called beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA).
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Weight loss.
- Athletic performance.
- Other conditions.
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).
There isn't enough reliable information available to know if Acacia rigidula is safe. There have been several reported cases of increased heart rate and heart palpitations in people taking supplements that contain Acacia rigidula and other stimulant ingredients. There is one reported case of cardiac arrest. It's not clear if these side effects were caused by Acacia rigidula or other stimulants in these products.
High blood pressure: Some chemicals in Acacia rigidula have stimulant effects. Many products that list Acacia rigidula as an ingredient have also been found to contain a chemical called beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA). BMPEA and other stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. In theory, taking Acacia rigidula supplements might make high blood pressure worse.
Surgery: Some chemicals in Acacia rigidula have stimulant effects. Many products that list Acacia rigidula as an ingredient have also been found to contain a chemical called beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA). BMPEA and other stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. In theory, taking Acacia rigidula supplements might interfere with surgery by increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Stop taking Acacia rigidula supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Stimulant DrugsInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heart rate. Some chemicals in Acacia rigidula also have stimulant effects. Many products that list Acacia rigidula as an ingredient have also been found to contain an amphetamine-like chemical called beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA). In theory, taking Acacia rigidula along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems, such as causing heart rate and blood pressure to become too high.
The appropriate dose of Acacia rigidula 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 Acacia rigidula (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.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
BMPEA in Dietary Supplements. FDA Q & A on Dietary Supplements, April 23, 2015. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/QADietarySupplements/ucm443790.htm.
Camp BJ, Norvell MJ. The phenylethylamine alkaloids of native range plants. Econ Bot 1966;20(3):274-8. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4252754.
Chopra A, Saluja M, Tillu G, Venugopalan A, Sarmukaddam S, Raut AK, Bichile L, Narsimulu G, Handa R, Patwardhan B. A Randomized Controlled Exploratory Evaluation of Standardized Ayurvedic Formulations in Symptomatic Osteoarthritis Knees: A Government of India NMITLI Project. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;2011:724291. View abstract.
Clement BA, Goff CM, Forbes TDA. Toxic amines and alkaloids from acacia rigidula. Phytochemistry 1998;49(5):1377-80. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(97)01022-4.
Cohen PA, Bloszies C, Yee C, Gerona R. An amphetamine isomer whose efficacy and safety in humans has never been studied, ß-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA), is found in multiple dietary supplements. Drug Test Anal. 2015 Apr 7. View abstract.
Liu Y, Santillo MF. Cytochrome P450 2D6 and 3A4 enzyme inhibition by amine stimulants in dietary supplements. Drug Test Anal. 2016;8(3-4):307-10. View abstract.
Pawar RS, Grundel E, Fardin-Kia AR, Rader JI. Determination of selected biogenic amines in Acacia rigidula plant materials and dietary supplements using LC-MS/MS methods. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2014 Jan;88:457-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2013.09.012. Epub 2013 Oct 5. View abstract.
The 2015 Prohibited List, International Standard, World Anti-Doping Agency, 2015. https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/wada-2015-prohibited-list-en.pdf. Accessed April 22, 2015.
Venhuis B, Keizers P, van Riel A, de Kaste D. A cocktail of synthetic stimulants found in a dietary supplement associated with serious adverse events. Drug Test Anal. 2014 Jun;6(6):578-81. doi: 10.1002/dta.1664. Epub 2014 May 6. View abstract.