Geranium Extract and DMAA: Safety, Benefits, and Legal Status Compared

by Nader Qudimat
Updated February 13, 2024

DMAA is synthetic, not naturally derived from geraniums, challenging its legal status and safety as a supplement ingredient.

This article compares the safety, benefits, and legal nuances of Geranium Extract and DMAA, directly addressing the myths and facts that fitness enthusiasts should know.

Geranium Extract vs DMAA: A Quick Overview

Geranium extract is a natural substance derived from the stem and leaves of the geranium plant.

It's often used in traditional medicine and is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

On the other hand, DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is a synthetic compound that was originally developed as a nasal decongestant.

It's a potent central nervous system stimulant often found in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements.

What Is Geranium Extract?

Geranium Extract is derived from the plant species Pelargonium graveolens.

The plant, native to South Africa, is widely cultivated for its oil, which is used in perfumery and traditional medicine.

The extract has been used for centuries in various cultures for its medicinal properties.

Chemical Composition

The primary active components of Geranium Extract are a group of chemical compounds known as monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids.

These compounds are believed to be responsible for the plant's therapeutic effects.

Potential Health Benefits

  1. Antioxidant Properties: Geranium Extract has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The extract has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a vital part of the body's immune response. However, when it is out of control, it can result in conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
  3. Antimicrobial Activity: Geranium Extract has been found to have antimicrobial properties, making it effective against a range of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi.
  4. Potential Neuroprotective Effects: Some studies suggest that Geranium Extract may have neuroprotective effects, which could help protect nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.

Use In Traditional Medicine

In traditional medicine, Geranium Extract has been used for various purposes, including treating wounds, burns, and ulcers.

It has also been used to treat conditions such as dysentery, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the eyes.

Safety And Side Effects

Currently, there is limited information on the potential side effects of Geranium extract.

However, like any other natural product, it's important to use it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

When using Geranium extract topically, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Always do a patch test before using any new product on your skin.

Research On Geranium Extract

There is a growing body of research on the potential health benefits of Geranium Extract.

For instance, a study highlighted in the Nutrition Journal sheds light on geranium extract's potential benefits for vascular function.

Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, where participants were divided into two groups.

One group received geranium extract, while the other was given a placebo.

Key Findings:

  • Improved Blood Flow: The group taking geranium extract showed a notable improvement in blood flow compared to the placebo group.
  • Reduced Arterial Stiffness: Participants using geranium extract experienced less arterial stiffness, an indicator of better heart health.

Why It Matters: These results suggest that geranium extract's antioxidants might help improve vascular health, offering more than just an energy boost for your workouts. It's an insight into how natural supplements could support overall well-being, alongside their traditional use in enhancing athletic performance.

By integrating geranium extract into your routine, you're not just aiming for immediate pre-workout benefits but potentially supporting your heart's health in the long run.

Another study found that Geranium Extract could be used in the treatment of chemo- and radiotherapy-induced toxicity, in chemoprevention, in cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, in oral health, or as a cosmeceutical.

It's important to note that while these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits and risks of Geranium Extract.

Benefits Of Geranium Extract

Geranium extract is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation.

Some studies suggest that geranium extract may help improve exercise performance and recovery, although more research is needed.

What Is DMAA?

DMAA, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is a synthetic compound originally developed as a nasal decongestant by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

In recent years, it's been used as an ingredient in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements due to its stimulant effects.

DMAA is known for increasing energy levels, enhancing focus, and improving athletic performance.

Understanding DMAA: From Development to Dietary Supplement

The Shift in Use: Originally developed by Eli Lilly as a nasal decongestant, DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) has taken on a new life in the world of fitness. Its transition into dietary supplements has caught the eye of athletes and gym enthusiasts seeking that extra edge in their workouts. However, this shift has not gone unnoticed by regulatory bodies, sparking debates over its safety and legality.

Benefits of DMAA:

  • Energy Boost: Known for its potent stimulant effects, DMAA ramps up energy levels, making those intense workouts feel more achievable.
  • Enhanced Focus: Users often report improved concentration and focus, helping them stay on track with their fitness goals.
  • Athletic Performance: There's a reason DMAA found its way into pre-workouts; it's credited with improving endurance and strength during exercise.

Risks Associated with DMAA: Despite its benefits, DMAA comes with its share of risks, prompting caution:

  • Cardiovascular Concerns: Increased heart rate and blood pressure are among the top concerns, raising red flags for heart health.
  • Regulatory Scrutiny: Its synthetic nature and side effects have put DMAA under the microscope, leading to bans in several countries.
  • Health Incidents: Reports of adverse effects, including serious health events, have contributed to the controversy surrounding its use.

The Balanced View: While DMAA offers notable advantages for enhancing workout performance, understanding its risks is crucial. This balanced perspective ensures that users can make informed decisions about incorporating DMAA into their fitness regimen, weighing the potential for improved performance against the importance of health and safety.

Benefits Of DMAA

DMAA is a potent central nervous system stimulant.

It can increase energy levels, enhance focus, and improve athletic performance.

Some users also report that DMAA can help suppress appetite, benefiting those trying to lose weight.

Here are some potential benefits:

  1. Increased Energy and Focus: DMAA is known for its stimulant effects, which can lead to increased energy, focus, and alertness. This makes it popular among athletes and bodybuilders as a pre-workout supplement.
  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: Some users report improved athletic performance when taking DMAA, including increased strength and endurance.
  3. Weight Loss: DMAA has been used in weight loss supplements due to its potential to increase metabolism and fat burning.

Side Effects Of DMAA

While DMAA can significantly boost energy, it's not without its risks.

Some users have reported side effects such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and nervousness.

In rare cases, DMAA has been linked to more serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes.

Despite its potential benefits, DMAA has been associated with several adverse effects and banned in several countries due to safety concerns.

  1. Cardiovascular Risks: DMAA can increase blood pressure and heart rate, leading to serious cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, especially when taken in high doses or combined with other stimulants.
  2. Neurological Effects: DMAA may cause neurological effects such as seizures, and it has been linked to several cases of hemorrhagic stroke.
  3. Psychiatric Symptoms: Some users have reported psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and mood changes after taking DMAA.

Comparing Geranium Extract and DMAA

Natural vs. Synthetic Origins

  • Geranium Extract: Sourced from the Pelargonium graveolens plant, it's celebrated for its natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Used traditionally in medicine, it represents a holistic approach to supplementation.
  • DMAA: A synthetic stimulant initially developed for nasal congestion relief. Its transition to dietary supplements has sparked debate due to its manufactured nature and potent effects on energy and focus.

The Controversy Explained

The claim that DMAA is derived from geranium plants has been a point of contention.

Scientific scrutiny and FDA investigations reveal that DMAA, as found in supplements, does not naturally occur in geraniums.

This dispute centers on studies and regulatory reviews, which conclude that DMAA's presence in supplements is synthetically added, challenging the claims of it being a natural extract.

DMAA vs Geranium Differences And Similarities

DMAA and Geranium extract are quite different in their origins and uses.

DMAA is a synthetic compound known for its stimulant effects and is often used in pre-workout supplements and weight loss products.

On the other hand, Geranium extract is a natural product derived from the Geranium plant known for its antimicrobial properties and rich phytochemical content.

Despite these differences, both DMAA and Geranium extract have been associated with health benefits such as increased energy and focus (DMAA) and antimicrobial activity (Geranium extract).

However, both also come with potential side effects.

DMAA has been linked to serious cardiovascular and neurological risks, while the potential side effects of Geranium extract are less well-known but could include allergic reactions or skin irritation.

It's important to note that while DMAA was once claimed to be a natural constituent of Geranium, it has been widely disputed and is not supported by scientific evidence.

Therefore, the use of Geranium extract does not equate to the use of DMAA.

The Verdict: Geranium Extract vs DMAA

When comparing geranium extract and DMAA, it's clear that both have their pros and cons.

Geranium extract is a natural substance with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but its stimulant effects are not as strong as DMAA.

On the other hand, DMAA is a powerful stimulant that can significantly enhance athletic performance. Still, it comes with a risk of serious side effects and is considered illegal by the FDA.

Legal Status and Safety

DMAA's Legal Battles

The legal landscape for DMAA has been tumultuous, with the FDA taking a firm stance against its classification as a dietary supplement.

This is due to safety concerns and the lack of evidence supporting its natural occurrence in geranium plants.

Recent court decisions have largely supported the FDA's position, impacting the availability and use of DMAA in products.

Consulting Healthcare Providers

Both geranium extract and DMAA carry health implications, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.

It's crucial to consult healthcare professionals before incorporating these substances into your regimen, ensuring safety and appropriateness for your health needs.

Personal Experience with Geranium Extract and DMAA

Company Reputation & Claims

Trustworthy brands matter. While some claim their Geranium Extract rivals DMAA in potency, effectiveness often boils down to the manufacturer's integrity. Always verify claims against user reviews and product transparency.

User Reviews: A Spectrum of Experiences

  • Geranium Extract: Users report a range from subtle to moderate energy boosts, highlighting its natural benefits without the intensity of synthetic stimulants.
  • DMAA: Known for its powerful energy surge, but user experiences also caution about potential side effects, emphasizing the need for careful consideration.

Effectiveness: Expectation vs. Reality

Geranium Extract's effectiveness varies, sometimes matching DMAA's energy boost, depending on the formulation. However, DMAA's consistent, strong effects come with higher risks, making it crucial to weigh benefits against potential health concerns.

Navigating Marketing Claims

Skepticism is healthy when encountering products marketed as having DMAA-like effects from Geranium Extract. Investigate the brand, seek out ingredient lists, and consider the science behind the supplements.

Key Takeaways

  • The choice between Geranium Extract and DMAA isn't just about natural vs. synthetic; it's about informed decisions based on credible information and personal health goals.
  • Diverse user experiences underline the importance of considering individual responses to supplements.
  • Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, especially for products with potent ingredients like DMAA.


Is DMAA derived from geranium plants?
No, despite early claims, extensive research and regulatory reviews have found that DMAA is a synthetic compound and not naturally derived from geranium plants.

What are the benefits of using Geranium Extract?
Geranium Extract is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can support overall health, including potential improvements in vascular function and exercise recovery.

Can DMAA enhance athletic performance?
Yes, DMAA is a potent central nervous system stimulant that can increase energy levels, enhance focus, and potentially improve athletic performance.

Is DMAA legal to use in dietary supplements?
As of the latest regulatory guidance, DMAA is not recognized as a legal dietary supplement ingredient in many countries, including the United States, due to safety concerns.

Are there any side effects associated with Geranium Extract?
Geranium Extract is generally considered safe, but some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation, especially when applied topically.

What are the risks of using DMAA?
DMAA can lead to serious side effects, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular events, particularly when used in high doses or combined with other stimulants.

How can I identify supplements with DMAA?
Check the ingredient list for 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract, as these terms may indicate the presence of DMAA.

Are there natural alternatives to DMAA for pre-workout energy?
Yes, natural alternatives like caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine can provide pre-workout energy boosts without the risks associated with DMAA.

Can Geranium Extract be used for weight loss?
While Geranium Extract may have health benefits, there is limited evidence to support its use specifically for weight loss.

Should I consult a healthcare provider before using supplements containing Geranium Extract or DMAA?
Yes, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before using any new supplements, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.

Bottom Line: Key Takeaways

While geranium extract and DMAA have their benefits, they also come with risks.

It's important to research and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

  • DMAA vs. Geranium Extract: DMAA is synthetic and not derived from geraniums, leading to legal and safety concerns, whereas Geranium Extract is a natural substance with health benefits.
  • Legal Status: DMAA faces regulatory restrictions in many countries due to safety concerns, unlike Geranium Extract, which is generally considered safe and legal.
  • Health Risks: DMAA can cause significant health risks, including cardiovascular issues, while Geranium Extract is associated with fewer side effects.
  • Performance Enhancement: Both substances are sought for their potential to enhance athletic performance, but DMAA carries higher risks.
  • Consultation Recommended: Always consult with a healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your regimen, particularly those with disputed safety profiles like DMAA.
  • Natural Alternatives: For those seeking safer pre-workout options, natural alternatives to DMAA are available and provide benefits without the associated risks.
by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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