Synephrine is the active compound found in the cirtus fruit of the Citrus aurantium plant. This plant is commonly known as green orange, sour orange, or bitter orange. Synephrine is chemically similar to ephedrine and has gained in regonition as its alternative. Synephrine is also very different from ephedrine. Synephrine is considered a semi-selective sympathomimetic (because it targets some tissues such as fat, more than it targets others such as the heart) versus a non-selective sympathomimetic (like ephedra which targets many tissues equally and thus often causes side effects).

In Chinese medicine, synephrine is known as Zhi Shi. It is mild stimulant. These stimulant effects are thought to help increase metabolism, boost energy, suppress appetite, and increase caloric expenditure.

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