Herbal Supplements
The Ephedra's ABC

Ephedra is one of the most curious herbs used in Chinese and traditional herbal medicine. Its name is translated form Greek as “sitting upon a place”- its segments are located in the order, resembling sitting upon each other. In traditional Chinese medicine Ephedra is known as Ma Huang or epitonin. The herb grows in dry areas in temperate, tropical North America and Mediterranean regions.

Ephedra’s species are greatly varied, it can be a bush up to 6 ft. in height with virgate branches, dwarf bushes several inches high or small trees with the trunk diameter of a foot. The herb’s main active components are ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, they both and act to stimulate heart rate and the central nervous system, though pseudoephedrine has less stimulating effect on the heart and blood pressure. These components also act to relax bronchial smooth muscle and in this way produce temporary relief for shortness of breath caused by asthma.

Ma Huang alkaloids are also used for treating bronchitis, emphysema, persistent coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath. Ephedrine has proved to be a powerful amphetamine and ephedra products have been released as dietary supplements for weight loss, enhance athletic performance and generally increase energy. The alkaloids are also the remedy for allergic skin reactions (such as hives), treat low blood pressure, relieve general body pain, rheumatism and narcolepsy. Some medical researches prove that Ephedra may cause sexual arousal in women. For those who are on a diet it reduces the appetite and stimulates the thyroid gland stimulating metabolism.

Different preparations of ephedra have a wide variety of the alkaloid content. As for the optimal form and dose of ephedra, there is some disagreement among the herbalists and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The first have recommended a wide range of doses, while the FDA has recommended a maximum of 8mg up to every six hours, resulting in a total daily dose of 24mg for the period of time up to seven days. Due to the risk of toxicity Ephedra is not recommended for children. The long-term effects (more than 6 monhts) of the herb hasn’t been studied yet.

A number of discussions and researches as for Ephedra’s impact on human body proved that it has potential risk of side effects, possibly even fatal ones. While stimulating the heart activity, ephedrine alkaloids may raise the blood pressure, cause peripheral vasoconstriction, increase alertness and perception, nervousness, sleeplessness, cardiac arrhythmia's and heart disease. Among more serious side effects of its use are the reports of serious toxicity that included over 100 deaths.

Used during the long period of time, Ephedra can cause anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, difficulty sleeping and the weight loss. If you experience dizziness, headache, tremor, insomnia, dry mouth, delirium, fainting, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, constipation or anxiety, you should immediately stop using the remedies containing ephedrine and consult your health care provider as for the further recommendations. Also, if an individual is expecting to have surgical or diagnostic procedures, he should also stop using Ma Huang at least one week prior to the mentioned events.

For today Ephedra is probably the most discussable herb. So popular weight loss and athletic performance belong to the area of the herb’s action – so all those warnings as for the ephedrine use and the risk of addiction or intoxication should not be neglected and taken in consideration. Be healthy and wealthy!

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Testimonials
Ricky
2010-04-27 23:50:39
Yes it is ban in the USA by the FDA. Where can I buy in Thailand or Europe?
Jasper
2009-10-02 18:19:58
I have had amazingly good results with ephedra sinica to lose excess weight. It is a scandal it is now prohibited by the fda. A bigger scnadal is that diet supplement companies now selling fake ephedra. (without the active alkaloids) When used in the right dosage, which is maximal 25 mg active ephedra alkaloids per day, it is a miracle herb to increase overall health, energy and losing weight. I use to take for maximal 6 weeks on a role and then stopped for a month and used it again.
uncle reg
2007-08-25 05:20:27
please give me more info on this exciting plant
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More About Ephedra...

The Weight You Dont Need

It is not necessary to mention what a number of people are fighting with the extra weight now and ...

Ephedra's Side Effects

When it goes about using herbs for weight loss and stimulating athletic performance, the action of ...

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