Herbal Supplements

The Herb and Supplement Index by Interflyer

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Name ephedra

Origin Asia

Scientific Name Ephedra sinica, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra equisetina

Description A shrub native to desert regions of Asia, also know by its Chinese name ( Ma huang). Ephedra is made from the dried stems of this shrub, and used to treat colds and asthma for centuries. The active ingredients, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine have two major effects: they stimulate the central nervous system and they open airways. The stimulent effect is even stronger than that of caffeine, but less potent than amphetamines. Ephedra increases blood pressure, speeds up the metabolism, and acts as a diuretic. Most of its historical uses has been for the treatment of asthma, allergies, colds , and sinus infections.

Uses Historically used for nasal congestion, allergies, asthma, and sinus infections. It is also used for weight loss

Notes The misuse by some people (taking very high doses) have lead to heart attacks, strokes and at least 28 deaths. Resulting in the FDA proposing all preparations carry a warning label.

Possible Side Effects Ephedra can cause blood pressure to soar and elevate blood sugar.

REMINDER If you have a medical condition such as a heart condition, high blood pressure, palpatations, high blood sugar or other medical conditions talk to your doctor before taking supplements.