Ephedra Is One of The Most Powerful Herbs

Ephedra plantMany of you will recognize the name ephedra from all the controversy with its use in diet supplements but ephedra is a very powerful and beneficial herb used in Chinese medicine. It is also called Ma huang. Of all the herbs ephedra is one of the most potent herbs.

Ephedra or Ma huang is a cone-bearing shrub which is native to China but now found also found in other parts of the world. The jointed green stems of ma huang are the chief photosynthetic organs of the plant.

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Ephedra products have been used for over 5000 years in China and it is quite possible it has been used by other cultures as well.

Herbs used to make beverages that contain ephedra have many names such as yellow river, mormon tea, and whorehouse tea. In ancient times Chinese physicians prescribed ephedra tea and pills for the common cold, coughs, asthma, and hay fever. Ephedra is also an excellent remedy for the relief of asthma because it acts as a bronchial dilator.

What is it exactly?

The stimulants, or uppers, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, are the two widely used alkaloids of ma huang. These alkaloids are found in high concentrations in the internodes, and the thin stems. These alkaloids are less potent than adrenaline but more effective than caffeine. It is unwise to combine ma huang with any products that have caffeine because it enhances the performance of the herb causing nervousness, rapid heart beat, and insomnia.

The ma huang stem is safer

Ephedra on a rockHerbalist’s agree that the intact ma huang stem is much safer to use for medicinal purposes than its alkaloid extracts which are very difficult to dose. An example of how the different plant parts act is: Pure ephedrine raises blood pressure but ephedra stems reduces it.

Ephedra is a very good bronchial dilator. It also is good for drying up the sinuses. A derivative of ephedra is helpful. in treating hay fever and allergies. You will find ephedra in cold medicines because it is a good decongestant. Synthetic ephedrine compounds are widely used in cold and allergy remedies, such as Sudafed. These products do not contain herbs but rather chemical forms of the active ingredients in the herbs. You can buy ephedra products at your health food store or online.

Ma huang stimulates the nervous system which enhances your mood and reduces fatigue. It can also increase energy and endurance because it increases the blood flow to the muscles. This increases the oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles.


Ephedrine increases your basil metabolic rate or metabolism. The body then burn calories faster, and so ephedrine can result in substantial weight loss. This is why it was so popular in weight loss treatments. The only problem was that people were using too much. You know the old saying more is better. Well not with ephedrine. Too much result in serious side effects and can even cause death.

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