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Sergei Smirnov
Sergei Smirnov

Buy Ephedra Sinica Tea

Ephedra sinica, Ma Huang, has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of asthma, sinusitis, and as a stimulant. Traditionally, the aerial parts are dried and brewed into a tea. Ephedra sinica (also known as Chinese ephedra or Ma Huang) is a plant species native to Mongolia, Russia, and northeastern China.

buy ephedra sinica tea


Ephedra (Ephedra sinica), also called ma huang, is an herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for more than 5,000 years, primarily to treat asthma, bronchitis, and hay fever. Ephedra is also prescribed for symptoms of cold and flu, including nasal congestion, cough, fever, and chills.

While ephedra is a naturally-occurring herb, its main active ingredient ephedrine can also be synthesized as a medication. Synthetic ephedrine compounds, such as pseudoephedrine, are widely used in over-the-counter cold remedies and are regulated as a drug. This is unlike the regulation of ephedrine alkaloids derived from the herb itself. These are regulated as dietary supplements.

Until May 2004, ephedra was sold commercially as an energy booster, weight-loss supplement, and athletic performance enhancer. Although some scientific evidence suggests that this herbal supplement may improve weight, the information overall regarding its effectiveness for weight loss, energy, or athletic performance has been inconclusive and controversial. In addition, ephedra-containing products sold for these purposes have been linked to many cases of stroke, heart arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), and even death. Several of these products also contain caffeine; the combination of ephedra with caffeine dramatically increases the chances of adverse side effects.

The FDA ban on this substance includes any dietary supplements that contain ephedra, ephedrine, norephedrine, ma huang, Sida cordifolia, or pinellia. This does not pertain to teas (which are regulated as a conventional food) or to traditional Chinese herbal remedies prescribed by a traditional Chinese physician.

Ephedra is a shrub that is native to Pakistan, China, and northwestern India. Some ephedra species grow in the Southwest desert of the United States. The ephedra plant is a perennial evergreen that stands 1 foot high, on average. But it may grow up to 4 feet. Nearly leafless, the plant has slender, cylindrical, yellow-green branches and underground runners. In August, the flowers bear poisonous, fleshy, red cones resembling berries. The 3 ephedra species, ephedra sinica, ephedra equisetina, and ephedra intermedia, are collectively known by their Chinese name ma huang.

Ephedra should be used only on a short-term basis because prolonged use may lead to addiction. The amount of time considered safe, however, is not clear. Use of ephedra should take place only under the guidance and supervision of an appropriately-trained specialist. Ephedra should be taken between meals, without food.

Ephedra can produce side effects, such as irritability, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and urinary problems. More serious side effects include high blood pressure, rapid or irregular heartbeat, stroke, seizures, addiction, and even death. If you experience any of these adverse effects, discontinue using ephedra and contact your provider immediately.

You should not take ephedra if you have the following health conditions: anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, glaucoma, heart disease, prostate enlargement, difficulty urinating, seizure disorder, impaired circulation to the brain, psychiatric disorders, thyroid disorders, or diabetes. Anyone taking medications for high blood pressure or depression, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should avoid ephedra and ephedra alkaloids such as ephedrine. To determine whether ephedra is safe and appropriate for you, consult a knowledgeable provider.

While no specific interactions (positive or negative) between the herb ephedra and conventional medications have been reported, the active ingredients of ephedra, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine have been associated with several serious drug interactions. We may assume, for safety's sake, that drugs that interact with ephedra's active ingredients may also interact with the herb ephedra. Medications for which there are well documented interactions with ephedra's active ingredients include, but are not limited to:

Food and Drug Administration. Consumer Alert: FDA plans regulation prohibiting sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements and advises consumers to stop using these products. December 30, 2003. Accessed on May 5, 2004.

Woolf AD, Watson WA, Smolinske S, Litovitz T. The severity of toxic reactions to ephedra: comparisons to other botanical products and national trends from 1993-2002. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2005;43(5):347-55.

The plant ephedra (ma huang) contains multiple chemical compounds, but the most notable is ephedrine. This molecule impacts several bodily processes and was used as a popular dietary supplement ingredient prior to being banned in several countries.

Ephedrine, a major component of ephedra, can increase the number of calories your body burns. Research has shown this results in greater weight and fat loss over weeks to months, though long-term studies are limited.

While some individual studies did not demonstrate serious side effects of ephedra or ephedrine consumption, mild to highly concerning side effects became apparent upon examination of all available research.

Dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids were banned by the FDA in 2004. Medications containing ephedrine and the ephedra plant are still available for purchase, though regulations may vary by location.

QUESTION: I have received an e-mail advertising an ephedra product. I was surprised because I thought that it was no longer legal. I followed the link and found it was indeed an ephedra sale, but it was called Ephedra nevadensis, a type I was not familiar with. Is this type of ephedra legal and, if so, how does it compare to the other types?

ANSWER: Ephedra sinica, the herb also known as Ma Huang, is the one that was outlawed by the FDA and can no longer be legally sold as a dietary supplement. The major reason is the potential danger from the ephedra alkaloids, which are stimulant compounds that can represent an unreasonable risk of illness or injury.

Ephedra sinica, a species of ephedra (Ma huang), contains the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which have been found to induce central nervous system stimulation, bronchodilation, and vasoconstriction with ephedrine toxicity associated with stroke, myocardial infarction and sudden death.

On February 6th, 2004 the FDA issued a final rule prohibiting the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids (ephedra) because such supplements present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. The rule became effective 60 days after date of publication. On April 14, 2005 a Federal District Court in Utah struck down the FDA ban with the ruling only specific to Utah.

In the United States, ephedra supplements were banned from the market in the early 21st century due to serious safety risks.[20] Plants of the genus Ephedra, including E. sinica and others, were used in traditional medicine for treating headache and respiratory infections, but there is no scientific evidence they are effective or safe for these purposes.[20]

The earliest uses of Ephedra species (mahuang) for specific illnesses date back to 5000 BC. Ephedrine and its isomers were isolated in 1881 from Ephedra distachya and characterized by the Japanese organic chemist Nagai Nagayoshi. His work to access Ephedra's active ingredients to isolate a pure pharmaceutical substance led to the systematic production of semi-synthetic derivatives thereof is relevant still today. Three species, Ephedra sinica, Ephedra vulgaris, and to a lesser extent Ephedra equisetina, are commercially grown in Mainland China as a source for natural ephedrines and isomers for use in pharmaceuticals. E. sinica and E. vulgaris usually carry six optically active phenylethylamines, mostly ephedrine and pseudoephedrine with minor amounts of norephedrine, norpseudoephedrine as well as the three methylated analogs. Reliable information on the total alkaloid content of the crude drug is difficult to obtain. Based on HPLC analyses in industrial settings, the concentrations of total alkaloids in dried Herba Ephedra ranged between 1 and 4%, and in some cases up to 6%.[22]

Unfortunately (from a scholarly point of view, that is), it is not true. And the post he links to says as much. But the story behind this is pretty interesting in and of itself. As Brock Cheney, author of Plain but Wholesome: Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers, explains in the February 2009 post linked to by Breen, the conflation of tea made from the ephedra plant with that imbibed by Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers is a common mistake:

The stems of the ephedra plant can be brewed into a pungent, bitter, Mormon herb tea that dilates the bronchial vessels while stimulating the heart and central nervous system. The active chemical components of ephedra, or ma huang, the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine, are found in over the counter allergy and cold medications as over-the-counter decongestants. An internal review of FDA records between 1969 and September 2006 found 54 reports of deaths in children associated with decongestant medicines containing pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine or ephedrine, prompting the recent recall of these medications in children's cold care products.

There is a big difference when the whole herb is used because the ephedra plant contains six other related alkaloids, one of which, pseudoephedrine, actually reduces the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Ephedra has been used in China for thousands of years, yet no undesirable side-effects are known to be recorded from the proper administration of the whole plant in the proper therapeutic doses. Those wishing to use the whole herb to treat allergies and asthma may still can buy bulk ephedra extracts, but be sure it is from reputable sources. Also, it is recommended that it be used only under supervision of a qualified herbalist. 041b061a72


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