Ephedra, or Ma Huang - Medicinal Uses, Interactions, Side Effects, Dosage

by Steve Mathew - Date: 2007-02-21 - Word Count: 208 Share This!

Ephedra, or Ma Huang
The best known ma huang comes from the stems of the Chinese ephedra bush, Ephedra sinica, although some may be derived from E. equisetum species; similar plants are used in India and in the Near East. The ephedra species found in the U.S. are used to produce Mormon tea, which has none of the major properties of Chinese ephedra.
Uses and Benefits:
The ephedra plant has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, probably as an astringent, diuretic, and antipyretic, and for treating cough. It was found to contain ephedrine, and this agent was introduced in the U.S. as an oral drug for asthma in 1924. The ephedra plant also contains pseudoehedrine. These sympathomimetic agents are still useful drugs for treating respiratory disorders and nasal congestion. Ephedrine is also used intravenously as a vasopressor. Ma huang remains an important constituent of Chinese herbal medicines, and is incorporated in many multiherb formulations. In the U.S., it is a controversial dietary supplement for mood elevation and weight loss, and is advertised as an appetite suppressant, energizer, performance enhancer, and psychic stimulant. Other uses have included motion sickness, bradycardia, spastic or hypermotile bowel, diabetic neuropathic edema, and myasthenia gravis.
It has been well established that ephedrine and pseudoephe

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Steve Mathew is a writer, who writes many great articles on herbal medicines and ayurvedic medicines for common ailments and diseases. Visit us for more information on herbal remediesand ayurvedic medicines.

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