Drugs A - Z

Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) / ma huang

an herbal product - treats Sexual arousal, Bronchodilator, Weight loss, Low blood pressure, and Alle... more

Generic Name: ma huang

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Amp II, amsania, brigham tea, budshur, cao Ma huang (Chinese), cathine, chewa, Chinese ephedra, Chinese joint fir, D-pseudoephedrine, desert herb, desert tea, dextro-rotatory, EPH 833, Ephedra altissima, Ephedra americana, Ephedra anti-syphilitica, Ephedra distacha, Ephedra distachya, Ephedra equisetina (Mongolian Ephedra), Ephedra fasciculate, Ephedra geradiana, Ephedra helvetica, Ephedra intermedia (intermediate ephedra), Ephedra likiangensis, Ephedra major, Ephedra minuta, Ephedra monosperma, Ephedra nevadensis, Ephedra przewalskii, Ephedra sinica, Ephedra shennungiana, Ephedra trifurca, Ephedra viridis, Ephedra vulgaris, Ephedraceae (family), ephedra alkaloids, Ephedra distachya, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra nebrodensis, Ephedra przewalskii, Ephedra regeliana, Ephedra sinica, Ephedra soup medicines, ephedrae herba, ephedrine, ephedrine alkaloids, ephedrine hydrochloride, ephedrine sulphate, ephedroid, epicatechin, epitonin, European ephedra, Gnetales, herba ephedrae, horsetail, hum, huma, Indian joint fir, intermediate ephedra, isoephedrine, joint fir, khama, L-ephedrine, levorotatory ephedrine, mahoàng, máhuáng, "Mao" (Chinese), mao-kon, mahuuanggen, methylephedine, methylephedrine, methylpseudoephedine, Mexican tea, môc tac ma hoàng, Mongolian ephedra, Mormon tea, mu-tsei-ma-huang, muzei mu huang, natural ecstasy, neuropeptide Y, norephedrine, norpseudoephedrine, O-coumaric acid beta-D-glucopyranoside (nebrodenside B), O-coumaric acid glucoside, phok, popotillo, pseudoephedrine, quinoline, san-ma-huang, sea grape, shrubby, soma, song tuê ma hoàng, squaw tea, synephrine, tannins, teamster's tea, trun aa hoàng, tsao-ma-huang, tutgantha, yellow astringent, yellow horse, zhong Ma huang.

Note: There are approximately 40 species of ephedra.

Background

On February 6, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (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 from the date of publication.

In 2005 this rule was struck down in Utah but reversed again four months later, so ephedra is currently banned throughout the United States. It remains unclear whether ephedra will re-appear on the market, despite widespread acknowledgement of significant safety risks, including serious potential cardiovascular events or death.

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. In combination with caffeine, ephedrine appears to elicit weight loss (in trials of 1-12 months duration). However, studies of ephedra or ephedrine monotherapy have been equivocal. Numerous trials have documented the efficacy of ephedrine in the management of asthmatic bronchoconstriction and hypotension. However, commercial preparations of non-prescription supplements containing ephedra have not been systematically studied for these indications.

Major safety concerns have been associated with ephedra or ephedrine use, including hypertension (high blood pressure), tachycardia, CNS excitation, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and stroke.

Despite widely publicized safety concerns and the highly publicized 2003 death of a U.S. major league baseball pitcher thought to be related to ephedra, prior to the ban on ephedra, 14% of individuals using non-prescription weight-loss products in the United States continued to take ephedra or ephedrine-containing products.

Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement
Advertisement