In the US, supplements containing ephedra have actually been banned since 2004 due to safety issues.

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The Chinese herb ma huang is a member the a primitive family of plants that look favor thin, branching, associated straws. A connected species, Ephedra nevadensis, grows wild in the American Southwest and is widely called Mormon tea. However, only the Asian varieties of ephedra includes the active compounds ephedrine and also pseudoephedrine.

Ma huang to be traditionally offered by Chinese herbalists throughout the early on stages of respiratory tract infections and likewise for the short-term treatment of details kinds of asthma, eczema, hay fever, narcolepsy, and edema.

Japanese chemists isolated ephedrine indigenous ma huang at the rotate of the century, and it soon ended up being a major treatment because that asthma in the unified States and abroad. Ephedra"s other major ingredient, pseudoephedrine, came to be the decongestant Sudafed.


back it have the right to still be discovered in a few over-the-counter drugs because that asthma and sinus jam (in a safer type than the banned diet supplements), doctors seldom prescribe ephedrine anymore. The problem is the ephedrine mimics the effects of adrenaline and also causes symptoms together as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, agitation, insomnia, nausea, and loss of appetite. The more recent asthma drugs are much safer and also easier come tolerate.

meaningful evidence suggests ephedrine/caffeine combinations deserve to assist in weight loss.1-5,19,31Note: because of safety risks, us strongly recommend that you seek physician"s supervision prior to attempting to shed weight v ephedrine/caffeine combination therapy. We carry out not recommend using organic sources the ephedrine, i m sorry are now banned, for load loss in ~ all. (See security Issues.)

One highly preliminary study has been offered to case that ephedrine is valuable for females with sexual dysfunction.20 However, this attempt was really small, enrolled ladies without sex-related problems, and also only examined sex-related responsiveness to intuitive stimuli; in ~ this time, we do not recommend that females with sex-related dysfunction use ephedra. Another study check the possible benefits that ephedrine for therapy of female sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants in the SSRI household (eg, Prozac).32 Ephedrine failed to prove much more effective 보다 placebo.

there is no systematic evidence the ephedra boosts sports performance.29

Note: individuals taking ephedra or ephedrine might test optimistic for methamphetamine (speed) on drug screening.21,33


Evidence says that ephedrine/caffeine combinations can aid weight lose and assist keep the weight off for as much as 6 months. However, the benefits are modest.

for example, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 180 overweight individuals were inserted on a weight-loss diet and also given either ephedrine/caffeine (20 mg/200 mg), ephedrine alone (20 mg), caffeine alone (200 mg), or placebo, 3 times everyday for 24 weeks.6 The results proved that the ephedrine/caffeine therapy significantly magnified weight loss, resulting in a ns of more than 36 pounds as compared to just 29 pounds in the placebo group, a 7-pound difference. Neither ephedrine no one caffeine alone produced any type of benefit. Contrary to some reports, participants did not construct tolerance come the treatment. For the entirety 6 month of the trial, the treatment team maintained the same relative weight-loss benefit over the placebo group.

A couple of side effects were viewed in this study, primarily insomnia, dizziness, and tremor, however they had tendency to fade far after a couple of weeks. Save in mind that participants to be screened prior to the study and were got rid of if they had high blood press or any type of other major disease, or if castle used medications or illegal drugs that might connect with stimulants.

another study contrasted ephedrine/caffeine v the no-longer-available drug dexfenfluramine (Redux), concerned fenfluramine the fen-phen fame.8 A total of 103 overweight people were enrolled in this 15-week, double-blind trial. Every were inserted on a weight-loss diet. Fifty percent were given ephedrine/caffeine in ~ the usual dose, when the others were provided 15 mg of dexfenfluramine. The results showed comparable weight loss in both groups.

Finally, a double-blind, placebo-controlled psychological enrolled 225 hefty smokers who wanted come quit yet were afraid of gaining weight.10 at 12 weeks after quitting smoking, individuals taking ephedrine and also caffeine had actually gained substantially less weight. At the point, the dosage was gradually reduced, and the difference in between the teams declined. (Contrary to the really hopes of the experimenters, ephedrine/caffeine use did not aid individuals quit smoking.)

services have also been viewed in smaller sized studies using natural sources the ephedrine.9

us don"t know exactly how ephedrine/caffeine works. However, caffeine has actions that reason fat break down and boost metabolism.11 Ephedrine suppresses appetite and increases energy expenditure. The combination appears to create synergistic effects, with appetite suppression most likely the many important in its entirety factor.


The dosage the ephedra have to be adjusted according to the amount of the ephedrine that provides. Because that adults, no more than 25 mg must be taken in ~ one time, and a complete daily input of 100 mg have to not it is in exceeded.12 However, a inspection of ephedra-containing diet supplements found that ephedrine contents as provided on the label was commonly incorrect.13 In addition, other chemicals were often current that could increase safety threats (see safety Issues). For this reason, we do not recommend using organic ephedra at all.


While ephedra is one herb through a long background of use in Chinese organic medicine, Chinese legacy attaches countless warnings: It have to only be offered by really robust people, because that certain particular purposes, and also only because that a short duration of time. These ancient warnings it seems ~ to have been disregarded in the change of ephedra use from Asia come the unified States, wherein it had regularly been sold for continuous use by overweight, reasonably unhealthy people. Herbal products containing ephedra brought about the bulk (64%) of reported adverse impacts from herbs in the US. This proportion is particularly impressive offered that much less than 1% of every herbal commodities sold in the US included ephedra. Top top a per-use basis, for example, ephedra has 720 times the threat of causing injury as ginkgo biloba.

there are countless reasons for this high price of risk. While it is possible for healthy and balanced individuals under medical professional supervision to use ephedrine or ephedrine/caffeine combinations safely, in people with heart disease, and also even sometimes in those with no recognized heart conditions, ephedrine can cause serious disturbances of the love rhythm and possibly suddenly death; strokes have likewise occurred.15,18,22,23 use of natural ephedra, together opposed come ephedrine, may present additional dangers. As listed above, there is no ready method to be sure of the sheep of the drug ephedrine friend are obtaining when you purchase the herb ephedra, creating potential hazard of overdosage. In addition, some ephedra products contain potentially an ext toxic chemicals pertained to ephedrine, such together (+)-norpseudoephedrine.16

there is part evidence, though, that counters this claim of cardiovascular risk. Because that example, researchers analyzed data on 257,236 Danish patient prescribed to take a combination of ephedrine and caffeine indigenous 1995-2002.39 these patients walk not have increased rates of heart assault or stroke.

use of ephedra has been connected with major inflammation that the liver (in at the very least one instance requiring a liver transplant)24,25,35 and of the heart.26 In these cases, it appears likely the ephedra (or an unidentified contaminant in the herb) motivated an autoimmune reaction.

In addition, civilization taking ephedra or ephedrine may develop an unusual type of kidney stones that in reality contain ephedrine.27 short-lived psychosis has additionally been linked to usage of ephedra.34

Finally, there space indications that details preparations that ephedra may be toxicity to the concerned system.28

based on the known threats of ephedrine,17 and the evidence described above, ephedra should absolutely not be taken by a person with: Cardiovascular disease, including: MyocarditisVasculitisDiseases of the nervous device Ephedra might be an especially risky for: Young childrenPregnant or parenting womenPeople v kidney diseasePeople through liver disease

Furthermore, one must never integrate ephedra through monoamine-oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors), such as Nardil (phenelzine), or deadly reactions may develop.


If you space taking: any kind of stimulant drugs (including caffeine): perform not take it ephedra other than under doctor supervision.


Astrup A, Breum L, Toubro S, et al. The effect and also safety of one ephedrine/caffeine compound contrasted to ephedrine, caffeine and placebo in obese subjects on an energy restricted diet. A double-blind trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992;16:269-277.

Molnar D, Torok K, Erhardt E, et al. Safety and efficacy that treatment with an ephedrine/caffeine mixture. The very first double-blind placebo-controlled pilot examine in adolescents. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000;24:1573-1578.

Breum L, Pedersen JK, Ahlstrom F, et al. Compare of an ephedrine/caffeine mix and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind multi-centre psychological in general practice. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994;18:99-103.

Boozer CN, Nasser JA, Heymsfield SB, et al. An organic supplement include Ma Huang-Guarana for weight loss: a randomized, double-blind trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001;25:316-324.

Norregaard J, Jorgensen S, Mikkelsen KL, et al. The effect of ephedrine to add caffeine on smoking cessation and also postcessation load gain. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996;60:679-686.

Astrup A, Breum L, Toubro S, et al. The effect and safety of an ephedrine/caffeine compound compared to ephedrine, caffeine and placebo in obese subjects on one energy minimal diet. A double-blind trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992;16:269-277.

Molnar D, Torok K, Erhardt E, et al. Safety and also efficacy of treatment through an ephedrine/caffeine mixture. The an initial double-blind placebo-controlled pilot research in adolescents. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000;24:1573-1578.

Breum L, Pedersen JK, Ahlstrom F, et al. Compare of one ephedrine/caffeine combination and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind multi-centre psychological in general practice. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994;18:99-103.

Boozer CN, Nasser JA, Heymsfield SB, et al. An herbal supplement containing Ma Huang-Guarana for load loss: a randomized, double-blind trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001;25:316-324.

Norregaard J, Jorgensen S, Mikkelsen KL, et al. The result of ephedrine plus caffeine on smoking cigarettes cessation and also postcessation load gain. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996;60:679-686.

Astrup A, Breum L, Toubro S. Pharmacological and also clinical studies of ephedrine and other thermogenic agonists. Obes Res. 1995;3:537S-540S.

MedscapeWire. No association between reported disadvantage events and also ephedra as soon as consumed as directed. Easily accessible at: Accessed respectable 16, 2000.

Gurley BJ, Gardner SF, hubbard MA. Content versus label claims in ephedra-containing diet supplements. Am J health Syst Pharm. 2000;57:963-969.

MedscapeWire. No association between reported adverse events and also ephedra when consumed as directed. Available at: Accessed respectable 16, 2000.

Haller CA, Benowitz NL. Disadvantage cardiovascular and main nervous device events connected with diet supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:1833-1838.

Gurley BJ, Gardner SF, ha MA. Content versus label cases in ephedra-containing diet supplements. Am J health Syst Pharm. 2000;57:963-969.

Physicians" workdesk Reference For organic Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical economics Co; 1998:827.

Samenuk D, link M, Homoud M K, et al. Disadvantage cardiovascular occasions temporally associated with Ma Huang, an herbal source of ephedrine. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002;77:12-16.

Boozer CN, Daly PA, Homel P, et al. Organic ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and also efficacy trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002;26:593-604.

Meston CM, Heiman JR. Ephedrine-activated physiological sexual arousal in women. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55:652-656.

Nishiguchi M, Kinoshita H, Higasa K, et al. The false confident reaction that the Triage panel drug-of-abuse by natural drugs ma-huang (Ephedra sinica Ephedraceae). Nippon Hoigaku Zasshi. 2001;55:331-338.

Bruno A, Nolte KB, Chapin J. Stroke linked with ephedrine use. Neurology. 1993;43:1313-1316.

Theoharides TC. Sudden fatality of a healthy college student related to ephedrine toxicity native a ma huang-containing drink. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1997;17:437-439.

Borum ML. Fulminant exacerbation of autoimmune hepatitis after ~ the usage of ma huang. Am J Gastroenterol. 2001;96:1654-1655.

Nadir A, Agrawal S, King PD, et al. Acute hepatitis linked with the usage of a Chinese herbal product, ma-huang. Am J Gastroenterol. 1996;91:1436-1438.

Zaacks SM, Klein L, Tan CD, et al. Hypersensitivity myocarditis connected with ephedra use J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1999;37:485-489.

Powell T, Hsu FF, Turk J, Hruska K. Ma-huang strikes again: ephedrine nephrolithiasis. Am J Kidney Dis. 1998;32:153-159.

Lee MK, Cheng BW, Che CT, et al. Cytotoxicity assessment of Ma-huang (Ephedra) under different problems of preparation. Toxicol Sci. 2000;56:424-430.

Shekelle PG, continuous ML, Morton SC, et al. Efficacy and safety of ephedra and also ephedrine for load loss and athletic performance: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2003;289:1537-1545.

bend S, Tiedt TN, Odden MC, et al. The loved one safety that ephedra compared with other natural products. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:468-471.

Coffey CS, Steiner D, Baker BA, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical attempt of a product include ephedrine, caffeine, and other ingredient from natural sources for therapy of overweight and obesity in the lack of way of living treatment. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Aug 31.

Meston CM. A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study of ephedrine because that SSRI-induced female sexual Dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther. 2004;30:57-68.

Levisky JA, Karch SB, Bowerman DL, et al. False-positive RIA because that methamphetamine following ingestion of one ephedra-derived natural product. J Anal Toxicol. 2003;27(2):123-124.

Walton R, Manos GH. Psychosis pertained to ephedra-containing herbal supplement use. South Med J. 2003;96:718-720.

Skoulidis F, Alexander GJ, Davies SE. Ma huang associated acute liver failure requiring liver transplantation. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005;17:581-584.

FDA explain on Tenth Circuit"s judgment to uphold FDA decision banning diet supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids. Food and also Drug administration website. Accessible at: Accessed: October 30, 2007.

Sales the supplements include ephedrine alkaloids (ephedra) prohibited. Food and Drug administration website. Available at: Accessed: October 30, 2007.

Chen WL, Tsai TH, Yang CC, Kuo TB.Effects the ephedra on autonomic nervous modulation in healthy young adults. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130(3):563-568.

Hallas J, Bjerrum L, Støvring H, Andersen M.Use of a prescribed ephedrine/caffeine mix and the danger of major cardiovascular events: a registry-based case-crossover study. Am J Epidemiol.

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