Ephedra

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What other names is Ephedra known by?

Alcaloïde d'Éphédrine, Belcho, Cao Mahuang, Desert Herb, Efedra, Éphédra, Éphédra Américain, Éphédra Chinoise, Ephedra distachya, Ephedra equisetina, Éphédra Européen, Ephedra gerardiana, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra shennungiana, Ephedra sinensis, Ephedra sinica, Ephedra Sinisa, Ephedra vulgaris, Ephedrae Herba, Éphèdre, Ephedrine, Éphédrine, Ephedrine Alkaloid, Épitonin, Herbal Ecstasy, Joint Fir, Ma Huang, Ma-Huang, Mahuang, Mahuanggen (ma huang root), Muzei Mahuang, Popotillo, Raisin de Mer, Sea Grape, Teamster's Tea, Thé de Désert, Yellow Astringent, Yellow Horse, Zhong Mahuang.

What is Ephedra?

Ephedra is an herb. Usually, the branches and tops are used to make medicine, but the root or whole plant can also be used.

Is Ephedra effective?

There is some scientific evidence that ephedra can help asthma, bronchitis, bronchospasm, and other breathing problems. But large and possibly unsafe doses are needed. Using ephedra for these conditions is not worth the risk, since there are many safer alternative treatments.

Ephedra is often promoted for weight loss, but it is not safe or effective for this use.

There isn't enough information to know if ephedra is effective for the other conditions people use it for, including: improving athletic performance, allergies, nasal congestion, colds, flu, fever and many more.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Weight loss. Ephedra can produce modest weight loss when used with exercise and a low fat diet, but it can cause serious side effects, even in healthy people who follow product dosage directions.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Improving athletic performance, allergies, asthma and other breathing disorders, nasal congestion, colds, flu, fever, and other conditions.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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