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Ephedra Dietary Supplements: Effective Ephedra

Ephedra is also referred to as Evulgaris or Somlatha and the decoction of this plant is known as, Mormon tea or Squaw tea. It is a chemical isolated from Ephedra sinica, and is an alkaloid. Ma huang, as it is called in Chinese, is an effective treatment for cold and wheezing for ages. The Food and Drug Administration has disapproved the therapeutic value of ephedra, due to the lethal side-effects. The supplement sale is banned since 2004.

Ephedra is therapeutically utilized for weight loss.
The supplement is given with caffeine and aspirin. Monitored intake levels of the supplement results in loss of excessive weight. Research is underway regarding its maintenance. Continuous and repetitive ephedra supplementation leads to unwanted effects. The unwanted side effects are anxiety, dizziness, increased body temperature, headache, tachycardia, shivering, dehydration, lack of sleep, dermatitis, cardiac arrest and death.

Ephedra : Where to find Ephedra?

Ephedra grows on the shores and in temperate weather. The fruit has a single seed with two carpels and the plant has stamens and pistils. An alkaloid called ‘Ephedrine’, is identified, which in turn aids in asthma treatment. It helps in treating both bronchial and muscular wheezing.  It is helpful as a diuretic and analgesic and provides relief from headache.

Norepinephrine, an hormone released from the impulse of the sympathetic nervous system helps in triggering the beta and alpha receptors. Ephedrine increases the heart rate, by raising the output. Constriction of blood vessels results in hypertension. It soothes the bronchial mucous membrane. Pseudoephedrine removes all the airway congestion and proves beneficial for breath shortage. It decongests the nasal blocks and is devoid of exciting the cardiac muscles and blood flow pressure. The alkaloids present in ephedra cures inflammation of the respiratory passages, breathlessness, asthma, coughs and emphysema. It also aids in the destruction of the microorganisms that result in febrile conditions and blockage and inflammation of the sinuses.

Allergy in the skin, namely, urticaria or hives, relief from body ache and hypotension treatment, rheumatic pain and narcolepsy are the various conditions, wherein pseudoepedrine is used for treatment. It is used in addition to various commercially available supplements and are also available as ephedra diet pills. These have the capacity to decrease the appetite and trigger the thyroid gland, which in turn stimulates or hastens the metabolic processes. It possesses a thermogenic effect, thereby burning fat from the body. In order to overcome the effects of ephedra, it is bound to other herbs or supplements and then marketed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests 8 mg, once in six hours, for a period of seven days. Supplementation is not advised for children, due to its associated toxic nature.

Submitted on January 16, 2014