What is Ephedra Sinica?
Ephedra Sinica (Ma Huang) is one of the species in the Ephedraceae family, an evergreen primitive shrub that grows in dry climates, mainly in the steppes of northwestern and north China but also in southwestern and South America, Europe and North Africa. The plant generally grows on sandy soils and shores, under full sun.
Also called Ma Huang - ‘astringent yellow’ in Chinese, the whole herb is brewed into tea and used as a powerful asthma remedy for centuries in Asian countries. The main active principles in this plant are the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, both with strong stimulant properties on the central nervous system.
Ephedra Sinica stem can be used alone, in dried form and in small doses, or in the form of extract for drugs, pills and dietary supplements targeting various health issues, from more or less severe respiratory problems to weight control.
An adrenergic stimulant, the herb is often combined with caffeine for increasing the physical endurance and energy levels and used as a pre workout supplement by gymgoers. Also, it is a helpful aid in the management of hypotension, cold and flu, edema, bronchial and nasal congestion, painful bones and joints.