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What is Ephedra by Ephedra

What is Ephedra?

A 5000 years old Chinese herb that was under extensive use for the treatment of Weight Loss and Fat Burning due to its excellent quality of enhancing the metabolism; reduce appetite and burning fat without damaging muscles. However the US FDA later banned these herbs after being found its side effects that led to death in some cases. While burning the fat it used to enhance the blood pressure and the heart beat rate resulting in massive cardiac arrest. The herb Ma Huang’s basic active ingredient is called Ephedra, which represents Adrenergic Bronchodilators, the therapeutic category.

Ephedra refers to several related species of herbs that commonly grow in desert areas. It is best known as a botanical source of the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and others. Ephedra species also contain many other constituents. Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) has been used in recent years in products marketed for weight loss, body building and increased energy. The main chemical compound in Ephedra is ephedrine. Chinese Ephedra or Ma Huang is a powerful herb that is the active ingredient in high effective weight loss diet pills and supplements. Many use the name "thermo", "lean" or "fat burner".

Ephedra is effective component of many herbal formulas, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and weight loss product on the market. Although it has been banned by the FDA in the past, Ephedrine, and herbal versions such as Ma Huang are still widely used in weight loss supplements.

What Is Ephedrine?

Ephedrine Hydrochloride or Ephedrine Sulfate is the chemical derivative of the herbs like Ma Huang or Ephedra Sinica and Ephedra which had medicinal use about centuries back. It is a stimulant for central nervous system as well as the cardiovascular systems and helps open lung bronchitis.

Is Ephedra Legal?

A Utah state court judge declared the FDA ban on Ephedra, Ma-huang, as a drug wrong on of August 18, 2006. This means the FDA is entitled to pose restrictions and/or limitations on sales of pills with Ephedra. However, the FDA won't be allowed to write their own restrictions as they have done in the past. Any restrictions would be presented via a proposal. That proposal would then have to be voted on and passed through both the House of Representatives as well as the Senate.

Currently, this is only a recommendation since the FDA doesn't have legal control over the herb. For the moment, you can legally buy pills with ephedra in the United States, however, that could change at any time.

Ephedra has been around and used for literally thousands of years... It's as safe as, say, caffeine or alcohol - which is to say, anything can be unsafe if used irresponsibly. Ephedra has terrific benefits when used properly, and it's too bad that the poor judgment/actions of a few caused the substance to be banned for everyone else.

Aspirin, synthetic pain medication, cold medicines, alcohol, and many prescription drugs are far more dangerous. In fact if we use the same guidelines as ephedra, the FDA needs to ban bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, and nearly every concentrated extract and supplement produced.

What is ECA Stack?

"ECA stack" is abbreviation for Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin. The third ingredient, aspirin, inhibits prostaglandin production outside of the cells, which, in conjunction with caffeine, greatly prolongs the thermogenic effects and increased metabolism by substaining elevated camp levels. The bottom line here is ECA stack is the most effective weight loss blend!

How Ephedra Works?

Ephedra shrinks mucous membranes that help drying the watery discharge and relax the blocked nasal passages often caused due to common colds or flu tendency. Ephedrine and Pseudo-Ephedrine are plant alkaloids creating the medicinal values of Ephedra Fat Burners and are considered the two basic ingredients of Ephedra. By interacting neurotransmitter receptors alkaloids stimulate the central nervous system and dilate bronchial tubes, enhance blood pressure and raise the heart rates. These activities produce maximum thermo genesis that increase metabolism and stimulates weight loss too. To perk up the effect Caffeine, Guarana and other ingredients are often compounded with Ephedra in Diet Supplements.

Ephedra Side Effects

Traditional contraindications for ephedra include general weakness, high blood pressure, and nervousness, sleeping difficulties, cardiac arrhythmias, poor digestion and heart disease. Ephedra's side effects may be even more pronounced in people with anxiety and restlessness, high blood pressure, glaucoma, impaired circulation, prostate adenoma, pheochromocytoma, and thyrotoxicosis. Additionally, excessive levels of Ephedra produce even more problems. It may also contract the uterus, which means it should not be used during pregnancy.

Additional Recommendations

With any products containing ephedra or ephedrine alkaloids, it's advised that you start with less than the recommended dosage. Take it with a meal to test your tolerance of this product before increasing to the recommended dosage. Do not take more than one product at a time containing any central nervous system stimulants.

Is Ephedra Safe?

Ephedra has been consumed for literally thousands of years... It's as safe as, say, caffeine or alcohol - which is to say, anything can be unsafe if used irresponsibly. Ephedra has terrific benefits when used properly, and it's too bad that the poor judgment/actions of a few caused the substance to be banned for everyone else.

Aspirin, synthetic pain medication, cold medicines, alcohol, and many prescription drugs are far more dangerous. In fact if we use the same guidelines as ephedra, the FDA needs to ban bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, and nearly every concentrated extract and supplement produced.

The truth why FDA don't like Ephedra

The truth is the FDA banned ephedra for more political reasons than anything. Ephedra isn't harmless, but no drug is. The Ephedra-Caffeine-Aspirin stack was one of the greatest thermogenics the bodybuilding world has ever known. The FDA watches the bodybuilding supplement industry like a hawk. If they find something that really works, meaning it has drug-like properties, they yank it off the market.

Triax was another supplement that worked well, really well. It turned out one of the ingredients was Triatricol, which is a thyroid drug, and actually not a diet supplement. It got yanked, probably so the FDA can make it into a prescription drug and sell it at several times the original price. I wouldn't be surprised if the FDA started selling ephedra as a prescription drug.

Ephedra is Safer Than FDA Approved Drugs!

Ephedra was almost completely safe given that you used the proper dosage and got clearance from a competent doctor who knew what shape your heart is in. I haven't read about the ephedra deaths that much, but I'm pretty sure the people who died didn't meet those two requirements.

There are thousands of legal products which will kill you if you overindulge. It's a fact that more people die each year from allergic reaction to PEANUTS, than died from Ephedra each year:

Per year:

  • 5 million die worldwide from tobacco related causes.
  • 250,000 die (U.S. alone) from prescription "medication."
  • 140,000 die (U.S. alone) from alcohol "related."

There are literally hundreds of prescription meds on the markets which are toxic. This one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torcetrapib recently got shut down (much to Phizer's dismay) because it killed MORE than 1% during their clinical - that's right, it KILLED 82 of 7500 people who tried it first. Lipitor "only" killed 52 in its clinical study, so I guess (+ or -) 1% is their watermark for approval.

They "think" they can link about 85 deaths to "misuse" of Ephedra over a 25-year study - less than four per year, and don't forget about "misuse."!

Something's going on. Could it possibly be PROFIT POTENTIAL for the pharmaceutical companies? They're still allowed to widely sell pseudoephedrine (meth base) in their decongestants, nose sprays and cough syrups, but no one else can.

I believe that most of the ephedra products recommended a reasonable dosage and, in fact, told you to talk to a doctor first. If you didn't do those two things and you died, you committed suicide. It wasn't ephedra's fault.

Don't be fooled. The FDA didn't ban ephedra because it was dangerous. They banned it because someone put pressure on them, or they wanted to make money off of it. The latter is exactly why dangerous prescription drugs are still on the market. The FDA won't ban them, because they're making money off them.

In the past, the FDA has approved many drugs that have since been linked to adverse side effects, and even death; (remember fen-phen?). Why pick on ephedra, which has been used safely for thousands of years? Is it because ephedra is an herb, which cannot be patented, and thus poses a serious threat to any of the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies' line of weight loss drugs! Well, of course, that's just simply pure speculation.

The FDA banned an herbal substance they couldn’t get paid for. And now doctors are offering replacement prescriptions the FDA does get paid for. This was only about the pharmaceutical community wanting to capitalize on a billion dollar industry.

FDA is big pharmaceutical companies' puppet! Weight loss industry profits in multi billions. Has nothing to do with ephedra being safe or not. How many big pharmaceutical companies have disclaimers for their products, (on TV ads), that list extreme side effects including death? It's unreal that any of those products were approved by the FDA. More people have died from aspirin then ephedra.

This article was published on Wednesday 30 December, 2009.
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