ephedra


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Related to ephedra: Ephedra sinica

e·phed·ra

(ē-fed'ră),
Ephedra equisetina (family Gnetaceae). Ma huang; the plant source for the alkaloid ephedrine. Indigenous to China and India, it is 0.7% to over 1% ephedrine; also contains some pseudoephedrine.

Ephedra

/Ephed·ra/ (ĕ-fed´rah) a genus of low, branching shrubs indigenous to China and India. E. equiseti´na Bunge., E. sini´ca Stapf., E. vulga´ris, and other species (all called ma huang in China) are sources of ephedrine.

ephedra

(ĭ-fĕd′rə, ĕf′ĭ-drə)
n.
1. Any of various usually shrubby gymnosperms of the genus Ephedra, having jointed green stems and small scalelike leaves, some species of which are used as a source of ephedrine.
2. A drug containing ephedrine derived from one of these plants, used in traditional Chinese medicine as a stimulant and decongestant and sold in the United States primarily as a dietary supplement for weight loss before it was banned because of toxic side effects in 2004. Also called ma huang.

ephedra

an evergreen herb found throughout the world. Also called ma huang.
uses The sale of ephedra was banned in the U.S. by the FDA in December of 2003 because of safety concerns (e.g., highlighted by death of baseball pitcher Steve Bechler), making it the first over-the-counter nutritional supplement to be banned. This herb was used for seasonal and chronic asthma, nasal congestion, and cough.
contraindications People cultivating their own ephedra should be aware that it is contraindicated in those with known hypersensitivity to sympathomimetics, women who are pregnant or lactating, children less than 12 years of age, and people with narrow-angle glaucoma, seizure disorders, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, prostatic hypertrophy, arrhythmias, heart block, hypertension, psychosis, tachycardia, and angina pectoris.

joint fir

Chinese and Herbal medicine
A shrub, the stem of which contains ephedrine, which is a bronchodilator, diaphoretic, diuretic and vasoconstrictor; it is used to treat asthma, bronchitis, fever, fluid retention, hypotension, paraesthesias, to stimulate the central nervous system and to suppress the appetite.
 
Toxic effects
Ephedra should not be used in patients with cardiac or thyroid disease, diabetes or hypertension.

e·phed·ra

(e-fed'ră)
(Ephedra sinica and other spp.) An herbal supplement now banned in the United States, where it was used as a weight-loss supplement. Severe toxicities and adverse effects reported (e.g., stroke, cardiac arrest, seizure, psychotic attacks); over 800 reports of related illness; the compounds also included substances banned for use by athletes.
Synonym(s): ma-huang, Mormon tea, popotillo.
[L., horsetail, fr. G. ephedros, sitting on]

ephedra,

n Latin names:
Ephedra sinica, Ephedra nevadensis, Ephedra trifurca, Ephedra equisetina, Ephedra distachya; parts used: leaves, seeds; uses: asthma, bronchitis, headaches, congestion, arthritis, weight loss; precautions: pregnancy, lactation, children younger than age 12; patients with sympathomimetics, glaucoma, seizures, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, arrhythmias, heart blockage, hypertension, prostatic hypertrophy, tachycardia, angina pectoris, and psychological disorders; considered unsafe by the FDA; can cause palpitations, tachycardia, hypertension, arrhythmias, stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, tremors, seizures, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dysuria, urinary retention, dermatitis, dyspnea, contractions of the uterus. Also called
Brigham tea, cao ma huang, desert tea, epitonin, herba ephedrae, herbal, joint fir, ma huang, mahuanggen, Mexican tea, Mormon tea, muzei mu huang, natural ecstasy, popotillo, sea grape, squaw tea, teamster's tea, yellow astringent, yellow horse, and
zhong ma huang. See also ma huang.

e·phed·ra

(e-fed'ră)
Ephedra equisetina;Ma huang; the plant source for the alkaloid ephedrine. Indigenous to China and India, it also contains some pseudoephedrine.
[L., horsetail, fr. G. ephedros, sitting on]
References in periodicals archive ?
Lawmakers, whose calloused consciences should feel the full weight of every one of the deaths linked to ephedra, should now move swiftly to empower the FDA to protect consumers by regulating the potentially dangerous chemicals that are found in dietary supplements.
These authors conclude that the use of ephedra for more than a week or two, even under the supervision of a competent health care provider, should be discouraged because its benefit-to risk ratio is so high.
Most of these ephedra products also contain caffeine, typically extracts from guarana seed.
An additional 50 possible sentinel events were associated with recent consumption of products containing ephedrine or ephedra but had other possible causes.
Since ephedra and other sports supplements are frequently marketed to help burn fat or chisel muscles, adolescents who feel acute pressure to be thin and beautiful--or buff and muscular--may take them even when not involved in sports.
Meanwhile, countless lawsuits have been filed across the country on behalf of plaintiffs who have been injured after taking ephedra supplements.
Ephedra content, which the product label should display, can range from 15 to 60 milligrams per serving.
Products containing Ephedra which are marketed for traditional medicine will continue to be available in decongestant form, provided they do not contain caffeine and that the ephedrine content does not exceed 8 mg/dose to a maximum of 32 mg/day.
The active ingredient in ephedra is the chemical ephedrine, which can be converted into the street drug methamphetamine.
John's Wort, touted as herbal Prozac; and ephedra, a weight-loss aid and "energy booster" that can be easily converted into methamphetamine, its close relative.
nevadensis): American Ephedra is similar to the very controversial ma huang, but doesn't contain the same speed-related chemicals as its Chinese cousin.