ephedra


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Related to ephedra: Ephedra sinica

ephedra:

see ephedrineephedrine
, drug derived from plants of the genus Ephedra (see Pinophyta), most commonly used to prevent mild or moderate attacks of bronchial asthma. Unlike epinephrine, to which it is chemically similar, ephedrine is slow to take effect and of mild potency and long
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ephedra

ephedra

*Banned in the U.S. (There is a weaker version of the plant called Mormon Tea. See the Desert section). Thin leafless, jointed stick like stalks (red berries in summer). Ephedra is a very effective decongestant herb that has been banned in some countries because of side effects and some deaths resulting from overuse of the synthetic isolate ephedrine. These side effects are not as prevalent when taking the whole plant in its natural state. The ephedra plant has been used for 5000 years for treating asthma, hay fever, lung and breathing problems, congestion, and as a performance enhancer in sports. The pharmaceutical isolate ephedrine raises blood pressure, but the whole plant contains other alkaloids that prevent blood pressure from rising. It’s a stimulant who’s main active constituents are ephedrine and pseudoephedrine,which stimulate brain and increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase metabolism and body heat (weight loss), while expanding bronchials in lungs, making breathing easier. Used for colds and flu, promotes sweating. Side effects from taking too much may include anxiety, nervousness, headache, insomnia, trembling, sweating, dehydration, seizures or worse. If taken correctly, it has made people breath better and relax because of its ability to stop asthma attacks. I was given it as an asthmatic child and worked wonders. Like anything, it’s about proper usage, not abuse. I am not prescribing here, just informing historical data :-)
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ephedra

 

a genus of gymnospermous plants of the family Ephedraceae. The plants are mostly low, strongly branched shrubs (sometimes lianoid) and small trees reaching 8 m in height. The shoots are virgate and segmented. The opposite leaves are small and usually reduced; the function of photosynthesis is taken over by the young branches. The strobili are unisexual. The staminate ones consist of an axis with two to eight pairs of bracts, whose axils bear microstrobili. The pistillate strobili consist of a seed embryo enclosed by a saclike cover.

There are more than 40 species, occurring in Eurasia, North Africa, and North and South America. They are found primarily in steppe, desert, and mountain regions. The USSR has about 15 species, occurring mainly in Middle Asia. E. equisetina and other species contain the alkaloid ephedrine, which is used in medicine. The branches of E. distachya are a popular remedy for rheumatism and other diseases; sheep are sometimes poisoned by the green branches of the species. The succulent seeds of some species are edible.

M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ephedra

[ə′fed·rə]
(botany)
A genus of low, leafless, green-stemmed shrubs belonging to the order Ephedrales; source of the drug ephedrine.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ephedra reproductive biology, of which the pollination drop is just a part, deserves detailed investigation.
In patients with ephedra addiction, psychiatric complications generally result in affective disturbances, psychosis, mania, and a subjective sense of welfare (Miller et al., 2003) and although psychosis was found to be the most frequent psychiatric adverse event reported in the review of the database of FDA (Miller, 2005), other authors offer that ephedra abuse, and sometimes dependence, is a more frequent occurrence in society (Maglione et al., 2005).
Cutler (1939) publico una revision de Ephedra en Norteamerica, en la cual por primera vez se incluye a E.
G., and Arya, H.C., 1976, "Alkaloid content of Ephedra in vivo and in vitro", Ind.
If taken in large amounts, ephedra could lead to serious heart problems, stroke or even death in otherwise healthy people.
"Taking ephedra, I took it," Sauerbrun said yesterday, speaking to the New England media for the first time since his arrival here.
It must be noted that the NCAA still bans the use of ephedra, ephedrine, and several other stimulants.
Other woody taxa that were present in the nest area included Shockley's goldenhead, shadscale, Nevada ephedra, winterfat, and range ratany.
Articles in the 26 March and 17 September 2003 issues of JAMA raised concerns about ephedra's safety, drug interactions caused by other supplements, and the rise in unscrupulous advertisements for supplements on the Internet, keeping up the call for regulatory action.
Maybe you'd rather stock up on pills that contain the possibly deadly ingredient ephedra. These are just a few of the weight-loss schemes highlighted by author and childhood-obesity expert Frances Berg in the 15th annual Slim Chance Awards.
In 2003, both countries initiated bans on ephedra, an herbal compound linked to a number of cardiac-related deaths.