Ephedra in perspective – a current review

@article{Abourashed2003EphedraIP,
  title={Ephedra in perspective – a current review},
  author={Ehab A. Abourashed and Abir T El-Alfy and Ikhlas A. Khan and Larry A. Walker},
  journal={Phytotherapy Research},
  year={2003},
  volume={17}
}
Although the traditional use of Ephedra ‘ma huang’ has been established for thousands of years, its resurgencein the US as a herbal dietary supplement is currently a matter of national controversy. At the heart of the debate are three important questions: (1) the identity and composition of Ephedra products with regard to ephedrine and related alkaloids; (2) the potential therapeutic utility of Ephedra supplements for weight loss or performance enhancement; and (3) potential health risks… 

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TLDR
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  • Chemistry
    Yakugaku zasshi : Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
  • 2017
TLDR
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The survey demonstrates the potential for herbal remedies and homeopathic products, to produce adverse drug reactions or drug interactions, and shows the scope for potential for confusion with those arising from conventional medicines.

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...

References

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Ephedrine-type alkaloid content of nutritional supplements containing Ephedra sinica (Ma-huang) as determined by high performance liquid chromatography.

TLDR
A validated HPLC method for the determination of ephedrine-type alkaloids, commonly found in Ephedra supplements, is presented and may contribute to toxicity associated with these products.

Acute hepatitis associated with the use of a Chinese herbal product, ma-huang.

TLDR
It is speculated that the ma-huang product the authors' patient took contained some other ingredient or contaminant or was misidentified, and the clinician should consider herbal medicines as a possible cause of unexplained liver injury.

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TLDR
Ma huang (Ephedra vulgarisvar) has been known in Chinese medicine for some 5,100 years and was one of the drugs tasted by Emperor Shen Nung, and has been incorporated into many famous prescriptions, including one for typhoid.

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TLDR
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TLDR
The chemical and pharmacokinetic evaluation of a doping case associated with the use of an Ephedra-labelled dietary supplement is reported, showing that adulteration of herbal food supplements with undeclared agents also have to be taken into account.

Content versus label claims in ephedra-containing dietary supplements.

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TLDR
Assay of 20 ephedra-containing dietary supplements showed that alkaloid content often differed markedly from label claims and was inconsistent between two lots of some products.

A component of the medicinal herb ephedra blocks activation in the classical and alternative pathways of complement

TLDR
In Chinese medicine the herb is taken orally, though no studies of complement levels in patients taking the herb have been reported, and preliminary data indicate that oral administration in rats causes a partial inhibition of serum complement activity.

A comparative study of commercial samples of ephedrae herba.

TLDR
The alkaloid contents were found to be higher in the internodes of the herbs and in those items with thin stems, more powdery and less fibrous characters, and there were no indications for alkaloids in the roots of the plants.
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