Ephedra in perspective – a current review

  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},
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… 

Ma Huang ( Ephedrae Herba ) : Setting the Record Straight

This paper reviews the scientific information available about ephedra and proposes mechanisms for the observed adverse effects when it is combined with caffeine and proposes adding obesity and Metabolic Syndrome to the list of cautions and possibly contraindications to the use of Ma Huang.

Clinical uses and Toxicity of Ephedra sinica: An Evidence-Based Comprehensive Retrospective Review (2004-2017)

It was revealed that most of the toxicities in such cases were associated with the use of ES in combination with other conventional drugs, long-term use, or use in patients with cardiac and renal problems without a medical supervision.

Chemical composition of various Ephedra species.

Utilization of UPLC-UV unveiled that this technique is sensitive, selective, and useful for separation and quantification of different alkaloids in complex biological matrixes in forensic medicine and quality control of pharmaceutical preparations.

Efficient Preparation of Ephedrine Alkaloids-free Ephedra Herb Extract and Its Antitumor Effect and Putative Marker Compound.

  • N. Oshima
  • Chemistry
    Yakugaku zasshi : Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
  • 2017
An efficient preparation method of EAs-free Ephedra Herb extract is presented, together with its chemical composition, antiproliferative effects, and a putative marker for quality control.

GC-MS based metabolomics study of stems and roots of Ephedra sinica.

A Review of the Ephedra genus: Distribution, Ecology, Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Properties

The present review represents a key compilation of all the relevant information for the Ephedra genus, in particular the American species, the species distribution, their ecological interactions, its ethnobotany, its phytochemistry and their pharmacological activities and toxicities, in order to promote clear directions for future research.

The potential impact of the use of homeopathic and herbal remedies on monitoring the safety of prescription products

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.

Assessing the safety of an Ephedrae Herba aqueous extract in rats: A repeat dose toxicity study

Herbal Medicine for the Treatment of Obesity: An Overview of Scientific Evidence from 2007 to 2017

The possible effects and mechanisms of herbal medicine treatments for obesity that have been reported in the past decade are discussed.



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

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.

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.

The action and clinical use of ephedrine, an alkaloid isolated from the Chinese drug ma huang; historical document.

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.

Chiral gas chromatographic determination of ephedrine-type alkaloids in dietary supplements containing Má Huáng.

A chiral gas chromatographic (GC) method that allows determination of alkaloid patterns and identification of isomerically impure synthetic alkaloids was developed, spurred by reports describing a "thermogenic" effect provided by mixtures of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin.

Antiinflammatory principle of Ephedra Herbs.

Since the traditional usage of an Oriental medicine "mao", consisting of Ephedra herbs, suggests that it may possess antiinflammatory activity, a crude drug preparation, the aerial part of E.

A case of positive doping associated with a botanical food supplement

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.

  • B. GurleyS. GardnerM. Hubbard
  • Chemistry, Medicine
    American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • 2000
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

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.

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.