Ma huang

Ma huang or Ephedra sinica, is a broom looking herb used by Chinese for thousands of years as an antipyretic and antitussive, to treat joint pain, as a treatment for venereal disease, to increase muscle mass and as a weight loss remedy.

There are different species of Ma huang and they can be found in western and southeastern Europe and Asia. The various species have slightly different name like: Ephedra sinica, E. geriardiana and many others, but collectively they are called Ma huang.

Ma huang’s principal active constituents is Ephedrine. Ephedrine is an alkaloid extracted from the ma huang plant and it has been used to treat asthma when taken orally.

Research studies believe that the reason ma huang is good for venereal disease is because it contains a novel antibiotic called transtorine.

Ma huang benefits

  • A potent central nervous system stimulant
  • Intravenous ephedrine is used by physicians for the prophylaxis and treatment of hypo-tension caused by spinal anesthesia
  • Help in asthma treatment
  • Used to be used as a treatment for narcolepsy
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Combined with St. John’s wort, it is used to help build muscles
  • Can be used to treat arthritis
  • Useful in hayfever
  • Treats high blood pressure in low doses
  • Helps decrease uncontrolled sweat

On the market, Ma huang can be also found in combination with other ingredients, vitamins, and minerals to increase muscle mass and enhance endurance.

Good to know: when ma huang is combined with willow bark, it helps balance its effect for weight loss.

Please note: as ma huang promotes thermogenesis it should never be taken with caffeine and by people who are on prescription antidepressants.