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Ephedra - 101

What is ephedra? Ephedra, which is also known as Ma Huang, is a 5000 years old natural remedy. It grows mainly in Mongolia and the bordering regions of China. It has been used in Chinese medicine and has become a popular herbal dietary supplement in the United States. Most noteworthy, ephedra is used as an energizer and for losing weight and gaining muscles.

The main active ingredients in the ephedra plant are called ephedrine alkaloids. Ephedrine is one of the naturally occurring alkaloids present in Ephedra. Ephedra is designed to naturally activate the sympathetic nervous system which increases the amount of food converted to heat, a process called thermogenesis. The results can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of asthma, allergies, and sinus problems.

Is Ephedra safe to use? Scientific studies confirm that Ephedra is a relatively safe remedy when used within the recommended serving limits. The ephedrine alkaloids in Ephedra act as a mild stimulant and develop effects similar to those of caffeine. Ephedra has been used in Chinese medicine to treat symptoms of asthma and upper respiratory infections.

In February of 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) imposed a ban on ephedra as a diet supplement but allowed synthetic ephedrine and ma huang used for traditional Chinese medicine to continue to be manufactured and sold. This ban came into effect on April 12, 2004.

On April 14, 2005 little more than one year after the ban on ephedra was imposed, a Utah court concluded that the FDA overstepped their power in banning ephedra. The court said that there was no evidence that low dosages, especially under 10mg, pose any health risk. The court decision puts the responsibility on the FDA to prove that ephedra poses a health risk, instead of manufacturers having to prove that ephedra is safe.

Finally, the Miracle Fat Burner is Back and available to the public. But this unparalleled weight loss concerned some people. Ephedra was so powerful, its safety was questioned. When the controversy peaked in 2004, ephedrine was taken off the shelves for further testing.

Since then, it's gone through rigorous tests - and passed with flying colors. According to last month's ruling in Utah, there was never any basis for banning doses of 10 milligrams or less. As a result, ephedra has once again been approved for public consumption?

When it is all said and done it all boils down to one thing - a choice. The choice is yours. Make it wisely!

Cephus Gunn is an independent marketing consultant and offers common-sense tips on health and weight loss for the informed consumer. For more information on ephedra and weight loss, visit the web site

Contact Cephus at solinc01@yahoo.comPlease note that this article is not a substitute for medical advice.


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