"Don't Read This Article About Ephedra"
2005 © by Lee Cummings
Because you will stumble upon the facts and no longer be confused.
There's a lot of confusion out there about "Ephedra"
I wrote about this a couple years ago and it's time to write about it again. There's a lot of information so pay attention – here we go.
Ephedra is back in the news again.
This time because of a decision last week by a federal court in Utah that struck down the fda ban of Ephedra. First of all, herbal Ephedra was never banned. Ephedrine alkaloids were banned. Ephedrine is the active ingredient in Ephedra. And Ephedrine alkaloids are the synthetic super concentrated version of Ephedra.
The fda has stated that the ban is still in effect for higher doses (above 10mg) of "ephedrine" products. And that the agency is considering its options "with respect to next steps".
There is a whole lot of controversy surrounding Ephedra Because it has been confused and misrepresented by those who are confused about what it is and is not.
Ephedra is an herb which is perfectly safe when used in quantities that meet U.S. mega-dosing laws. Just like it's been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years for its health benefits.
And because it is a broncho-dilator the actual herb Ephedra is one of the most widely used and effective treatments for asthma.
Do you really think Asian cultures would use something for thousands of years if it was dangerous? Let's give credit where credit is due.
Because to the misuse of the word Ephedra all of the negative associations of Ephedrine alkaloids have been transferred to the natural herb Ephedra. Including a number of deaths caused by the synthetic Ephedrine alkaloids.
And this is how Ephedra has become demonized.
Pseudo Ephedrine HCL is found in nearly every over the counter cold and decongestant sinus medication.
Pseudo Ephedrine, like Ephedrine alkaloids is a chemically altered form of Ephedra. Most of these over the counter medications have many times the content of concentrated ephedrine alkaloids as compared to weight loss and other nutritional supplements - most of which contain the natural form of Ephedra.
In fact, most medications contain far more Pseudo ephedrine in 2 Pills, because of its concentrated form, than an entire weeks worth of nutritional supplements which contain the natural ephedra.
Dr. Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., Dr. Page has been a Classical Herbalist for almost 30 years and has formulated over 250 effective whole herb combinations, many of them containing ephedra. Dr. Page writes:
"I am continually distressed about ephedra's misuse and abuse, most importantly the isolated component of ephedra, ephedrine. If herbalists and formulators lose the ability to use ephedra, we are losing one of the best broncho-dilators from the plant kingdom that is extremely valuable when used for asthma and allergies. What then would people have to choose from to alleviate their symptoms? Drugs of course".
So what's the difference between ephedra and ephedrine? Dr. Page explains that "in a whole herb formulation containing ephedra, there may be up to 50 mg of ephedra, containing only HALF a milligram of ephedrine. But the products that isolate ephedrine may deliver up to 20 mg of ephedrine - a full 40 times as much as ephedra!".
Yet, You can walk into any drug store or grocery store to find a few dozen cold, sinus and CHILDREN'S products which contain pseudo ephedrine hcl. Yes, that's right 15mg of pseudo ephedrine hcl in a children's decongestant.
So you are asking yourself "wait a minute, what about
all the over the counter medications which contain synthetic
That's a great question, you'll have to ask the fda.
Jenny Thompson, HSI e-alert – "Get it right",
Jenny Thompson, HSI e-alert "Circle the Wagons",
Site last updated 9/12/16
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