Ephedrine also known as Ma Huang has been used in China, for medical purposes, for thousands of years. It was first discovered in china where it was an ancient herbal remedy for several illnesses. Ephedra Vridis is classified into the taxonomy Genus Ephedra. The formula of this chemical is: C10H15NO. Common names for this plant are: Green ephedra, Mountain joint fir, Mormon Tea, and Squaw tea. The plant is a medium sized shrub that contains long jointed needles. Above is a picture of what the plant looks like. This plant can be found in desert like regions such as Central Asia. .
When the leaves/needles of this plant are dried they can be used in different things such as asthma medications, cold and congestion pills, and probable most commonly in diet supplements. Ephedrine is a bronchodilator and a decongestant, which is why it is used in asthma and cold medications. However it also believed to be beneficial in athletic performance and weight loss. Ephedrine is often used in diet supplements because it is believed that it increases fat breakdown (due to an increase in body temperature), and acts as an appetite suppressant. Ephedrine also increases heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the bronchioles and increase energy. However ephedrine also had many side effects some of which are insomnia, heart attacks, irregular heart beat, strokes, neuropathy and seizures. Some other related chemicals that perform the same basic function are Caffeine, Ma Huang and most other amphetamines. One company that produces Ephedrine is D&E Pharmaceuticals; they produce an "Ephedrine Sulphate" pill which they sell for $40.00US for 400 capsules. The estimated cost to produce one kilogram is $10 000. Even though there are many companies that use ephedrine in several of their products it has been proven that it is not the safest chemical to be taking. .