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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Is Ephedra?

Ephedra, known in Chinese as Ma Huang, is a 5000 year old Chinese herb. Ephedra is a plant obtained in desert areas throughout the world. Ephedra can be can found in abundance from northern China to Inner Mongolia. The stems of the three, specified Asian species (Ephedra equisetina, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra sinica) are utilized medicinally. Ephedra is used medicinally for the relief of allergies, asthma, colds, and rheumatoid arthritis.

What Are Ephedra Alkaloids?

Ephedra's basic ingredients are the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The stem comprises 1-3% total alkaloids, with ephedrine making up 30-90% of this total, dependent on the type of ephedra plant specie. Ephedrine stimulates the central nervous system, increases heart rate, increases blood pressure, and dilates the bronchial tubes. Pseudoephedrine (synthetic form) is a common nonprescription remedy for the alleviation of nasal congestion.

How Does Ephedra Work?

The most important component in ephedra is naturally occurring ephedrine, an alkaloid salt which is a sympathetic nerve stimulant similar in nature to adrenaline, but much less powerful than amphetamines. Ephedrines' attributes deliver a very stimulating effect, making it extremely valuable for dieting and weight loss. Ephedrine increases heart rate, increases blood pressure, metabolic rate, perspiration, urine production, and opens up bronchial passages. All of these processes increase thermogenesis, which, in turn, increases metabolism and stimulates weight loss. Ephedra is frequently mixed with caffeine, guarana, and additional ingredients to increase ephedra's thermogenic (fat burning) properties.

What Is Ephedrine?

Ephedrine, a beta-adrenergic agonist (increases body tempertaure and heart rate), is the primary derivative of ephedra (ma huang), which had medicinal applications for centuries. Ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant, increases metabolism, and is very useful in treating bronchitis.

What Is The ECA Stack?

ECA is an acronym for ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. Research indicates combining ephedrine and caffeine delivers substantial thermogenic and weight loss results. Where does aspirin come into the equation? The aspirin acts as a prostaglandin inhibitor and heightens lipolytic activity. In other words, it increases thermogenic activity and increases metabolism, when used in conjunction with ephedrine and caffeine. This process is accomplished by maintaining elevated cAMP levels in the body. Lastly, aspirin is supposed to decrease the body's reaction to the stimulating effects of ephedrine and caffeine.

Ephedra Side Effects:

Common side effects resulting from the abuse of herbal ephedra (and ephedrine) can lead to amphetamine-like side-effects, increasing the risk for heart failure, stroke and cardiac arrhythmias. The stimulatory effects of ephedra include nervousness, irritability, headache, insomnia, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and urinary disturbances. Ephedra should not be used in people with anxiety and panic disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, and thyriod disorders. Anyone taking prescription medication or additional supplements should consult their physician before taking ephedra.

Additional Ephedra Recommendations:

When beginning to take any ephedra or ephedrine containing products, it's recommended you begin on a dosage lower than the recommended dosage. The best course of action would be to test your tolerance before increasing the dosage to the product's recommended dosage. Ephedra can be taken with meals or on an empty stomach.

1 comment:

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