Ephedra sinica Common name: Ephedra, Ma Huang
Part used: Stem
Constituents: Protoalkaloids (ephedrine, pseudoepedrine), tannins, saponins, flavonoids, Volatile oil
Actions: Vasodilator, Diaphoretic, Bronchodilator, Decongestant, diuretic, circulatory stimulant, hypertensive, antiallergic
Medical uses: Extractions are used as a decongestant and anti-asthmatic and anti-allergenic. Can also be employed to treat low blood pressure and circulatory insufficiency.
Pharmacy: Tincture: (1:4, 45%), 1-4ml TID. Decoction: 2 tsp/1 cup water, TID. Capsules: 15-30mg total alkaloid QD.
Contraindications: Use with extreme caution in the presence of cardiovascular disorders thyroid disease, diabetes or BPH.
Toxicity: Stimulation of the autonomic nervous system producing symptoms such as tachycardia & hypertension.
Interactions: With cardiac glycosides can produce cardiac arrythmia. Any other sympathomimetics, alkaloid derivatives (ergotamine), oxytocin, or MAOIs can cause fatal hypertension.