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Ephedra is a shrubby, bushy plant belonging to the Ephedraceae family. The height of the plant varies a lot, we speak of a minimum of 30 centimeters up to the maximum height of about two meters. The branches are gnarled and very thin and of a very bright greenish color while the leaves are scaly and come close to a dark gray tone. The plant is a Gymnosperm and therefore produces masculine or feminine strobiles that can join or separate into hermaphrodite inflorescences. The fruit that is born is a false fruit formed by a set of bracts. However, the fruit can over time become fleshy and very juicy. Ephedra plants are present in those regions with a mild and temperate climate such as North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. At 90%, the plants contain ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine alkaloids. These compounds are considered narcotic but in the popular tradition they were used by indigenous peoples to fight fever, as a sedative for asthma and as a diuretic.
Therapeutic properties of Ephedra
The efredina contained in the plant is a natural drug that in the united states and some European countries is used in so-called smart drugs because it gives a feeling of euphoria and doubling but obviously this practice is highly inadvisable. Fortunately, in Italy, the efredina is used in alternative circuit rehabilitation centers. Ephedra, as a curative plant, is considered in current herbal medicine, very powerful and effective and is used as a treatment for asthma and sinusitis. Its virtues are very famous, just think that in China this plant has been used for 5000 years. Unfortunately the lack of knowledge and the very little information that was given on this plant, gave rise to stupid controversy because it was also banned because it was used improperly mixed with other herbs that cause euphoria. Of course, this mix of medicinal herbs used for illicit purposes became highly lethal. Today, fortunately, after extensive studies, Efedra is finding widespread use in pathologies of considerable importance and is finding favor with the international pharmacopoeia. It is very useful as a decongestant and against hay fever and its truly known use is as an antihistamine. It has been shown to increase the metabolism and make you lose weight and furthermore, being stimulating, it does not cause drowsiness while you are taking it.
Contraindications for taking Ephedra
Although extremely useful and important, the use of this plant has contraindications. In fact, they cannot use preparations with this type of plant, heart patients, people with thyroid dysfunction, people with high blood pressure. As a side effect, an increase in pulse rate could be obtained with a consequent sudden change in blood pressure. Of course on every product on the market in herbalist's shops, all side effects are indicated in the leaflet but it is always better to take capsules or extracts, under strict medical supervision. Despite these contraindications, the plant gives positive feedback on medicines such as those for smoking cessation.
How to cultivate Ephedra
The Ephedra is cultivated as a very simple garden plant and can be grown both in pots and in a wider area. It resists any type of temperature but if it is very cold and the nights are frozen, it is better to shelter it at home. If instead it is planted in the garden, it must be covered with a cloth of TNT in order not to make it suffer the rigid cold. If it is cold and the climate is very humid, create at the base of the plant, a good mulch formed by leaves and straw. The Ephedra can become a small hedge but it can also become a two-meter tree. Its flowering takes place from winter to summer and prefers a sunny position. The soil must be well drained but never stagnant so as not to damage the root system. As far as its watering is concerned, Ephedra does not require much water but rainwater is enough. Water it abundantly, only in those periods of long drought. Ephedra is never attacked by parasites but only by fungal diseases due to stagnation of water in the roots. The plant does not even require fertilization, it is sufficient for a soil rich in foliage. Propagation occurs through offshoots.
Ephedra: How to buy the Efreda extract product
The extract of the Ephedra plant, on the market is known as Ma Huang and is found in herbal medicine to prepare decongestant decoctions and anti-asthma infusions. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people sell products containing efredina, for highly illicit purposes such as losing weight in no time or as supplementary substances for the gym. Beware of these products that are sold illegally and do not buy them if they are not certified by pharmacovigilance which has the specific task of reporting adverse actions on the market. These actions are reported by herbalists and pharmacists who sell legal drugs containing this extract. Any side effects communicated by clients taking drugs containing efredin are promptly reported by the pharmacist of confidence to pharmacovigilance. In Italy ephedrine used as a dietary supplement, is considered as a doping substance and therefore could not be sold. Unfortunately, however, some young people who like to increase muscle mass and maintain an ideal body weight, use it by buying it from unreliable sources. The risks you incur are really serious and mainly concern the cardiovascular system so you could be suffering from brain infarcts and ischemia.