Side Effects Of Ephedra

Ephedra is a traditional medicine used for the treatment of colds and asthma. It is also an effective supplement for many commercial diet products. However, many states in the US already prohibit the use of this medicine because of its various serious side effects. Several obvious symptoms related with this medicine include heart attack, stroke and death. So, for safety concerns, it is advised to avoid the usage of those products which contain this medicine.

For hundreds of years, ephedra plant has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine due to the functionality of expanding the pulmonary airway in lungs to relieve the symptoms of colds and asthma. This ingredient can also be used as a stimulant to increase heart rate and blood pressure Because of its ability to suppress the appetite, it is also a common ingredient in many commercial diet supplements. Many people also successfully used it to reduce weight in a short period. However, experts believe that the risks of this medicine will far outweigh its benefits.

The most common side effects of it is related with heart diseases. Due to the fact that it is able to stimulate the central nervous system in human body and speed up the heartbeat, it can increase the risk of heart palpitations, heart inflammation, chest tightness and heart attack. It will exaggerate the symptoms of people who already have heart diseases. A combined usage of ephedra and caffeine can facilitate the weight loss. However, they can also make people people feel excited and cause some cardiac complications easily. In addition to the side effects on the hearts, ephedra will also bring serious negative effects to the liver and kidneys. People with diabetes and thyroid diseases will be easier to have serious complications after taking ephedra supplements. In addition, the epinephrine-like effect provided by this medicine can also cause seizures and strokes.

The common psychological side effects include anxiety, excitement and anxiety. It is reported that it is difficult for some patients to control their own thoughts. Therefore, patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors during the treatment of mental diseases should avoid the consumption of ephedra products.

Image provided By Yang Y, Wang Q (2013) [CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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