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Ma Huang
Milk Thistle
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Ma Huang
(Ephedra Sinica)

General Description:  A evergreen plant with a pine like odor. 

Part used: Components of the seeds and stems

Uses: 

  colds and allergies

   appetite suppressant (weight loss)

   enhances energy

  asthma & bronchitis

  fever, chills and flu symptoms

Action:  Primarily acts as the body's own epinephrine (adrenaline).  However, it is weaker.  It produces bronchodilation, similar to most beta2 agonists.  It also produces cardiovascular effects similar to beta1 receptors.  It causes appetite suppression and increases metabolic rate.  

Dosage:  15-30 mg of total alkaloids of ephedrine, with max dose 
                of
300mg/day.  

Tea - one cup/3times/day

Tincture - (1:1) given 5 gms per dose.

Extract - 1-3 ml 3 times/day

  FDA prohibits the sale of ephedra in quantities of 8 mg or more per dose. They advises to take less than 8 mg every 6 hours with no more than 24 mg daily.  They also advise that it should not be taken no more than 7 consecutive days.  

Precautions/Adverse Effects:  Misuse can cause deaths.  Also can lead to hypertension, nervousness, insomnia, palpitations, hyperglycemia, and  anxiety. These side effects are dose-dependent.

Interaction with other Drugs:  Theophylline, digitalis, diabetes therapy, steroids, cardiac drugs.  

Contraindications: In pregnancy due to uterine activity.   Also in individuals who suffer from anxiety, anorexia/bulimia disorders, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Nursing Considerations:

  Warn patients with heart disease, high BP, thyroid disease, and diabetes to not use.  

  Warn patients if they are on MAOI medications that Ma Huang should not be used, as well as St. John's Wort that also produces MAOI activity.  

  Patients should not use for more than seven days.

 The potential for misuse, overuse, abuse of Ma Huang has led to serious consequences and even death.   The FDA has found more than 800 cases, including 17 deaths, from adverse reactions.                  

(References)

Aloe ] Bilberry ] Black Cohash ] Chamomile ] Chaste Berry Tree ] Dong Quai ] Echinacea ] Evening Primrose Oil ] Feverfew ] Garlic ] Ginger ] Ginkgo ] Ginseng ] Guarana ] Hawthorn ] Horse Chestnut ] Kava-Kava ] [ Ma Huang ] Milk Thistle ] Nettle ] St. John's Wort ] Saw Palmetto ] Tea Tree Oil ] Valerian ] Yohimbe ]