Aug 24 2008

The Queen Among Herbs Gets a Bad Reputation

Published by at 4:27 pm under Health,Herbs

Ma Huang  “Ephedra Sinica”The fact that ephedra has received a bad reputation is so wrong and to watch it happen is so frustrating for someone who has worked with herbs for years.   No one seemed to notice that it basically had nothing whatsoever to do with ephedra.   Like all addictive substances, the herb being used was an innocent bystander.   It is not the plants fault that science distorted and abused it causing the side effects of addiction and death.   Everybody is missing the point, which is that all addictive substances were scientifically man created, every one of them.  

There is a basic credo of herbalism that God put no plant on earth to harm us.   You cannot get addicted to opium or cocaine by eating parts of the plant.   The same goes for ephedra.  You cannot have an amphetamine rush by eating parts of the plant.   You have to scientifically distort the nature of the plant, creating an abomination, to get the addictive high.   On the contrary, eat parts of these plants and you will get many benefits.

Here is a bench mark you can use to judge all herbs by.   If it was not giving humanity benefits, you would have never heard of it; the use of the herb would have disappeared into the mists of time.   We know their names because of the many thousands of people who have been helped over and over again.

The drug companies love this ‘blame the herb’ mentality.   It takes the blame off them, where it belongs, and puts it on the innocent herbs.   They get the FDA to take the herb off the shelf and leave the over the counter scientific destructive drugs there.   Drugs are about disease and more disease side effects, with addiction thrown in for good measure.   How many people do you know who are on a drug and their doctor has told them “you will have to take this for the rest of your life”?   Sounds like addiction to me.

Drug companies, following their destructive philosophy of allopathic medicine, chemically synthesized ephedrine, distorted nature and discovered a dangerous new class of drugs; amphetamines.    These drugs have shown up as prescription and non-prescription drugs with their side effects, and as killer street drugs such as speed.    The result has been the destruction of thousands of individuals and their families.

What galls me the most is these actions have undeservedly caused a bad reputation for ephedra.   Even some people who call themselves herbalists have helped create that bad reputation.   Read below about the many known benefits of ephedra and you be the judge.

Chinese Ephedra (Ma Huang) used in China for over 5000 years to treat respiratory problems, has more ephedrine alkaloids and is stronger then American Ephedra.    Ephedra contains plant forms of adrenalin, ephedrine and nor-epinephrine.    In India, Ephedra is thought to be the prime ingredient of Soma, a potent tonic and elixir of youth.    From the Rig Veda, c. 1000 B.C. “As a wise man I have taken Soma, the sweet draught that gives strength, lending immortal power and freedom to the gods.”     

Ephedra is one of the best bronchial-dilators from the plant kingdom that is extremely valuable when used for asthma and allergies. Ephedra is a strong decongestant that aids in the elimination of fluids and relieves bronchial spasms.  This herb is beneficial to every bronchial condition known such as asthma, bronchitis, wheezing, emphysema, and whooping cough, wherever there is severe difficulty breathing.  In China Ma Huang is used when someone has a cold accompanied by headache, chills, aches, pains and by a chesty cough.   Ephedra is also anti-allergenic and can be useful for those suffering from hay fever.  

Ephedra or Ma Huang contains the active compound ephedrine.   Ephedrine stimulates the central nervous system and provides energy and increases alertness.   A higher dose ephedra gives a nice tingling sensation over the head but also the rest of your body.   Ephedra acts a bit like Ecstasy, only milder in its action and less speedy.   Ephedra does give the same emphatic feeling, like you have with Ecstasy without the harm.

The old time herbalists prepared ephedra tea, using the traditional herbalists method of the Mormon pioneers.   They recommend that one use the “grounds or dregs” repeatedly — adding a teaspoon of the freshly dried herb on top of the herbal grounds left from the previous day.   This method would be continued for at least four to six days since it takes several days of simmering this tea — 15 to 20 minutes a day — to sufficiently extract all the bio-available copper and other minerals.   Naturally, more water and ephedra would be added to the tea each day.

Ephedra is both a cardiac and central nervous system stimulant thus reducing fatigue and weariness.    This effect makes Ephedra very popular as a dieter’s herb because as blood is drawn to the above areas it is pulled away from the stomach reducing hunger.     Because Ephedra is like adrenaline, it is not recommended for those with hypertension, palpitations, insomnia and weak digestion.   

Use Ephedra in combination with these herbs for respiratory problems:
Ephedra   Mullen   Marshmallow   Passion Flower   Catnip   Senega   Slippery Elm Bark

Properties of this combination:
Decongestant   Antispasmodic   Stimulant   Expectorant   Analgesic

Bronchial Asthma   Emphysema   Epilepsy   Hayfever   Malarial Fevers   Myasthenia Gravias

History of Ephedra and Ma Huang,
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Nutritional Herbology, by Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1998
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley

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One Response to “The Queen Among Herbs Gets a Bad Reputation”

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