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Ma Huang Tea

Ma huang is the Chinese Name for Ephedra

Ma huang tea and weight loss products contain the herb ephedra, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since the third century BC.

Over the centuries, ma huang was added in small quantities to tea to help ease congestion and to cure various illnesses like, colds, asthma and respiratory disorders.

The active component of ephedra is an alkaloid. Research has shown the effects of this alkaloid to be interestingly similar in effect to the hormone adrenaline.

This herb speeds up heart rate and also has a diuretic effect. The Chinese always used the herb in small quantities and advocated regulated use.

Ephedra of late has been found to promote weight loss -- although concrete proof is not yet available.

Products are available in the following forms: Ma huang tea, tablets, capsules and tincture. These help in fat reduction and also enhance athletic performance.

Though beneficial in certain cases, the consumption of all forms of ephedra has become controversial, as high doses of the herb have been linked to grave health problems like stroke, seizures, cardiac arrest, and death.

While some people experience no ill effects, their number is far lesser than those who complain of adverse side effects.

Increased heart rate, for instance, is common even at recommended levels of dosage.

Conditions such as nervousness, anxiety and insomnia are frequently experienced at high doses or prolonged use.

Among the less common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, headache, kidney stones, problematic and/or painful urination, and muscle cramps.

The prevalence of these side effects led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce some control measures. Research into the herbal remedy was also undertaken.

The first step taken by the FDA was to ensure that only natural ephedra was used in weight loss products.

Finally in 2003 products containing ephedra products, including mahuang tea, were totally banned.

This article was authored by Kevin Stith who writes articles for e-weightlossproducts.com.

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