Ephedra Sinica pills have not diminished in popularity since 2004, despite the FDA’s ruling that they posed an unreasonable risk of side effects.
Among dieters and bodybuilders, ephedra weight loss pills are still spoken of reverentially and considered to be the strongest fat burners ever available.
This natural stimulant was purported to boost metabolism, increase energy and focus, curb hunger cravings and help users lose weight faster than through diet and exercise along.
However, the active ingredient ephedrine became associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and other serious adverse reactions. In 2004, the FDA ordered all products containing this ingredient to be recalled from store shelves.
It surprises many to learn that certain forms of ephedra pills are still legal today, so long as they have the ephedrine alkaloids removed. What are the best ephedra diet pills you can buy in 2018 and where ca you still find this fat burner for sale? Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Weren’t Ephedra Pills Banned?
There are many supplements marketed online as the best ephedra weight loss pills available today. How are these supplements still legal to sell if the FDA banned ephedra alkaloids in 2004?
Ephedra Sinica (Ma Huang) is a plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. It promotes several physiological effects, most of which are attributed to its alkaloid content.
This plant is a source of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine and methylephedrine alkaloids. Of these, ephedrine is the most prominent and the most potent.
In 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra alkaloids (primarily ephedrine) from weight loss and energy supplements, citing alarming side effects associated with its use.
Controversy regarding that decision still exists today, with some claiming that when used appropriately, there was nothing inherently dangerous with the product. Unfortunately, the product was often not used appropriately.
Many bodybuilders and dieters believe that this ban applied to all forms of ephedra. However, this is not the case. There are many different species of this plant, and not all of them contain the forbidden alkaloids. Only those species containing ephedrine alkaloids are illegal.
According to the FDA’s published policy, ” This final rule declares dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids to be adulterated under section 402(f)(1)(A) of the act.[”
The ephedra weight loss pills currently sold online are made from a different species than the Chinese Ephedra Sinica and are not a source of ephedrine. For example, Ephedra Viridis and Ephedra Nevadensis (Mormon Tea) are two variations of this plant that can still be used in supplements.
There are also some brands that claim to contain real Ephedra Sinica in their diet pills. In these cases, it is likely that the extract has been processed in some way to remove the ephedrine alkaloids, allowing for compliance with the law.
Effects of Ephedrine Pills
How do the ephedra fat-burning products marketed today promote energy and metabolism if they do not contain ephedrine?
Ephedrine is just one of several alkaloids derived from the Ephedra Sinica plant, but it is the most widely studied and is believed to contribute to the majority of its observed effects.
Ephedrine is a stimulant that exerts an influence on alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors in the body. It is defined as a sympathomimetic amine because it stimulates a sympathetic nervous system response.
The Ma Huang herb was initially used in Chinese medicine for its ability to dilate airways in the lungs, making it easier to breath. It was used for millennia to treat asthma, bronchitis, the common cold, sinusitis and other breathing problems.
Ephedine stimulates beta-2 receptors in the lungs, causing bronchioles to open wider and dilating nasal passages. By constricting blood vessels in the mucosal linings of the sinuses, it could also relieve nasal congestion.
Another one of the ways it works is by promoting the release of the catecholamine, norepinephrine. This adrenaline-like neurotransmitter activates alpha adrenoreceptors and causes arteries to constrict while dilating peripheral blood vessels.
These effects increase blood pressure while also boosting circulatory function. The result is greater oxygen and nutrient transportation throughout the body, which can enhance glycolysis and lipolysis.
Ephedrine has also been observed to stimulate beta-1 receptors on the cardiac muscle, which causes the heart to beat faster and more forcefully. It also affects other functions of the autonomic system that include digestion, gastric emptying and hunger signaling.
A byproduct of ephedrine’s mechanism of action is increased metabolism and thermogenesis or heat production. This alkaloid causes you to burn more calories and convert that energy into excess heat.
In research studies, use of ephedrine can boost metabolic rate by 4-10%, depending on factors like dosage, stacks used, diet and fitness level. Given the right circumstances, this can contribute to significant weight loss results.
Ephedra Pills Without Ephedrine Content
Ephedrine is the ingredient in ephedra that is identified to promote weight loss. How effective is ephedra extract without this alkaloid?
This herbal extract contains several bioactive compounds that have been studied for fat loss. It is a source of polyphenols, catechins, glycosides, malic acid, citric acid, glycans, tannins and proanthocyanidins, all of which exhibit physiological effects in research trials.
However, the dosages provided in the raw plant extract are low. It is unlikely that these compounds contribute much in the way of fat burning potential.
It is true that ephedrine-free species of this plant have been used as stimulants in the past. The Ephedra Viridis species was historically used as “Mormon Tea” – a coffee substitute for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were banned from consuming caffeine.
But no studies have looked at the effects of ephedra extract without the alkaloids for weight loss. The results are unlikely to be the same as using an extract with ephedrine alkaloids.
Consumers should be aware that ephedra is included in these products to primarily for marketing purposes. Many of these products are quite effective for supporting weight loss and appetite control, but it is not the ephedra extract that is driving results.
Ingredients to Look For
What is the best ephedra pill to buy in 2018? If you were a fan of the original ephedrine weight loss supplements like Hydroxycut, Lipodrene or Xenadrine RFA-1, there are many products that purport to be updated legal versions.
Manufacturers have re-formulated several of the banned ephedra diet pills with a legal form of the extract and substitutes for the ephedrine component.
Common ingredients used in these products include high doses of caffeine anhydrous and Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium). Bitter orange fruit extract contains alkaloids like synephrine, which has a similar effect on thermogenesis, physical energy levels and appetite suppression.
Other ingredients found in ephedra pills include:
- Kola nut extract
- Green tea extract
- Green coffee extract
- Yerba Mate
- Acacia rigidula
Combining ephedra extract with other stimulants may enhance fat-burning potential, but caution is advised. Excessive consumption of herbal stimulants can put added strain on the heart and lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other serious adverse reactions.
Some dietary supplements contain misbranded or mislabeled drug ingredients. Thermogenic weight loss aids have come under scrutiny by the FDA for containing amphetamine-like compounds such as beta-methylphenethylamine.  This is a synthetic ingredient that can have dangerous effects.
Another controversial ingredient is DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine), formerly used in the new version of Lipodrene ephedra extract supplements. DMAA is now banned because of potentially harmful side effects like cerebral haemorrhage.
Supplement manufacturers sometimes label ingredients as natural when they are not. In other cases, active ingredients like the banned drug sibutramine have been left off the label altogether. In such cases, products are deemed misbranded or adulterated.
While there are natural alternatives to ephedrine, it is important to research supplements and ingredients before deciding which one to buy. Check for FDA warning letters online and review user feedback to determine what side effects can occur.
The substitutes commonly used in ephedra extract supplements may promote weight loss benefits, but there may be risks associated with use. Even natural fat-burning products can have health risks when used in high dosages or taken by individuals with medical conditions. 
Where to Purchase Online
You can find ephedra extract products sold from many specialty supplement stores online. Be aware that a supplement does not need to contain ephedra for it to be effective for fat loss.
Since ephedrine alkaloids have been banned, most of these supplements contain other active ingredients that are responsible for the fat-burning effects. Research these active ingredients thoroughly to determine for yourself which are safe and which work.
Not all ephedra pills are the same. Manufacturers often will not state the source of their plant extract or which part of the plant is used. Even if you do buy a product labelled with real Ephedra Sinica extract, it will still not contain ephedrine alkaloids in any dosage.
Online review sites often rate the best ephedra diet pills based on the content of extract from this herb. Some products will provide anywhere from 10 mg to 27 mg ephedra, while one product advertises 150 mg of extract.
No research studies have been conducted to determine the long-term weight loss potential of using ephedra extract without ephedrine alkaloids. Synephrine, caffeine, green tea extract, and yerba mate are some of the stimulants found in these products that have been used for weight loss.
Avoid supplements that contain DMAA, Acacia Rigidula or synthetic ingredients like higenamine hydrochloride. Avoid ingredients that have limited research available through Pubmed.
Products that are not made in the US are often not required to conform to the same cGMP manufacturing practices or safety guidelines established by the FDA. If you are buying oral ephedra tablets from another country, be aware that products may be confiscated at the border.
Note that some reviews of the best ephedra pills sold online are likely illegitimate or left by paid reviewers. Look for reviews left by verified buyers and avoid products with a suspiciously low number of negative reviews.
Always use such products responsibly. Ephedra weight loss pills can enhance energy, thermogenesis and metabolism. However, any stimulant also has the potential for causing side effects related to mood, brain function, sleep, cardiovascular and respiratory function,
Consult with a doctor before you buy any dietary supplement to help you lose weight. Your doctor can help you decide whether a given product is appropriate for you or not.
Side Effects of Ephedra Pills
The use of ephedra without ephedrine alkaloids is likely to be safer than taking this herbal extract with the now-banned alkaloids. However, there is still a risk of side effects with these fat-burning pills.
Supplements with high doses of caffeine and other stimulants can be dangerous if misused. The risk of side effects increases when combinaing multiple stimulants.
Taking too much caffeine can lead to signs of caffeine toxicity, especially for those who are sensitive to stimulants. Always start out with low doses to determine your initial sensitivity level.
Do not use more of these products than is recommended. Taking a higher dose will not result in faster weight loss and could increase the risk of adverse events.
If you have a medical condition or are currently using prescription or over-the-counter drugs, check with a doctor before taking any supplement. Make sure your doctor is aware of any herbal remedies or dietary supplements you are using.
According to a 2017 report, substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency were found in many supplements tested. If you are an athlete, the use of stimulants or other performance enhancers may cause you to become disqualified from competing in your sport. 
There are many products that promote themselves as the best ephedra weight loss pills legally available. Not all of these products are safe and effective.
Before deciding on a diet pill with ephedra extract, review the ingredients included to learn about how they work and potential side effects.
- Alison Young. Nine diet supplements contain amphetamine-like compound. USA Today. Nov. 18, 2013
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. DMAA in Dietary Supplements
- Martinez-Sanz, JM, et al. Intended or Unintended Doping? A Review of the Presence of Doping Substances in Dietary Supplements Used in Sports. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 4;9(10). pii: E1093. doi: 10.3390/nu9101093.