Ephedra

Are Ephedra Supplements for Sale in 2018 LEGIT? [Product Guide & Legal Review]

Ephedra for Sale Before considering use of ephedra products, consumers should be aware of its history, safety issues, and legalities depending on geographical location.

It’s not hard to find ephedra for sale, even today, over a decade beyond the banishment of one of its primary alkaloids – ephedrine – in 2004. Its use enjoys the reputation of being rated among the most popular components of diet pills since the 1930s.

In the 1990s, increase in sales rose over 85%, with manufacturers earning over $275 million in one year alone. [1]

Depending on country of origin, ephedra can still be found in products on store shelves, former grocery stores to pharmacy store options such as those belonging to CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and so forth.

A number of sports nutrition stores, online and off, offer ephedra for sale by brand. It can be found from numerous sellers around the world – not all of it legal.

However, at least in the United States, you won’t find ephedra with its primary alkaloid – ephedrine – in those products. That means going online to find it from other sources. A number of online dietary supplement stores today sell ephedra manufactured by numerous labs, but not all of them are created equal or are of good quality.


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Ephedra For Sale Online

Among the most popular online sources for ephedra today, consumers will find:

  • Ephedra Warehouse
  • Ephedra Outlet
  • iSupplements
  • Liveleantoday
  • Amazon
  • eBay

Dozens more can be found depending on major browsers depending on country. For example, punch in the keywords “ephedra for sale in Australia” or “ephedra for sale in the UK”, and consumers will find additional sources. Many supply to countries around the world.

Historically, ephedra and ephedrine products have been, and continue to be, among the most popular dietary products or components still use today.

What’s in ephedra or ephedrine that provides the benefits or triggers for accelerated weight loss, boosted energy output, or that jolt of alertness that so many are looking for?

The stimulative effect. As in the past, ephedra products continue to be among the most popular today, and as demand increases, so will supply. Hundreds of ephedra products are available around the world. Recommendations for use differ widely depending on the manufacturer and the ingredients found in their more popular products.

Defining Ephedra

Ephedra is a plant that grows primarily in Asia and in arid, dry conditions such as those found in the desert regions ranging from the United States down into Mexico, Central Europe, and portions of the Middle East.

Its chemical composition is composed of numerous alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and other components that provide a number of effects on humans.

Over 60 recognized species of ephedra grow naturally around the world today, with over 150 scientific, plant names, nicknames, and monikers given to a number of its more potent varieties.

One of the most well-known species of the ephedra plant is the sinica species, more commonly known as Chinese ephedra or Ma Huang. In Asian culture, the ephedra plant has been utilized for numerous millennia to treat a number of ailments. Its primary usage was for the relief of symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and overall “chest or nasal congestion” which today would also include allergies, and potentially even emphysema or COPD.

Historically, components of the ephedra plant ephedra contain stimulative alkaloids. Ephedrine is one of those alkaloids, a primary stimulant of the central nervous system. Ephedrine has a similar effect on the human body as adrenaline, primarily triggering an increase of activity within the nervous system, the heart, and dilating or opening blood vessels.


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Brief History of Use

Ephedra was not limited to its use as a traditional form of Chinese medicine. Mention of the herb has been found in manuscripts of ancient India and as a form of treatment in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Some evidence suggests that ephedra was also utilized by the Romans.

In the United States, pioneers traveling westward as well as settlers came upon the liquid concoction shown to them by groups of Native Americans. The American species of ephedra were often cultivated to brew what is commonly known today as “Mormon tea”.

It wasn’t until the 1940s that physicians traditionally turned to ephedra/ephedrine as an aggressive treatment for asthma.

In the past, two primary alkaloids of Ephedra – ephedrine and pseudoephedrine – were commonly found in over-the-counter products. However, some of the alkaloids found in the ephedra dietary products in the past were primarily synthetic in nature. The synthetic form of ephedrine was, and is, more potent than the levels of the ephedra and alkaloids typically found in the ephedra is sinica species.

In medical scenarios, ephedrine was, and in some locations, still is found in bronchodilator or asthma inhaler products including Primatene, while pseudoephedrine is a common component in allergy symptom products such as Sudafed.

In the 1980s, ephedra and its ephedrine component became more popular as a dietary product or weight-loss aid than as a bronchodilator. It was used by athletes to facilitate decline in fat ratios, as well as for weight loss for those looking for a quick fix or dropping pounds in a hurry – mainly for short term use. It was also used by students for that “kick” of energy that helped them stay up awake and study.

However, today’s users are interested in ephedra because of its noted thermogenic properties. Thermogenesis, or the production of heat, is a natural process of the body – a byproduct of energy formation at a cellular level. Thermogenesis is believed to be able to enhance metabolism and weight loss.

Thermogenesis is created when calories are consumed and these chemical interactions produce heat. Back in the day, one of the most popular ephedra products was Phen-fen, and its marketing as a fat burner and energy enhancer increased demand among those seeking accelerated weight loss.

At the time, it was believed that ephedra was even safer than caffeine in regard to its effects on the body, but as use increased along with misusage, overuse, and abuse, reports of alarming side effects and even life-threatening situations were reported.

The issue with ephedra for many was that it was and still is a “natural, herbal product”, and therefore is considered safe for sale both as an over-the-counter medication and within specific prescription products such as bronco inhalers. However, consumers should also be aware that even natural herbal products can cause negative side effects in the body, especially when they’re overused. Natural herbal products do have the potential to be toxic.

At any rate, as reports of side effects and adverse reactions, and even deaths were associated with use of ephedra with its ephedrine alkaloids, the United States Food and Drug Administration began sending out warning letters to manufacturers. They ultimately decided to ban ephedra and its alkaloids in the more potent of the ephedra species plants, most especially as components in the weight-loss drugs.

What do Reviews Have to Say About Ephedra Products?

Reviews found on supplement websites, especially those selling ephedra products, are mainly positive. A number of reviewers have stated that ephedra products should not be taken on an empty stomach, along with warnings of headaches, jitteriness, and nausea.

While reviews for various ephedra providing actual benefits differ among brands and products, as well as milligram strength, very few mention how they used the product or if other stimulative products like caffeine were used with them.

Some openly admitted to taking more than the recommended dosage to accelerate results. Some commented on varying results in regard to its appetite suppressing potential. Some experience jitters while others don’t. Some get nauseated while others don’t. A couple of reviewers stated that the ephedra product even gave them gas, and while their energy levels were enhanced, they didn’t lose any weight. Some even gained a few pounds.

Where Can I Find Ephedra for Sale Online?

As mentioned in the introduction, it’s not difficult today to find ephedra for sale online. A staggering number of brand names and products with different milligram strengths, instructions for use, as well as ingredients are found.

On one website alone, consumers can find a number of ephedra products, including but not limited to:

The above listings are just the tip of the iceberg. Cost of ephedra for sale online today ranges anywhere from $30-$50 a bottle, although pricing and number of tablets, caplets, or capsules found in the product will make a difference in costs.

Ingredients among these ephedra products also differ greatly. Some manufacturers use “proprietary blends” wherein specific ingredients are not always mentioned.

Ephedra products for sale today also may list ephedrine as a primary ingredient, but labels don’t always specify which species of the ephedra plant it comes from. The ephedra species differ in potency, and the same can apply to the synthetic forms of ephedra manufactured by legitimate pharmaceutical companies as well as underground labs.

Labeling regulations also differ by country, as does honesty in regard to labeling practices. The unreliability of labels, including products that contain numerous herbs and even substitutions are prevalent in the industry today. Of course, this does not apply to all manufacturers, but consumers are always encouraged to proceed with caution.

Because of the often-unknown amount of ingredients, or combinations of more than one stimulant in a product, it can be extremely difficult to recommend a safe yet effective dosage range.


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Dosage Suggestions

A lack of a specific dosage recommendation or standard for use of ephedra has also plagued consumers in regard to safety issues with use.

The FDA did attempt to provide regulations and dosage standards back in the late 1990s, specifying that anything more than 8 mg found in one serving qualified as an adulterated product. Or that taking more than 24 mg within six hours was deemed unacceptable and unsafe. However, the FDA and then rescinded that standard due to complaints of lack of evidence.

The issue regarding labeling was noted as a problem even before the ban, when it was determined that the ephedra milligram strength or content of ephedra in approximately twenty ephedra products were tested. It was determined that at least half of those products contained ephedra that was 20% more potent or higher than that stated on the label, and that at least one had 10 times the amount stated on the label based on the lot number. [2]

Dosage suggestions for ephedra products today are quite erratic. For example, Green Stinger, manufactured by Schwartz Labs, recommends two caplets per serving. Each serving in this product contains approximately 27 mg of ephedra extract.

Diablos ECA Fire Caps recommends one capsule per serving, and contains approximately 50 mg of ephedra extract (from the leaves, and as part of a specialized proprietary blend). It also contains over 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous – a dry, powdered form of caffeine – as well as another 275 mg of the proprietary blend.

Yet another product known as Rhino Rush Ephedra Shots (liquid), are available in a one fluid ounce serving sizes, with two servings per container. Each serving contains 100 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 894 mg of a proprietary blend.

Some products recommended that a consumer not exceed dosage recommendations, but not all do.

The milligram strength in many products found on US online stores today ranges anywhere from 10 mg ephedra components to over 50 mg, some as high as 150 mg. This depends on the type or species of ephedra extract found in the product.

In Canada, ephedra extract is not legal in dietary supplements, although small amounts of ephedra and its alkaloids are. Canada asserts its limits at 8 mg ephedrine per dose, not to exceed 32 mg daily.

The issue with finding ephedra for sale, even at with ephedra at the lower milligram strengths, is that products tend to combine more than one stimulant in with the ephedra product in an effort to make up for the lack of ephedrine.

Potential users should note that some of these ingredients used as an ephedra alternative can be just as dangerous as the ephedra and other ephedra alkaloids.

Safety Issues

Ephedra safety is not merely based on the milligram strength or the instructions for use found on a label. It comes down to quality control. In the United States, dietary supplements are recommended to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP standards), but not all of them do. The situation can grow even worse in foreign countries due to lack of government oversight and regulations on not only prescription products, but especially over-the-counter or herbal supplements.

According to the FDA, it has received an excess of complaints about ephedra than any other supplement, which is what led to the ultimate banishment of ephedrine alkaloids in 2004.

Even though ephedra has a relatively short half-life (averaging six hours for most), it affects different people differently, depending on sensitivity to the stimulant components of ephedra, its alkaloids, ephedrine alternatives used today as a replacement for the alkaloids in the original products.

A number of products today contain ephedra “substitutes” that can be as dangerous as ephedrine itself. One of those is Bitter Orange or Citrus aurantium. Bitter Orange, like Ma Huang, has been used as a treatment in traditional Chinese medicine for generations. It’s also been used by Amazon indigenous tribes as a treatment for indigestion and nausea. [3]

However, Bitter Orange today is an increasingly common ingredient found in ephedra products. When looking for ephedra for sale, read the label of ingredients.

Bitter Orange contains synephrine, also considered a potent stimulant similar to that of ephedrine and adrenaline. A number of studies involving Bitter Orange and its use as a component to dietary products has solicited questions regarding its safety.

One recent study assessed the effect of synephrine when used by itself and Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) combined with some form of caffeine. Most studies have determined that the combination is not deemed particularly dangerous until milligram strength of the synephrine exceeds 98 mg a day.

However, the milligram strength of Citrus aurantium found in some supplements exceeds 170 mg per serving. For some, a combination of ephedra, caffeine, Citrus aurantium, and other stimulative ingredients can increase the risk of negative side effects, adverse reactions, and for some, dangerous health events.

Side Effects

When used properly and according to label instructions, serious side effects with use of ephedra are relatively rare. As mentioned, the combination of ephedra with other stimulative products in one serving can excessively increase the risk of dangers.

Ephedra without the alkaloids is relatively safe but doesn’t contain the primary components of the other stimulative ingredients that contribute to the increased metabolism, boost in thermogenesis, or resulting fat burn that users mainly want. It is for this reason that the ephedra alternatives are included in most ephedra products today.

For some, side effects can be associated with sensitivity to caffeine. Among the more common and transitory side effects associated with ephedra for sale online today (regardless of milligram strength) include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Increased sense of nervousness or anxiety
  • Trembling in the hands or overall jitteriness
  • Suppressed appetite (depending on other components found in the ephedra product)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased heart rate (temporary – but if ongoing, seek medical attention!)

More serious side effects can also occur depending on ingredients, milligram strength, and frequency of use. Among the more serious side effects associated with ephedra:

  • Racing heart
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Potential stroke
  • Potential myocardial infarction

When looking for ephedra for sale with ephedrine, be aware of potential dangers of use, even when found in decongestant form.

One study determined that the decongestant products containing ephedrine could cause more than the above common side effects. Among the more serious adverse reactions included:

  • Transient cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
  • Vasospasms [4] (vasoconstriction or narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood flow. This could lead to ischemia and tissue death. A cerebral vasoconstriction or spasm can trigger a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage.

Another study determined potential for myocardial necrosis and ventricle dysfunction with a long-term ephedrine abuse due to its behavior similar to amphetamines with effects on the sympathomimetic system, which includes heart rate. When abused, ephedrine has been noted to contribute to [5]:

  • Neuropathy
  • Addiction
  • Myocarditis
  • Arrhythmias
  • Psychosis

Conclusion

While most people looking for ephedra for sale are thinking more about the benefits when it comes to weight loss than potential for side effects, both must always be considered.

Ephedra may help some loose initial weight, but no studies have determined that anything more than minimal weight loss within a six-month timeframe is possible without also including a balanced and nutritious diet, increased exercise, and decreased caloric intake.

Ephedra for sale is marketed as a near “miracle” product that suggests a potential for extreme weight loss, amazing boost in energy, and success. The effects of ephedra are temporary in nature, meaning a few hours. After the effects of the ephedra wears off, the body metabolism and functions (unless damaged), return to normal.

When looking for ephedra for sale, read the label of ingredients. Know and understand what each of those ingredients to, especially the ephedra alternatives. Research medical sources to determine what others have to say about ephedra and its overall efficacy.

Those looking for ephedra for sale will find a massive number of products to choose from. Following purchase, individuals start at the lowest dosage possible to gauge reactions to the ingredients.


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