Ephedra Nebrodensis Extract Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Review
Ephedra nebrodensis is a species of ephedra plant that grows predominantly throughout the Mediterranean region.
This plant may also be known by the names Ephedra major Host, E. Atlantica, E. Equisetiformis, E. Graeca, E. Scoparia, and E. Villarsii.
Ephedra nebrodensis is not as well-known as other species of ephedra plant but has been studied for its medicinal properties. The stems, fruit and leaves of this plant may be brewed into a tea or used in herbal supplements.
This species is considered to be one of the best sources of the ephedrine alkaloid, with the stems containing a 2.5% alkaloid content and 75% of that being ephedrine.
The whole plant is used in traditional medicine for its stimulating properties. It is considered to be a pungent, bitter, warm herb in Chinese medicine that is used to open the bronchial vessels and increase heart rate and central nervous system activity.
While ephedra is most commonly used today for weight loss and athletic performance enhancement, this plant was historically used to treat asthma, hay fever and allergies. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Today, over 60 species of ephedra plants that grow around the world have been officially recognized by botanists. Over 150 synonyms, traditional English, as well as Spanish, Greek, Asian, and European “nicknames” have been given to these plants.
Ephedra Nebrodensis is a dioecious shrub that can grow up to 2 meters in height. This species typically grows throughout the Mediterranean region but is also found in mountainous areas of Turkey, Iran, and in the mountains of Greece. It also grows along the southern edge of the Balkan Peninsula.
This species is identified as being similar to ephedra major, and ephedra foeminea. A subspecies of ephedra nebrodensis also exists, known as E. procera.
Ephedra Nebrodensis is a source of ephedrine alkaloids and may be used in performance-boosting supplements or in slimming agents. Depending on where you live, ephedra products may be regulated as controlled substances. Use of ephedrine alkaloids is banned in dietary supplements in the USA.
Mechanism of Action
The properties of different ephedra plants are determined by the alkaloid content of their extracts. The content and concentration of alkaloids in ephedra varies greatly depending on the species being harvested, where it is grown, which part of the plant is used, time of year it is cultivated, local soil and climate conditions and more.
The following is a comparison of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine content of different species of this plant based on milligrams per gram of dry weight :
E. major – ephedrine 16.3 mg and pseudoephedrine 14.3 mg, for a total alkaloid content of 30.6 mg per gram.
E. distachya – ephedrine 11.4 mg and pseudoephedrine 9.4 mg, for a total alkaloid content of 20.8 mg per gram.
Ephedra Nebrodensis is considered to be a potent version of the plant and a good source of alkaloids.
According to one research study, this plant exhibits antioxidant, antihistaminic, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, hypotensive and stimulant properties. 
The primary medicinal uses of this plant have been for the treatment of lung and breathing issues, such as asthma or bronchitis.
Others uses include treatment of allergic reactions, hay fever relief, and temporary alleviation of chest tightness and nasal congestion. Some cultures use ephedra to stimulate blood flow.
The parts of the plant used for medicinal purposes include the stems, leaves, fruit and roots. The plant is often prepared into a tea. This plant produces a small, berry-like edible fruit which is used as food in some areas.
Ephedra Nebrodensis for Weight Loss and Energy
Ephedra is most commonly used today to stimulate fat loss and increase mental and physical energy.
The potential for a given species of ephedra to promote weight loss or energy enhancement depends on the level of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in that species.
Ephedrine is a Central Nervous System stimulant that works by activating beta-receptors throughout the body. It mimics some of the effects of adrenaline (epinephrine), which is a hormone that we release in periods of stress or excitement.
As a sympathomimetic agent, ephedrine can accelerate your heart rate, increase blood pressure, and increase thermogenesis or heat production in the body. These acute effects can result in greater energy metabolism, causing you to burn more calories.
Research shows that ephedrine can promote modest weight loss, appetite suppression and athletic performance enhancement. Such benefits may be more notable in a person with an already lean body compared to someone who is overweight or obese.
Increased metabolism does not always equate to faster weight loss. Many factors can affect energy balance and body fat composition. While short-term increases in metabolic rate may contribute to temporary weight loss, diet and exercise interventions are required to maintain fat loss results.
Individuals taking ephedra nebrodensis, in an effort to lose weight or boost energy should be aware of potential side effects.
Safety and Negative Effects
Use of ephedrine is banned in many parts of the world due to the high risk of dangerous effects. Excess dosages of this plant alkaloid can contribute to heart attack, stroke, seizures or death.
It is generally believed that using the whole ephedra herb is less likely to cause adverse effects compared to consumption of pure synthetic ephedrine HCL. However, side effects can still occur when taking E. nebrodensis.
It is recommended to always follow safe dosage guidelines when using this herb and to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking it. Do not combine this product with other stimulants until you have gauged your initial sensitivity to its effects.
Some of the side effects experienced by individuals using ephedra include:
- Blurred vision
- Heart palpitations
- Racing heart
- Excessive sweating
- Anxiety or nervousness
Always use this herb with caution and discretion. Not everyone will experience the same benefits nor side effects when taking products that contain Ephedra nebrodensis.
This product may not be appropriate for everyone. Individual who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or other medications should consult with a doctor first to learn about potential drug interactions.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism or glaucoma should consult with a doctor before using this product. The risk of serious adverse effects may be higher in people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Combining ephedra extract with other stimulants like Bitter Orange (which contains p-synephrine) and caffeine can increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects. Misuse or overuse of this product can cause dangerous reactions, such as
- Faster than normal heart rate – tachycardia
- Irregular heart rate – arrhythmia
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Potential seizures
- Increased risk of stroke
Ephedra nebrodensis has long been used in traditional medicine and is generally well tolerated when taking in a whole-herb form at reasonable dosages. However, the ephedrine content in this plant can be dangerous if taken by certain individuals or used as excessively high dosages for weight loss.
- Saida Ibragic, Emin Sofić. Chemical composition of various Ephedra species. Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2015 Aug; 15(3): 21-27 doi: 10.17305/bjbms.2015.539
- Ballero M, Foddis C, Sanna C, Scartezzini P, Poli F, Petitto V, Serafini M, Stanzione A, Bianco A, Serilli AM, Spina L, Longoni R, Kasture S. Pharmacological activities on Ephedra nebrodensis Tineo. Nat Prod Res. 2010 Jul;24(12):1115-24. doi: 10.1080/14786410802680902.