Ephedra

Does Ephedra Nevadensis Promote FAT LOSS? [Side Effects & Review]

How effective is Ephedra nevadensis in weight loss and dietary supplements? Is it better than other species?

Ephedra Nevadensis is a species of this plant that is native to the United States. It is commonly sold in herbal tea preparations and is sometimes used as an ingredient in fat loss products.

Ephedra diet pills were all the rage for almost three decades between the 1970s and 1990s, popular for their weight loss and energy boosting effects.

Ephedra alkaloids were then banned by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004.

However, consumers have been confused about the safety issues that prompted the FDA to ban the ephedra alkaloids (mainly ephedrine) from such products in the first place. Where such issues blown way out of proportion?

The FDA ban primarily targeted species like Ephedra Sinica which contains a higher proportion of the active ingredient Ephedrine. How does the Ephedra Nevadensis extract compare and does it have the same effects, benefits and safety concerns? Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.


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Ephedra Nevadensis Plant

Ephedra NevadensisEphedra nevadensis, otherwise known as Nevada ephedra, grows in the United States, particularly the American southwest, but is also known to grow throughout Northern California and Oregon.

It’s a perennial shrub that belongs to the Ephedraceae family, described as the genus Ephedra L. or jointfir, and its specific scientific name for the species, Ephedra nevadensis.

It’s known by a number of other names (and spelling variations) as well that include Joint fir and Mormon tea. According to Western lore, the plant’s stems were often used as a substitute for true coffee by pioneers making their way westward. It was brewed like tea.

Some historical references to the “Mormon tea” brew state that it was extremely bitter and very difficult to drink, requiring a healthy dose of honey or sugar. Other nicknames such as Squaw tea and Cowboy tea imply that it’s use was not limited to the Mormons.

It is believed that the Native Americans, who also made use of the medicinal properties of ephedra nevadensis, showed the pioneers how to use it.

Benefits of Ephedra Nevadensis

Traditional folklore medicine has existed for thousands of years, and for good reason. Even today, drug manufacturers look to nature to manufacture drugs to treat a number of medical conditions.

Back in the day, Ephedra nevadensis was deemed beneficial in the treatment of a number of health issues [1]:

  • As a tonic
  • As a blood purifier
  • In a poultice for the treatment of wounds. Stems pounded into a powder were placed on a wound.
  • As a treatment for VD (there is reference to the Ephedra nevadensis brew being called “Whorehouse tea”)
  • As a diuretic

Many used Ephedra nevadensis to treat urinary system complaints. Some concoctions of this ephedra species were also made into infusions used to treat venereal diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis, as well as a variety of kidney problems.


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Ephedra Nevadensis Mechanism of Action

While Ephedra nevadensis is not the most potent forms of ephedra, its berries and other parts of the plant have been used in a number of ways. The fruit of the plant could be eaten raw, although the seeds were often cooked.

The seeds are known to have had a bitter taste but they were roasted and then pounded down into a fine powder and sprinkled into drink or onto food. The green or dried twigs were steeped in boiling water until the water turned a slight pink color. [2]

Today, even though it doesn’t contain potent alkaloids like ephedrine, Mormon tea is most commonly used, and can provide benefits, for treatment of sinus issues, acting as a decongestant or bronchodilator.

This species of ephedra, while providing a mild, caffeine-like stimulative effect on the body, is not typically a species that a person would turn to for much of a boost for weight loss or energy production.

However, it is one of the few species of this herb that can be legally used in supplements precisely because it does not naturally contain ephedrine. This is a bit of a contradiction – like drinking decaffeinated coffee and hoping that it will increase your energy.


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Difference between Ephedra Species

Not all ephedra species are created equal in regard to its alkaloids components, nor the potency of those components.

One of the strongest, and most well-known is the sinica species, otherwise known as Chinese ephedra or Ma Huang. The sinica herbal extract contains potent levels of plant alkaloids:

  • Ephedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Norpseudoephedrine
  • Norephedrine
  • Methylephedrine
  • Methylpseudoephedrine

The North American ephedra species, primarily Ephedra nevadensis, contains little to no alkaloids. [3]

For this reason, it appears that a number of ephedra-based products on the market today that do have the higher milligram strength of ephedra extract are likely made with this species rather than the sinica species.

It’s the alkaloids in ephedra, primarily ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, that give the product its energy producing effect and that also aided in weight loss.

However, these same alkaloids also resulted in dangerous side effects, long-term adverse reactions and other serious issues when the fat loss supplements were taken in high dosages, consumed with other stimulants or used by people with pre-existing health conditions.

Best Ephedra Weight Loss and Energy Producing Products?

Today’s supplement products that contain ephedra extract have grown increasingly popular, while still maintaining legality due to the removal of the ephedra alkaloids from the product.

However, it should be noted that the majority of products on the market today, while listing ephedra extract as one of its primary components, often neglect to mention which species the ephedra extract comes from.

For this reason, it can be difficult to know how much “bang for your buck” you’re going to get when it comes to this plant component.

In addition, the ephedra products sold in the US and many countries around the world today (without the alkaloids) often substitute other ingredients for their stimulative effect on the central nervous system, primarily:

  • Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium) -one of its components is p-Synephrine, which acts as a potent stimulant
  • Caffeine anhydrous – dry, powdered form of caffeine
  • Other stimulative herbal ingredients

The milligram and microgram strength of additional ingredients such as those listed above can have a huge influence over the thermogenic, fat-burning, and energy-producing potential of any ephedra product.

Conclusion

There is a difference between Ephedra nevadensis and other species of the family of plants. The most important thing: read the ingredients label. Be aware of how the components work and what kinds of effects they have on the body.

Start at the lowest dosage to determine how the body reacts to it.

Even though the Ephedra nevadensis species is not noted for its potency, when combined with other ingredients, it can cause a number of stimulative effects on the body that may aid weight loss and energy production – but it won’t work all by itself.

Diet and adequate amounts of exercise and exercise intensity are always recommended with use of ephedra, including those that contain Ephedra nevadensis.


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References
  1. Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany. Timber Press. Oregon. 1998 ISBN 0-88192-453-9
  2. Plants For A Future. Ephedra nevandensis – S. Watson
  3. Sigma-Aldrich. Ephedra (Ephedra sinica).
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