Ephedra Powder Use, Dosages, Risks & Buying Online [Ma Huang]
Can you buy bulk ephedra powder online to prepare your own ECA stack for fat loss?
Ephedra Sinica extract is banned as an ingredient in dietary supplements due to its ephedrine content. In 2004, the FDA ruled that ephedrine was too dangerous for use in supplements and removed it from the market.
However, this ban only applies to products sold as dietary supplements. Herbal medicine practitioners are still allowed to sell it in various preparations including liquid tinctures, concentrated extracts, whole herb and as a bulk powder.
These products are difficult to find in local health stores but may be sold by licensed Chinese herbalists or some online specialty retailers. However, note that not all forms of ephedra powder will contain the active ephedrine alkaloids. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedra is an herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. More recently, it has been used as a diet and weight loss aid and to enhance athletic performance.
While this was once one of the most popular ingredients in diet pills, in April 2004 the FDA instituted a ban on the sale of this product in nutritional supplements.
The FDA argued that there was a link between use of this ingredient and serious adverse effects including heart attack, stroke and seizure. There was much debate about this decision, with many arguing that ephedra could be used safely if it was taken responsibly under doctor supervision.
However, those in favor of restriction prevailed and it was determined that any supplement product containing ephedrine alkaloids has to be removed from the market.
This ban only covered use of the product as a dietary supplement. It did not actually make the raw ephedra herb illegal, nor did it affect preparations commonly sold by herbalists.
Specifically, bulk ephedra powder was still legal under the ban. Many bodybuilders who wanted to continue taking this ingredient switched to buying it as a raw powder.
For example, one site Ohio Botanicals used to carry this product but advertised it as a “Botanical specimen sold to adults only with no directions for use.” They sold a Ephedra Sinica Leaf 10:1 Extract Powder which means it contains 10 oz of leaf condensed into 1 oz of powder.
Even though this is still legal, it has gotten harder to find legitimate sources of real ephedra sinica powder. A number of suppliers that used to carry it now list it as “Out of Stock” due to issues with the supply chain.
There are some online vendors that claim to carry this ingredient, but quality control is often an issue. It is often difficult to determine the ephedrine content of any powdered products or whether an extract contains the active alkaloids at all.
The Problems with Ephedra Powder
Ma Huang and ephedra extract powders are advertised by a number of different online retail portals, including eBay, Alibaba and specialty herbal vendors such as the Botanical Spirit shop.
Many of these products carry a disclaimer that “This organic product is sold for herbaria collection and scientific research only.”
Some of these products do provide information regarding the source of their extract as well as the alkaloid content, but not all suppliers do. For example, one supplier advertises a “2:1 Full Spectrum Extract” of Ephedra Sinica yielding 4-6% pure alkaloids.
Other suppliers may list generic ephedra powder, but may not tell you how the powder has been processed or what the alkaloid content is. There are many different species of this herb and not all of them promote the same effects.
For example, ephedra sinica (Ma Huang) is the species commonly used in Chinese medical practices. This species contains the highest amount of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine alkaloids out of the plants that have been identified.
Ephedra Nevadensis (Mormon Tea) is a species that is native to the United States and used traditionally to treat allergies, hay fever, respiratory tract conditions, bronchospasm, asthma, flu, fever and more. This species does not contain any of the ephedrine alkaloids.
Using these extracts can be problematic if you do not now how much ephedrine is contained in a single dose. If buying from overseas suppliers, you also run the risk of purchasing low-quality product that has not been tested for the presence of heavy metals, bacterial contaminants or impurities.
These products may be manufactured in India and China where quality control regulations are not stringently enforced. If you intend to put these products into your body, you run the risk of serious side effects.
When it comes to purchasing powder in bulk be aware of certain questionable practices:
- Substituted ingredients and/or components
- Mislabeled ingredients
- Questionable quality
- Potential for contaminants
- Questionable fillers in the product
Bulk Ephedrine Powder
Can you still buy bulk ephedrine powder online? Bodybuilders who stack multiple supplements together are used to buying ingredients in powder form at wholesale prices.
However, you should not expect to be able to find pure ephedrine in powder form from vendors in the United States. This ingredient is illegal to sell as a bulk powder and importations are subject to strict scrutiny.
Ephedrine is the active alkaloid found in the ephedra plant. It is also used as an ingredient in drugs to treat intermittent asthma and sinus congestion. For example, Bronkaid and Primatene are two over-the-counter brands of this product that you can buy in pharmacies in the USA.
These products contain the active ingredient Ephedrine HCL which is a controlled substance in the USA. While you do not need a prescription to purchased finished products that contain small amounts of this compound, its sale is heavily restricted.
Bodybuilders often do not know this, but the main reason is that ephedrine is also used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. To restrict the diversion of this ingredient into the illegal drug trade, there have been strict restrictions on the sale of bulk ephedrine powder in the USA since 1988.
If you happen across a supplier offering to sell you pure ephedrine HCL as an unfinished powder, do not buy this product. You may face serious legal penalties and find yourself under investigation for the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
What Does Ephedrine Do in the Body?
Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine, which means that it mimics physiological effects of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Some of the involuntary functions regulated by the SNS include:
- Cardiovascular function
Ephedrine is a common component found in a number of bronchodilator asthma medications. When used as a bronchodilator or for the relief of asthma symptoms, ephedrine is often combined with guaifenesin.
Guaifenesin acts as an expectorant, relieving the build-up of mucus in the lungs and promotes coughing to get rid of it, while the ephedrine opens up airways and nasal passages.
Ephedrine has the potential to stimulate certain adrenergic receptors in the body. These receptors are found in the lungs, and when stimulated by ephedrine, dilate or widen, facilitating increased airflow and easier breathing.
The primary purpose for which ephedrine is used by athletes, bodybuilders, or dieters today is not merely to increase oxygenation, but to accelerate metabolism.
Research shows that use of this compound can stimulate a higher BMR and cause users to burn more calories throughout the day. It also boosts energy levels, physical endurance and performance.
This is facilitated through ephedrine’s ability to also stimulate cardiovascular function. It increases blood pressure, heart rate and circulation. However, this same mechanism of action can put dangerous strain on the heart muscle.
For this reason, ephedrine is carefully regulated today. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, followed by other countries around the world, banned the sale of weight-loss supplements containing ephedra and its alkaloids.
The ban was initiated due to the misuse, overuse, and abuse of ephedrine, causing a number of alarming side effects and cardiovascular issues.
Dosages for Ephedra Powder
If you are able to buy authentic ephedra powder from a qualified herbalist in your area, follow dosage guidelines provided for you. The recommended dose will depend on the potency and concentration for the specific product you are using.
For example, some sellers will provide a 1:1 extract of ephedra sinica, which means it has not be processed in any way to make it stronger. These products may provide 2-3% active alkaloids, depending on the part of the plant used.
Others may provide a 2:1 extract, which means that 2 oz of dried leaf has been processed into 1 oz of ephedra extract. These products may provide 4-6% alkaloids per dose.
The recommended dosage will be determined by the amount of ephedrine provided per serving. Users typically take between 8-24 mg of ephedrine at a time for weight loss and energy. This ingredient may also be stacked with caffeine, aspirin or yohimbine.
Not all species of this plant contain ephedrine. Given the significant variations possible in terms of potency, it is recommended to start at the lowest possible dose to gauge how this product affects you.
Side Effects Warnings
A number of side effects warnings and cautions about contraindications and potential interactions must be considered. Use of ephedrine or ephedra powder can contribute to a number of adverse reactions.
Ephedrine can have a detrimental effect on central nervous system function as well as cardiovascular activity. Because it behaves primarily as a stimulant, users are forewarned of:
- Headaches, often severe and long-lasting
- Nausea, sometimes inducing vomiting
- Increased and often uncomfortable sense of anxiousness, nervousness, or tremors/jitters
- Heart palpitations, accelerated heart rate, pounding heart, and irregular heart rate
Some users of ephedrine have commented that for them, the side effects are so intense that they couldn’t complete their workout. Many have to discontinue use of this product due to severity of negative effects.
Consult with a doctor before taking this product to determine whether it is appropriate for you. At the very least, use discretion and caution when purchasing ephedra powder. Side effects often outweigh potential benefits.