In the past, ma huang was commonly used as a weight loss pill. However, it was banned in the United States because it caused dangerous and even life-threatening side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and seizures. There is no dose of ma huang that is considered safe and effective. If you take too much of this substance, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.
What Is Ma Huang?
Ma huang (also known as ephedra) is a naturally occurring substance that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It was popular as a weight loss supplement, until it was banned in the United States due to safety concerns. Ma huang is still allowed in traditional Chinese medicine and in food products, such as tea.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed November 21, 2007.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Ephedra consumer advisory (October 2004). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/alerts/ephedra/pdf/ephedra.pdf. Accessed November 21, 2007.
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