*Ma Huang Tea is made from Ephedra, banned by the FDA. 

Ma Huang is the Chinese name for the herb Ephedra. While it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since the third century BC, research has shown the use of Ephedra to be dangerous. In China, the herb was used in small quantities to help ease congestion related to colds, asthma and respiratory disorders.

The active component of Ephedra is an alkaloid. Research has shown the effects of this alkaloid to be similar to the properties of adrenaline.

As a result, some have purported that Ephedra could help promote weight loss. Yet this claim has not been substantiated.

The Chinese used the herb in small quantities and advocated regulated use. Yet, Ephedra has been linked to grave health problems including stroke, seizures, cardiac arrest, and death.

While some people may experience no ill effects, their number is far lesser than those who complain of adverse side effects. Increased heart rate, for instance, is common even at recommended levels of dosage.

Conditions such as nervousness, anxiety and insomnia are frequently experienced at high doses or prolonged use.

Among the less common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, headache, kidney stones, problematic and/or painful urination, and muscle cramps.

The prevalence of these side effects led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce initial control measures and then conduct research into the safety of the herbal remedy. Finding's from studies caused the FDA to ban all products containing Ephedra, including Ma Huang tea.

This article was written by Kevin Stith of

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