how much ephedrine is in ma huang tea

how much ephedrine is in ma huang tea

How Much Ephedrine is in Ma Huang Tea?

Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) is an herb commonly found in traditional Chinese medicines and certain teas. Ma Huang is also known as Chinese Ephedra, an ancient chinese remedy containing ephedrine-like alkaloids.

These alkaloids are the active ingredients which provide the desirable effects of the herb, and since their discovery many years ago, Ma Huang has been used for the relief of asthma and allergies.

What are Ephedra Alkaloids?

Ephedra alkaloids are chemical compounds found within the plant, most notably ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. When taken by mouth, these alkaloids act as stimulants on the central nervous system, producing an energizing effect.

Both ephedrine and pseudoephedrine also possess a number of other medical benefits, including treating various ailments and conditions such as asthma, allergies, and bronchitis.

How Much Ephedrine is in Ma Huang Tea?

Ma Huang tea typically contains a 0.08 – 0.2% concentration of active ephedrine alkaloids. This means that a single teaspoon of Ma Huang tea will contain anywhere between 0.04 – 0.1 mg of ephedrine.

Potential Side Effects

Because ephedrine is a stimulant, it can interact with certain medications, including high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, anticoagulants, and allergy medications. Other potential side effects include:

  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision

If you are considering taking Ma Huang tea, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider first, as the plant can interact with other medications you are taking. In addition, it is generally recommended to keep the recommended doses lower than the doses found in standardized extracts of Ma Huang.

Therefore, it is important to remember that the amount of ephedrine in Ma Huang tea varies significantly, depending on the particular tea and method of preparation, and it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and to discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking it.


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