Ephedra: Ma huang vs. Mormon tea.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: chinese herbs vs western herbs
From: Henriette Kress <hetta.saunalahti.fi>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 22:00:31 +0200

Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale <krystagr.mnsi.net> wrote:
>I have used both, and to tell you the truth, many of them are the same old "western" herbs under a different name! The western herb Ephedra is the chinese herb Ma Huang.

Not quite. Ma Huang is Ephedra sinensis or similar species, found in China. Ephedra is a genus of primitive plants, found in Eurasia and North America.

The North American species do not contain any ephedrine to speak of. The Eurasian ones (including the collection of species sold as "Ma Huang") do.

The North American Ephedras are thus completely harmless. Mormon tea, anyone?