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Ephedra

Ephedra (Joint Fir)


More Information About Ephedra

In the US, Ephedra is usually associated with the Mormons, who made tea from a native version of this leafless sub-shrub. However, the genus Ephedra actually has a worldwide distribution with its 40 species present in the western US, western South America, North Africa, and in a wide band from Spain eastward to China. In addition to Mormon tea, Ephedra is famous for being the source of a powerful amphetamine-like stimulant called ephedrine, which is currently banned in the US for safety reasons.

Various species within the genus have been used medicinally by the Chinese for over 7000 years, and there is even evidence that Neanderthals used Ephedra in burial rituals over 60,000 years ago. The powerful herbal stimulant ephedrine is derived from the Asian species of Ephedra