Ephedrine HCL is used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, and to treat hypotension associated with anaesthesia. Also used with diet plans for weight loss. Ephedrine has been used from the ancient era to cure cold, seasonal allergies, asthma and also as the main composition of weight loss supplements.
Ephedrine is a natural substance contained in some herbs. Ephedra known as Ma Huang contains ephedrine. Ephedra sinica known in Chinese as Ma Huang. This herb has been used in the traditional Chinese medicine for more than 5,000 years for the treatment of hay fever and asthma. This plant contains also pseudoephedrine. Ephedrine is contained in Sida Cordifolia’s leaves. Sida cordifolia native to India but spread to Africa, Australia, United States etc… It contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, but less than 2% found in the leaves.
Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine. Amine is an organic compound containing a basic nitrogen atom, derivative of ammonia. Sympathomimetic means that this amine is producing physiological effects analog to those caused by the sympathetic nervous system, which is a part of the nervous system originating in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord. In this case it inhibits the physiological effects of another part of the nervous system, tending to reduce digestive secretions, speed up the heart, and contract the blood vessels.
Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are alkaloids which is defined as naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms (cf. amine). Alkaloids are often used as medications or drugs due to their pharmacological effects. In this large group we have the very well known caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, morphine, quinine, and ephedrine. Ephedrine is a chemical substance present in the leaves of an herb called Ephedra or Ma Huang, which has physiological effects on digestive, heart and blood pressure functions.
How does it work?
You should be familiar with adrenaline. The fight or flight hormone. Noradrelanine is its cousin, and that they both target adrenergic receptors in many cells, in other words, when these substances are released in your body, the adrenergic receptors will react. Ephedrine will cause your heart rate will increase, your pupils will dilate, your blood will be directed to your important muscles. We react to threats or stimuli with a general discharge of the nervous system, urging them to defend or to escape.
The link with ephedrine is because of it being a sympathomimetic alkaloid, ephedrine will work by increasing the activity of noradrenaline on adrenergic receptors. In other words, it will cause your brain to discharge neurotransmitters to some of your cells which will react in an adrenaline rush.