Ephedra ( 麻黄 ) ...Chinese Herb...

Latin Plant Name

Ephedra Sinensis

Pinyin Mandarin Name

Ma Huang

Common English Name


Part of Plant Used

Twigs and stems




Acrid, bitter

Meridians Entered

Lungs, Bladder

Common Usages

Ephedra is one of the major herbs used to treat wheezing (TCM: poor Lung Qi circulation). It is also used in formulas that induce sweating where there are symptoms of fever with no sweating, together with chills and headache (TCM: exterior cold); also used to treat asthma and allergies (TCM: wind-cold conditions).

Traditional Usages and Functions

eleases exterior and disperses cold; facilitates normal circulation of Lung Qi and controls wheezing; promotes urination and reduces edema.

Common Formulas Used In

Ma Huang; Pueraria Combination.

Processing Required



Avoid using at night. Ephedra is a mild stimulant and may interfere with sleep, especially if the person already has insomnia.

Cautions in Use

Do not use this herb where there is high blood pressure or cardiac asthma. Use with caution in deficient conditions with chronic sweating or wheezing.

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