Ephedra is a favorite component of diet pills and weight loss products sold across the globe and used by both men and women. But many of the supplements on the market actually contain a type of ephedra that has been proven impotent as a fat burner. If you look closely at the ingredients list of certain supplements such as “Green Stinger” you will see the name “Ephedra Viridis” printed. To the uninformed, this might not raise your suspicion but in fat this type of ephedra is a far cry from what is considered real ephedra.
Ephedra Viridis – also known as Green Ephedra, Brigham Tea or Mormon Tea – is a plant that grows natively in southwestern USA, especially in California and Nevada. It is recognizable as a short, spikey shrub with thin jointed branches with small leaves and pollen cones resembling red berries along its stems. Tea made from the herb has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans, Mormons and Spanish settlers in the Southwest. It is believed to act as a diuretic and was used in the treatment of urinary tract infections and syphilis.
Most people do not recognize distinctions between the thirty-six different species of the ephedra plant, but there are vastly different characteristics among this plant family. Typically, ephedra is used to refer to a particular species of this herb known as ephedra sinica or Ma Huang in Chinese. Ephedra Sinica has been used as far back as 60,000 years ago in Asian communities for its medicinal properties, acting as a bronchodilator and decongestant. It was not until the early 1900’s that scientists really began investigating what made this plant work and in doing so discovered the compound ephedrine.
While this compound was originally marketed as an allergy and asthma symptom reliever, it has now become synonymous with weight loss. Ephedrine was found to have adrenalin-like effects on the body, causing a substantial increase to the metabolism and a higher percentage of fat being burned for fuel. As a result, ephedra became one of the best-selling diet aides for anyone who needed to lose weight, but also for bodybuilders who wanted to cut their fat tissue while building muscle mass. But when ephedra sinica was banned by the FDA in 2004, the diet industry quickly scrambled to find a replacement for this powerful fat burner.
Many companies updated their formulas to use other legal versions of ephedra and the market was flooded with clone products. While these supplements made all of the same bold claims that were possible with ephedra sinica, it was quickly discovered that all of these products were missing a key ingredient: ephedrine. Ephedra viridis may be in the same genetic family as the real Chinese ma huang, but it is actually ephedrine-free. This was determined by a comprehensive analysis of the plant by the FDA only a few years ago. Up until this point, most people believed that ephedra viridis did contain ephedrine alkaloids, but we now know this to be false.
So what does this mean for helping you achieve that slim and toned body that you have always wanted. Unfortunately, if you’re buying an ephedra viridis weight loss product your results will be limited at best. There is, however, a legal and safe option for those who want to tap into the power of the original ephedra. In the United States, Canada, and the UK it is legal to purchase pure ephedrine HCL so long as it is sold in 8 mg doses and labelled for the purposes of nasal decongestion. This is the key ingredient responsible for providing ephedra’s metabolic boost and studies have shown taking pure ephedrine with caffeine can result in 2.6 lb. of average weight loss per month. Your results will be even better if you exercise and eat a healthy diet while taking this supplement.
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