If you’ve been involved in the bodybuilding industry for more than ten years, you probably already know about this contentious issue and the background surrounding it. For those who are unaware, Ephedra Sinica was formerly known as ma huang and was a plant that was utilized for many years in traditional Chinese herbal therapy. Asthma, low blood pressure, bronchitis, and other conditions were all treated with it. It wasn’t until 1885 that a Japanese chemist synthesized the ephedra plant to isolate the active ingredient known as ephedrine.It was discovered in America that this synthetic plant element, which was being sold in Asia by the 1920s, was a very potent stimulant that could aid in weight loss in addition to the purposes listed above.
Ephedrine was taken by bodybuilders, professional athletes, and everyday people to help them lose weight, control their appetites, and improve their performance in the gym throughout the second half of the 20th century.
The FDA didn’t propose that ephedrine and all other ephedra alkaloids were dangerous for unrestricted use until 2004 in response to isolated incidents of users suffering heart attacks after overdosing. The FDA outlawed the sale of ephedrine in all over-the-counter dietary supplements in the US in 2006 (the UK and EU soon followed). Since then, the drug has been sold behind the counter of pharmacies in tiny quantities, a certain number of times per month, with a complete record of the customer.
While some assume the FDA prohibited these goods for consumer safety, others claim it was because they were used to make the illegal substance methamphetamine. The effectiveness of ephedrine in promoting weight loss and its safety will be discussed in this fairly contentious essay.