Natural Remedies for Losing Weight – Ephedra
Most natural remedies, or over-the-counter (OTC) herbal medicines for weight loss have appetite suppressants in them. That only makes sense, as you want to stop eating as much. The appetite killers trick your body into thinking it's not really hungry. Short-term use isn't bad. Long-term use can lead to serious problems. Despite taking any of these natural remedies for losing weight, you still need to make major changes in your diet and exercise program.
One of the more commonly used OTC natural weight loss remedies is Ephedra, aka Ma-Huang harvested from the Ephedra sinica plant. Interestingly enough, this plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years for asthma, hay fever and the common cold. Native Americans and Mormon pioneers drank Mormon Tea, brewed from Ephedra. In 2004, it was banned after it came under fire for dangerous side effects and was cited as the culprit in several deaths. As of February 2007, the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra is illegal in the USA. If you think this would work for you in your weight loss program, then the best thing to do is talk to your Doctor. It's better to be fully informed than to get a nasty surprise.
Ma Huang or Ephedra has been commonly found in herbal dietary supplements for years. It also happens to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine (speed). Its greatest claim to fame was that it suppressed the appetite so you would not eat as much – which would mean you'd lose weight, but it has not been clinically proven to be effective in weight loss. Which is also interesting, because Ephedra is a stimulant and thermogenic. The brain is stimulated, heart rate increased, blood pressure increased and bronchial tubes expand. The thermogenic properties cause an increase in metabolism, which will usually start to burn off body fat. While this all sounds good, the down side to this natural remedy for losing weight is that it could literally kill you. Either because of the side effects, or because of a drug interaction with something else you may be taking. Seriously consider if this is really something you want to try.