Herba Ephedrae


The herbaceous stem of Ephedra sinica Stapf, E. intermedia Schrenk et C.A. Mey. and E. equisetina Bunge, family Ephedraceae.

Stem slender-cylindrical, branching; bark yellow-green finely and longitudinally ridges; nodes noticeable, with membranous scale leaves; dull red pith seen at the cut surface. Acrid and slightly bitter in taste, warm in nature, and attributive to lung and urinary bladder channels.

1. Induce sweating to expel the exogenous evils from the body surface: For common cold of wind-cold type with superficial sthenia syndrome manifested as chilliness, moderate fever and anhidrosis.
2. Open the inhibited lung-energy and relieve dyspnea: For cough and dyspnea due to wind-cold and stagnation of lung-energy. Usually used together with Semen Armeniacae Amarum and Radix Glycyrrhizae.
3. Promote diuresis to reduce edema: For edema, especially in the upper half of the body or those with superficial wind-cold syndrome.
4. Open the nasal passage, let out the skin eruptions, and alleviate itching: For stuffy nose, allergic rhinitis, urticaria attributive to invasion of wind cold, and incomplete measles eruption.

Pharmacological Action
Ephedrine is the main active component.
1. Its effects on cardiovascular system are similar to epinephrine in many aspects, but persist seven to ten times longer. The myocardial contractility and cardiac output are augmented and cardiac, cerebral and muscular blood flows are increased.
2. Its bronchodilative effect is less prominent but more sustained than epinephrine.
3. Mydriatic upon local application to the eye.
4. Antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic.

Administration Decoction: 3-10g. Ephedrine tablet: 25-30mg tid. Pseudo Ephedrine tablet: 30mg tid.


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Mr. Wang Tao

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