Medical Definition of ephedra
1a capitalized : a large genus of gymnospermous shrubs (family Gnetaceae) of dry or desert regions with jointed stems and leaves reduced to scalesb: any plant of the genus Ephedra
2: an extract of any of several Asian ephedras (especially E. sinica) that contains ephedrine and related alkaloids, was formerly used as a dietary supplement especially to promote weight loss and increase energy, and was banned in the U.S. by the FDA in 2004 due to adverse side effects <The FDA is also analyzing reports linking a weight-loss and energy supplement, ephedra (ma huang), to heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and fatalities in otherwise healthy adults.—Consumer Reports, May 2000>—called also
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ephedra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).