ephedra

noun ephe·dra \ i-ˈfe-drə , ˈe-fə-drə \

Definition of ephedra

1 :any of a genus (Ephedra of the family Ephedraceae) of jointed nearly leafless shrubs of dry or desert regions with the leaves reduced to scales at the nodes
2 :an extract of ma huang containing ephedrine and related alkaloids and used as a dietary supplement

Recent Examples of ephedra from the Web

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Origin and Etymology of ephedra

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, equisetum, from Greek, from ephedros sitting upon, from epi- + hedra seat — more at sit


Medical Dictionary

ephedra

noun ephed·ra \ i-ˈfed-rə , ˈef-əd-rə \

medical Definition of ephedra

1 a capitalized :a large genus of gymnospermous shrubs (family Gnetaceae) of dry or desert regions with jointed stems and leaves reduced to scales
b :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 ReportsMay 2000
called also ma huang

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