Ephedrine  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ephedrine (EPH) is a sympathomimetic amine commonly used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, and to treat hypotension associated with anaesthesia. Ephedrine is similar in structure to the synthetic derivatives amphetamine and methamphetamine. Chemically, it is an alkaloid derived from various plants in the genus Ephedra (family Ephedraceae). It is most usually marketed in the hydrochloride and sulfate forms.

In traditional Chinese medicines, the herb má huáng (Ephedra sinica) contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as its principal active constituents. The same is true of other herbal products containing extracts from Ephedra species. Nagayoshi Nagai was the first one to isolate ephedrine from Ephedra distachya (syn. Ephedra vulgaris) in 1885. The substance called soma mentioned in old Hindu books such as the Rig Veda, may have been ephedra extract. This, however, is disputed, as the identity of soma.

The production of ephedrine in China has become a multi-million dollar export industry. Companies producing for export extract US$13 million worth of ephedrine from 30,000 tons of ephedra annually, 10 times the amount that is used in traditional Chinese medicine.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ephedrine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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