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See also: Ephedra


The ripe cones of a female Ephedra distachya subsp. monostachya. Saratov, Russia.
Ephedra sinica.


From Ancient Greek ἐφέδρα (ephédra, sitting upon), from ἐπί (epí, upon) + ἕδρα (hédra, seat).


ephedra (countable and uncountable, plural ephedras)

  1. Any plant of the genus Ephedra of gymnosperm shrubs.
  2. A stimulant derived from the plant Ephedra sinica used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and in over-the-counter weight-loss aids.
    • 2009 February 10, Natasha Singer, “F.D.A. Finds ‘Natural’ Diet Pills Laced With Drugs”, in New York Times[1]:
      Consider ephedra, an herbal stimulant that gained popularity as a weight-loss supplement in the 1990s — until hundreds of people reported ephedra-related problems including heart attacks, seizures and even deaths.
    • 2013 March 1, David S. Senchina, “Athletics and Herbal Supplements”, in American Scientist[2], volume 101, number 2, page 134:
      Athletes' use of herbal supplements has skyrocketed in the past two decades. At the top of the list of popular herbs are echinacea and ginseng, whereas garlic, St. John's wort, soybean, ephedra and others are also surging in popularity or have been historically prevalent.



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