Ephedra for Infectious Diseases, Asthma, and Edema

[Name]
Ephedra, Herba Ephedrae, Ephedra sinica Stapf

[Chinese Name]
Ma Huang

[Parts Used and Preparation]
Stem.

[Flavors in Chinese Medicine]
Pungent, bitter, warm

[Chinese Medicine Meridians/Channels]
Lung and Bladder

[Actions in Chinese Medicine]
The herb may remove the pathogenic factors from the exterior and induce sweat. It may improve the lung-Qi flow, and relieve asthma and wheezing.

[Uses in Chinese Medicine]
• The herb can be used for the exogenous-pathogenic wind-cold type, the symptoms including cold, fever, headaches, nasal congestion, a floating and stiff pulse, but with no sweat.
• It can be used for cough and asthma.
• It can be used for edema.

[Recommended Dosages]
1.5–10 grams. The herb can be cooked in decoctions before putting in other herbs.

[Warnings, Interactions, Side Effects]
Because the herb has strong effects in inducing sweat, large dosages should be avoided. It should not be used by the patients having spontaneous sweating and night sweat.

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