2 March, 2015
Sida Cordifolia (Ephedra)
Sida Cordifolia, commonly known as bala, is a plant in the family Malvaceae. It contains Ephedra (natural Ephedrine) and is commonly used as a stimulant and concentration aid.
Its biological effects are due to its Ephedrine and pseudoEphedrine content. These compounds stimulate the brain, increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels (increasing blood pressure), and expand bronchial tubes (making breathing easier). Their thermogenic properties cause an increase in metabolism, evidenced by an increase in body heat.
1. Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia should only be taken by individuals who are healthy and do not have any serious health conditions. Before beginning to take this, always read the warnings on the label to acquaint yourself with the possible complications that could result. If you develop any symptoms then it is smart to either decrease your dosage or stop taking it altogether. It is important to note that the negative claims regarding Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia have been greatly blown out of proportion.
2. If you are new to Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia, you should start with the smallest dosage possible which for most individuals an amount that provides about 8 to 12 mg of Ephedra Alkoloids. Start by taking it once a day or split it up into two portions.
3. The stimulant properties of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia are incredible but you must figure out how much your system can handle at first. A full dose of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia containing 24 mg of Ephedra Alkoloids is too high to start with. Starting with a low dose of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia allows your body time to gradually get used to it.
4. As time goes by you can increase the dosage but do not go overboard and think that if a little is good then a lot would be even better. It is wise to consume no more than 72 mg on a daily basis that are broken up into three equal servings.
5. Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia can make a person feel restless. If this is the case, simple go for a quick walk or jog to work off the nervous energy. Alternatively, reduce the amount you are taking.
6. If you take it too late in the day it can affect your sleep patterns so in the beginning it is not recommended that you take it any time after 2pm.
6. Your body will become accustomed to Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia rather swiftly so in order to make it as effective as possible for yourself, keep taking it for no more than 6 weeks at a time. Then take 2 to 4 weeks off and go back to it after that time. On a weekly basis, take it 5 days and then give your body a rest for two. It is worth noting that some manufacturers of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia advise their customers to take the product for as long as 12 weeks before breaking. For first timers this is most likely too long a period.
Possible side effects of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia:
Most common side effects (if used incorrectly) include:
Headache, sweating, sleeplessness
Do NOT use Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia if:
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days
- you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, a rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you have a history of heart problems, diabetes, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems, adrenal gland problems, high blood pressure, seizures, stroke, blood vessel problems, an overactive thyroid, or severe asthma
Be cautious about taking Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia if you are using any of the following medicines:
- Rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine) because the effectiveness of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia may be decreased
- Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), cocaine, furazolidone, indomethacin, methyldopa, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), oxytocic medicines (eg, oxytocin), rauwolfia derivatives (eg, reserpine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the actions and side effects of Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia may be increased
- Bromocriptine, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), digoxin, or droxidopa because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, or reserpine because its effectiveness may be decreased by Ma Huang/Sida Cordifolia