Taking Ephedrine
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Mary Causyn
Posted on: April 6, 1998

I’m writing you because my doctor told me to take ephedrine. My problem is I lack oxygen, and have shortness of breath. I seem to be not able to breathe [properly]. Will ephedrine give me oxygen? Is it dangerous? How much should I take? Also, I can’t sleep at night, will this make it worse?

The following information is for your research and study only and not intended as medical advice.

Thomas Bartram, in "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" (Grace Publishers, Mulberry Court, Stour Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1PS, England) states that Ephedra, with active ingredients ephedrine and pseudoephredrine, is a "brain, heart and circulatory stimulant, antasthmatic, bronchodilator, anti-allergic, vasodilator, hypertensive" used in asthma, bronchitis, breathlessness and whooping cough. In China, known as Ma Huang, it has been used in chest conditions for over 1000 years. Because it is an extremely effective stimulant, it is NOT to be taken in high blood pressure, coronary thrombosis, thyrotoxicosis or glaucoma, and is not to be taken with anti-depressants. Its stimulating properties will likely cause further interference with your sleep.

Because ephedrine is such a powerful remedy, it must only be taken under advisement of a medical practitioner, and your doctor should be consulted for dosage and for the maximum period it can be taken.

Diet is an important factor in respiratory problems. Eliminating milk and wheat products from the diet often eliminates an allergen which is causing inflammation of the lungs. In order to cure your problem, rather than mask the symptoms, you should try to eliminate possible allergens from your diet until your lungs have healed.

Other herbs that may help in respiratory problems are horehound (Marrubium vulgare), an expectorant; coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), a relaxing expectorant, licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), anti-inflammatory and expectorant; Thyme has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-cough properties, especially useful in infections of the respiratory system.

Bronchodilators, which expand the space within the lungs, allowing more oxygen in, include ephredra, thyme and horehound.

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