Ephedra is a species of plant that has been used in medicine for nearly 5000 years. There are over 30 varieties of the plant, though they all contain ephedrine, which is what affects the body and has the medicinal properties that ephedra is used for. In ancient China, people called the plant Ma Huang. It was used to cure or aid in a number of ailments, including to coughs and common colds, and also to help open the airways and aid those who had asthma. Research has shown recently that ephedra helps to promote weight loss, though it probably wasn't originally sought after for this property. Regardless, ephedra does help people lose weight in addition to being an excellent natural way to heal the body, and an important part to many alternative medicines.
How Ephedra Affects the Body
Just how does ephedra affect the body and aid in weight loss? It's a simple property found in the ephedrine in the plant. When ingested, the ephedrine is released into the body's systems and begins to affect it in a variety of ways. For medicinal purposes, it enlarges the bronchial passages to make breathing easier, it induces perspiration to help get rid of colds, and it also forces urination, which helps the body relieve itself of waste products faster. What it also does is increase the body's metabolic rate. This helps the body burn fat, but not muscle, which is a problem that many diet pills have. It's this rise in metabolism that helps people rapidly lose weight.
Ephedra and Weight Loss
The result of a higher metabolism is the faster breakdown of body fat. Of course, this is going to only help encourage weight loss and in order for a difference to really be seen, exercise is necessary in addition to taking ephedra. The great thing about the way ephedra tackles weight loss is that is only targets body fat. As the body's metabolism rises, it starts to digest quicker and body fat is burned in order to get the energy for it to do so. It completely bypasses muscle tissue, so as you lose weight with ephedra you will begin to see your body getting leaner. Other diet pills can reduce muscle as well as fat, and that can cause more problems. Muscle, while it weighs more, is important for the body. So while you may lose more pounds with other diet pills, ephedra is letting you keep on the weight contributed by muscles, which is nothing to be ashamed about.