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Ephedra equisetina - Bunge.

Common Name Muzei Ma Huang, Ma huang
Family Ephedraceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mountains in central and middle Asia[74]. Dry and rocky places, 800 - 3000 metres in China[266].
Range E. Asia - N. China.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ephedra equisetina Muzei Ma Huang, Ma huang


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Ephedra equisetina Muzei Ma Huang, Ma huang

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ephedra equisetina is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in leaf all year. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw.

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidote;  Antihydrotic;  Cardiac;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Pectoral;  Vasoconstrictor;  Vasodilator.


Members of this genus contain various medicinally active alkaloids (but notably ephedrine) and they are widely used in preparations for the treatment of asthma and catarrh[238]. The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations than the isolated constituents - unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives rise to side-effects[254]. Ephedrine has an adrenaline-like action in the body[176]. The plant also has antiviral effects, particularly against influenza[238]. The stems are a pungent, bitter, warm herb that dilates the bronchial vessels whilst stimulating the heart and central nervous system[238]. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypertensive, nervine, pectoral, tonic, vasoconstrictor and vasodilator[165, 176, 238]. They are used internally in the treatment of asthma, hay fever and allergic complaints[238]. They are also combined with a number of other herbs and used in treating a wide range of complaints[238]. This herb should be used with great caution, preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[238]. It should not be prescribed to patients who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or suffering from high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism or glaucoma[238]. Ephedrine is seen as a performance-boosting herb and, as such, is a forbidden substance in many sporting events such as athletics[K]. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use[238]. The root is antihydrotic, it lowers blood pressure and dilates the peripheral blood vessels[176]. It is used in the treatment of night sweating and spontaneous sweating[176].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[11]. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant[200]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown in fruit and seed are required.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[200]. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in the spring or early summer after the last expected frosts and give some protection in their first winter[K]. Division in spring or autumn[238]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ephedra altissimaHigh-climbing jointfir13
Ephedra americana andina 23
Ephedra ciliata 13
Ephedra distachyaSea Grape, Jointfir24
Ephedra fragilis 24
Ephedra gerardianaMa Huang, Gerard jointfir24
Ephedra intermediaZhong Ma Huang14
Ephedra majorMa Huang14
Ephedra nevadensisMormon Tea, Nevada jointfir33
Ephedra pachyclada 23
Ephedra sinicaMa Huang, Chinese ephedra14
Ephedra torreyanaMexican Tea, Torrey's jointfir23
Ephedra triandra 13
Ephedra trifurcaLongleaf Jointfir12
Ephedra viridisMormon Tea, Brigham Tea, Long Leaf Ephedra, Mountain Joint Fir, Mormon Tea, Ephedra23

 

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Expert comment

Author

Bunge.

Botanical References

74266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Ray   Thu Nov 30 2006

I use this plant all the time when my asthma acts up, i reccomend it to ALL asthma sufferers. It can be found in and high mountainous region where it has been planted. I get it out here in Denver, Colorado, USA.

robert   Wed Jul 18 2007

i would really like to get a hold of the seeds because i would like to try and grow some 4 my chronic asthma its costing me a bit 4 my med's robert_is_loco_78@hotmail.com

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