There is more than one species of the ephedra plant though most all go commonly by the name of ephedra or in traditional Chinese medicine as ma huang. Therefore consumers confuse ephedra and ephedrine being the same. Ephedra itself is simply a plant though it is its active compounds that make the difference.
The ephedra plant consists of alkaloids Drugs.com used as a reference called ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine (norephedrine). As ephedra is the plant or herbal version. Therefore ephedrine is the commonly used for the ephedrine alkaloid. (2)
The ban on ephedra is on the use of ephedra alkaloids in nutritional supplements.
The legal ephedra diet pills available today consist of the The legal ephedra diet pills FDA.gov’s Legal Requirements for the Sale and Purchase of Drug Products Containing Pseudoephedrine, Ephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine used as reference available today consist of the herbal version of the ephedra plant referred to as ephedra leaves or ephedra extract herbal version of the ephedra plant referred to as ephedra leaves or ephedra extract. (1)
Ephedrine as the synthetic and manufactured part of the ephedra plant is available. Further more pharmacies are DEA regulated.
Uses of Ephedra and Ephedrine
Decades selling ephedra fat burner and weight loss supplements. Therefore its ability to increase energy production promotes sports performance boosting.
Ephedrine is currently sold as a bronchodilator and designed for those with asthma and allergies.
If you are buying an ephedra diet pill, then you are buying ephedra extract. There is more than one ephedra plant used in ephedra supplements. The three most common are ephedra sinica, ephedra nevadensis, and ephedra viridis.
Ephedrine sold through pharmacies has two commong dosages of 12.5mg and 25mg of ephedrine. Ephedrine is also sold in two different kinds of ephedrine sulfate and ephedrine hcl. Consult your local pharmacist for how ephedrine may be best used.