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Ephedra Sinica (Ma
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, or Ma-huang in Chinese, is a native to the northwest steppes of China. It is a solid plant that does not need a lot of care. It is a member of the gnetum family (gnetaceae). It is an erect, broom-like shrub growing 60 cm high. Its stems do not bear leaves and have a green color that turns olive brown as the plant ages. Male and female flowers are found on separate plants. Its seeds have a brownish color and grow in pairs.
Ephedra has a stimulating and thermogenic effect. This is due to its ephedrine content, which stimulates the brain, increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels and expands bronchial tubes (facilitates breathing). Some studies have also shown that Ephedra can be effective for short-term weight loss.
The seeds should be inserted into the soil under a temperature of 20° Celsius. They can be grown indoors or in a warm dry outside atmosphere that is free of frost. Ephedra sinica grows well in simple loamy soil and performs outstandingly in loose rocky earth under full sunlight and some water.
The tops of the branches can be picked and dried at any time. Just make sure the plant is not totally stripped of all its tops and that a number of viable buds remain. In order to produce seeds you will need male and female plants.