“Herbal Ecstasy” is a combination of herbs which, instead of affecting the way the mind perceives reality, basically act as a simple, yet effective stimulant. The most common herbal extract is Ephedra or Ma Huang, however there are other herbal stimulants available which may include everything from caffeine to nutmeg. Herbal Ecstasy is available in pills, capsules, tabs, powder, and liquid form. Ephedra is legal in Canada but illegal in the U.S.A. Despite its name, it is not MDMA (3,4 Methylene-dioxy-N-methylamphetamine), the active agent in Ecstasy.
• Herbal Ecstasy
• Ephedra or Ma Huang, the principal active ingredient is ephedrine.
• Ingredient labels selling ephedra may use terms including ma huang, Chinese ephedra, ma huang extract, ephedra, ephedra sinica, ephedra extract, ephedra herb powder, sida cordifolia or epitonin, all of which indicate a source of ephedrine.
• Caffeine - including green tea, guarana, yerba mate, cola nut and yohimbe, and other stimulants including bitter orange, or its active ingredient, synephrine is often mixed with ephedra.
• Herbal Ecstasy is usually sold as a pill. These pills come in various sizes and colours. It is almost always swallowed as a pill or capsule.
• A dose of Ephedra or Ma Huang is 600 mg or less
• It can come as a liquid.
• Ephedra or Ma Huang has been used for thousands of years by Chinese herbalists as a medicine and a stimulant. The juice of the berry was used to alleviate respiratory problems, and today we continue to find it in asthma medicines, bronchial dilators and decongestants.
• Ephedra also increases basal metabolic rates and increases caloric burning during exercise. Ephedra works by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, acting in a similar fashion to amphetamines.
• Body builders have long been using Ephedra for quick bursts of energy while working out, as well as for its metabolic effect. Its is so effective, in fact that it is now illegal for Olympic athletes to use Ephedra products as it gives them an unfair advantage.
• Herbal Ecstasy does not cause serotonin and dopamine release which are the keys to the emotional effect of Ecstasy (MDMA) and so is something of a misnomer.
• It causes similar physical effects such as tingling skin, raised blood pressure, heart rate and sweating, and it is possible that these physical effects remind us of ecstasy and stimulate our brains to release neurotransmitters, just as happens with 'contact high.’
• Ephedra or Ma Huang makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe more deeply. This can feel exhilarating, but an overdose can be very unpleasant and may cause muscle spasms and even a heart attack. The safe dose varies according to the individual so that it is easy to overdose unless you are used to it.
• Ephedrine has been shown to have serious adverse effects, including hypertension (elevated blood pressure), palpitations (rapid heart rate), neuropathy (nerve damage), myopathy (muscle injury), psychosis, stroke, memory loss, heart rate irregularities, insomnia, nervousness, tremors, seizures, heart attacks, and death.
• It is not good to mix with other stimulants like the caffeine found in coffee, tea and energy drinks, or with uppers, like Ecstasy, Cocaine, Crack, speed, and Crystal Meth.
• Just because it is called “herbal” does not mean that it is any less stressful on your system than synthesized drugs. There have been overdose-related deaths due to such misconceptions when folks have mixed Herbal Ecstasy with other stimulants.