Medicinal value of Ephedra Vulgaris


Medicinal value of Ephedra Vulgaris

Ephedra vulgaris, popularly known as somlatha in hindi is identified as drug soma which has been mentioned in the ancient Zoroastrian and hindu scripts ?Avesta and the Rig Veda. This article will discuss a comprehensive use of ephedra as a medicinal plant in ayurvedic treatment of various diseases.

Botanical name: Ephedra Vulgaris

Common names: Somlatha, Ephedra, Evulgaris.


Ephedra is a shrub native to central Asia and is mostly found in temperate zone and alpine Himalayas. Moreover these are most common to sandy regions and seashores. Around the world it is predominant in North America, Europe and North Africa. Every part of plant is useful for medicinal purpose.

Medicinal Properties

Ephedra contains an active ingredient called ephedrine, an alkaloid, is obtained from its dried branches which is very effective in the treatment of muscular and rheumatic pains. Almost all the part of plant contains some amount of ephedreine and thus it is an important source of ephedrine. The plant possesses stomachic, alterative, antiviral, stimulant and diuretic properties and used for the treatment of various ailments.

Medicinal uses

Ephedra or somlatha is a well-known plant, which has been used for the treatment of a number of diseases due to its various medicinal properties from the ancient times. Some of the major health benefits of ephedra are:

  • The plant is used for the treatment of asthma and bronchitis.
  • Ephedra is quite effective in the treatment of low blood pressure.
  • It gives a great relief in case of headache.It is used in the treatment of nasal congestion.
  • It is also beneficial for the treatment of colds, flu, swine flu, and fever.
  • It relieves from joint and bone pain.
  • It helps in weight loss and reduces obesity.
  • Ephedra is quite effective in the treatment of influenza.
  • It is also useful in the treatment of rheumatism and syphilis.

Though, Ephedra has been considered to be a medicinally important plant but the use of ephedra has always been controversial due to the possibility of some side effects after the use of the plant. Use of ephedra can lead to certain adverse and fatal side effects if taken without prescription. Due to the same reason US Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of Ephedra as a medicinal herb.


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