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Ephedra gerardiana - Wall. ex Stapf.                
                 
Common Name Ma Huang
Family Ephedraceae
Synonyms E. vulgaris. Rich.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Stony slopes and gravel terraces in drier areas of the Himalayas at 2400 - 5000 metres from Afghanistan to Bhutan[51].
Range E. Asia - S.W. China to the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Ephedra gerardiana is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 2 m (6ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are 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.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


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.

Ephedra gerardiana Ma Huang


R.A. Howard @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Ephedra gerardiana Ma Huang
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BWfC_vlb0Qs_2tRrWR2Kig
   
Habitats       
 Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[105, 146]. A sweet flavour[158]. The fruit is about 7mm in diameter[200].
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.

Antiasthmatic;  Antirheumatic;  Cardiotonic;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Tonic;  Vasodilator;  VD;  Vulnerary.

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]. Ephedrine acts promptly to reduce swellings of the mucous membranes and has antispasmodic properties, thus making it valuable in the treatment of asthma[4]. This species contains between 0.28 and 2.79 alkaloids[240]. 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]. 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]. The stems are also diaphoretic. diuretic and vasodilator[4, 61, 165, 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 complaints238]. 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 are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency[241]. Febrifuge, tonic and vulnerary, they are used in the treatment of severe bleeding and chronic fevers[241]. A decoction of the stems and roots is used in Russia to treat rheumatism and syphilis[243]. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use[238]. The juice of the berries is used to treat respiratory affections[243].
Other Uses
Fuel.

The wood is very close grained[158]. Too small for commercial exploitation, though it is used locally for fuel[146]. A good ground cover plant for dry soils[188]. Plants should be spaced about 60cm apart each way[208].
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[11]. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant[200]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is 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.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Wall. ex Stapf.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
51200266
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[51]Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas.
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[146]Gamble. J. S. A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Written last century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
[158]Gupta. B. L. Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[208]Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[241]Tsarong. Tsewang. J. Tibetan Medicinal Plants
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
[243] Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Ephedra gerardiana  
             

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