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Dear President Aquino

February 16th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I would like to point out a slight error in your statements as quoted here: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/213171/chinese-embassy-court-sustains-death-sentence-on-3-pinoys

“(A Chinese ambassador told me that) they are very, very strict when it comes to drug laws because it’s a major concern of theirs. Iyung sa shabu, iyung ephedrine is a natural, comes from a plant that grows primarily in China. Mas malaki ang problema nila doon, they have a bigger populace, and they have syempre the history of opium from before,”

Why the heck is ephedrine mentioned in the same breath as methamphetamines and opium?  Again this is due to Ephedra’s bad rep as it is banned in the United States.  I shan’t repeat myself, but I would like to refer our President to my articles about Ephedra:

“News Bias Continues: Ephedra’s True Story” http://qi-spot.com/2010/02/01/news-bias-continues-ephedras-true-story/

.581px Ephedra andina 1 290x300 Dear President Aquino

A quote:

Herba Ephedrae or Ma Huang is usually the first herb one would see in a typical textbook of Chinese herbal medicine.  It is usually used to clear early symptoms of flu, and not ALL kinds of flu.  ANY look at the texts will give SPECIFIC indications for it’s use.  However, western herb enthusiasts had, according to the article, “converted from an herbal treatment for diseases to an energy stimulant and a weight-loss product.”

What are it’s classic textbook uses?

Actions: induces diaphoresis, resolves surface, ventilates the lungs to relieve asthma, regulates water metabolism.

Applications: febrile diseases due to exterior-excess, fever, chillphobia [aversion to cold], anhidrosis [lack of perspiration], ostealgia [bone pain], arthralgia, cough with dyspnea, edema, edema due to wind.

From this, it becomes obvious that Herba ephedrae is meant to be used in actual illness, not in a healthy person just trying to get a kick or lose weight.  The weight loss aspect is gleaned from it’s strong diaphoretic effect.  However, a basic look at any  Chinese herbal textbook will show that administration of ma huang should stop WHEN PERSPIRATION BEGINS, whether or not the flu has dispersed.

Again, if the patient has external symptoms (chills, slight fever, arthralgia, muscle pain) with no sweating, ma huang may be given AS PART OF A FORMULA to mediate effects (see ma huang tang, among others) and should be STOPPED when sweating begins.

Also, it should not be used as a tonic.  Many of the early ma huang/ephedra “supplements” were mixtures of ephedra and other tonics (including caffeine!)  Disaster waiting to happen.

How does that compare with western enthusiasts taking the herb individually for what we MDs would term as “off label use” contrary to all warnings?

OF COURSE they’ll get sick.  A professor of mine in China warned against yin collapse (shock due to blood or fluid loss) after using too much sweat-inducing herbs.

“The Art of Chinese Medicine” http://qi-spot.com/2010/11/15/the-art-of-chinese-medicine/

My point, Mr. President, is that Ma Huang or ephedra, the source of ephedrine, is a very valuable medicinal material in China and is banned in the US only because SOME IDIOTS misused it for off-label purposes.  It does not deserve to be compared to real dangerous drugs

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  1. March 2nd, 2011 at 21:23 | #1

    Wow, this is news to me. I had this plant in my garden and I didn’t know about its herbal capacities. I know it by the name of horse tail and I was crazy to propagate it because it looked very attractive in my garden. I hope Pres. Aquino will read about this too.

  2. Philip
    March 3rd, 2011 at 09:21 | #2

    Horsetail? As in Equisetum?

  3. Janmar Delicana
    August 17th, 2011 at 07:15 | #3

    Dear Dr. Tan-Gatue,
    It’s a great pleasure to read your blog. I find your post very informative. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Ephedra.
    As a reader, I consider your writing to be a great example of a quality and globally competitive output.
    As a moderator for Physician Nexus (a community for physicians) I would like to share your genuine ideas and knowledge. With this you can gain 1000 physician readers on Nexus.
    We would love for you to visit our community. It’s free, takes seconds, and is designed for physicians only – completely free of industry bias and commercial interests.
    Best,
    Janmar Delicana
    On behalf of the Physician Nexus Team
    http://www.PhysicianNexus.com

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