Dear President Aquino
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/
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