||Ephedrine is the primary stimulating chemical in several plants from the Ephedra genus.|
As an ingredient in nutritional supplements, "ephedra" generally refers to dried herb or an extract of dried herb from any of several species in the Ephedra genus. These herbs/extracts can contain ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, nor-ephedrine, N-methylephedrine, and several other chemicals.
Ephedrine is a stimulant, appetite suppressant, thermogenic (fat burner), and decongestant. Pseudoephedrine and nor-ephedrine are primarily used medicinally as decongestants, and N-methylephedrine has similar, albeit less potent, effects.
Some products that contain ephedra are standardized to contain a specific amount of ephedrine per dose; when this is the case it should be noted on the product's label.