ephedra(redirected from Ma-huang)
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1. Any of various usually shrubby gymnosperms of the genus Ephedra, having jointed green stems and small scalelike leaves, some species of which are used as a source of ephedrine.
2. A drug containing ephedrine derived from one of these plants, used in traditional Chinese medicine as a stimulant and decongestant and sold in the United States primarily as a dietary supplement for weight loss before it was banned because of toxic side effects in 2004. Also called ma huang.
(Plants) any gymnosperm shrub of the genus Ephedra, of warm regions of America and Eurasia: the source of ephedrine: family Ephedraceae, phylum Gnetophyta
[C18: New Latin, from Latin, from Greek ephedros a sitting upon, from epi- + hedra seat]
e•phed•ra(ɪˈfɛd rə, ˈɛf ɪ drə)
n., pl. -ras.
any desert gymnosperm plant of the genus Ephedra, of the family Gnetaceae, with leaves reduced to scales at stem joints.
[1890–1900; < New Latin (Linnaeus) < Greek ephédra the horsetail plant, literally, sitting (upon a place)]
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|Noun||1.||ephedra - jointed and nearly leafless desert shrub having reduced scalelike leaves and reddish fleshy seeds|
genus Ephedra - type and sole genus of Ephedraceae: tropical and subtropical evergreen shrubby or creeping plants native to dry and inhospitable regions