stimulate the nervous system

Ephedra (also known as ma huáng) is a plant that contains substances that can stimulate the nervous system, increase the amount of energy that burns the body, increase weight loss and decrease appetite. In the 1990s, ephedra was a popular ingredient in dietary supplements for weight loss and to enhance athletic performance.

In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) banned ephedra in dietary supplements when it was concluded that it was not safe. Ephedra can cause nausea, vomiting, anxiety, mood changes, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, stroke, seizures, heart attack, and even death.