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Ephedra distachya: Wikis


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Ephedra distachya
Ephedra distachya in France
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Gnetophyta
Class: Gnetopsida
Order: Ephedrales
Family: Ephedraceae
Genus: Ephedra
Species: E. distachya
Binomial name
Ephedra distachya

Ephedra distachya (syn. E. vulgaris) is a shrub in the family Ephedraceae, about 25 cm to 50 cm high, that grows in southern Europe and parts of western and central Asia. Its local names include somlatha.



It is used to relieve acute muscular and rheumatic pains (when it is called teamsters' tea), as a stimulant, and in the cardio tonics in Ayurveda. It is sometimes identified with the legendary drug soma, as described in the Avesta and the Rig Veda, the respective ancient sacred texts of the Zoroastrian and Hindu faiths.

Ephedrine, the salt of an alkaloid, is obtained from its dried branches and is used as a stimulant, often to control asthma. It was isolated from the plant by Nagayoshi Nagai in 1885. All parts of the plant contain up to 3% ephedrine.[2]



External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Gnetophyta
Classis: Gnetopsida
Ordo: Gnetales
Familia: Ephedraceae
Genus: Ephedra
Species: Ephedra distachya
Subspecies: E. d. subsp. distachya - E. d. subsp. helvetica - E. d. subsp. monostachya


Ephedra distachya L.


  • Species Plantarum 2:1040. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Vernacular names

Español: Belcho, Uva de Mar
Français: Raisin de Mer
Magyar: Csikófark
Türkçe: Ebu Cehil Çalıları
中文: 蛇麻黄

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