The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years or older)

Note: The U.S. Federal Government has banned the sale of ephedra since 2004. Ephedra may cause serious adverse effects at any dose, particularly when used with other drugs, such as caffeine. Because of serious safety concerns, ephedra cannot be suggested in any dose.

Traditionally, herbalists have suggested a wide range of doses (8-100 milligrams ephedra by mouth three times daily). Previously, over-the-counter drugs containing ephedra advised taking 12.5-25 milligrams ephedra by mouth every four to six hours and not to exceed 150 milligrams in 24 hours.

For allergic nasal symptoms, a 1% ephedrine-saline liquid has been used as a nose wash every 48 hours for four weeks.

For athletic performance enhancement, 1 milligram of ephedrine per kilogram body weight has been taken by mouth 90 minutes prior to exercise once weekly for four weeks.

For low blood pressure, 5-45 milligrams ephedrine has been injected into the vein or muscle.

For sexual arousal, 50 milligrams of ephedrine sulfate has been taken by mouth prior to exposure to erotic stimuli.

For weight loss, 2 grams of ephedra extract has been taken by mouth three times daily for eight weeks, 20-50 milligrams of ephedrine has been taken by mouth three times daily for 2-3 months.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Ephedrine is not recommended in children due to the risk of toxicity and death.

For asthma, 24-25 milligrams ephedrine or 0.65-2.1 milligrams ephedrine per kilogram has been taken by mouth every 6-8 hours for 1-8 weeks.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration