There has been much controversy lately over the use of an over-the-counter stimulant called Ephedrine; which, comes from the plant Ephedra. It was originally used for three medical purposes: to open up nasal passages, suppress appetites, and constrict blood vessels. Later on it had been discovered that ephedrine could be taken for other purposes, such as, weight loss and increased energy output. It became widely known as a performance enhancing drug that could have an impact on people’s competitive edge. Today, it primarily can be found in supplements like fat burning pills (Rippedfuel, Xenedrine, etc…) But the number of performance enhancing supplements ephedrine had been added to is slowly dwindiling, because, of the controversy surrounding the harmful affects it could have on a person who isn’t that knowledgeable or isn’t taking the product correctly. This issue has escalated lately after the death of a MLB (Major League Baseball) pitcher, who, (after a coroner’s examin) found ephedrine within his system. Now the FDA (Food Drug Administration) is investigating whether ephedrine should be banned from MLB. In my opinion ephedrine shouldn’t be banned for three reasons: The amount of money that is made off ephedrine, The medical uses it can be used for and if taken in moderation it is safe. The sell of ephedrine in supplemental products is a billion dollar industry in a world where looking good and having that perfect physique is very important. I know people will say “no amount of money is worth a person’s life.” That is true, but, that person should also know what he or she is doing or putting in their body, but more about that later. The money that is made off ephedrine is put toward medical research for other drugs that could help cure diseases or make other drugs better. While regulated ephedrine has other medical uses that can be vital to people’s health. One is it can be used to open up nasal passages for people who have breathing problems, such as, people who have asthma. This would enable them to do more physical activities without having to worry about an asthma attack. Another, it suppresses the appetite. This is vital for people who can’t control their eating habits or are always hungry. If you can’t control your eating habits this could lead to obesity or even make it harder for overweight people trying to lose weight. Last it can constrict blood vessels. This is very important for people who have bad blood flow through their veins (like my family.) The constriction of blood vessels could prevent varicrous veins, lack of blood flow to all areas of the body, and blood clots (which could cause death.) People should also have the freedom to do what they want with their bodies. If they want to take a drug they no nothing about then go for it. But, they need to accept the consequences. Just as long as a person know’s his or her medical history and drug tolerance they should be fine. The deaths that people have heard about through the media has been taken out of context. For example: Steve Bechler, a Baltimore Orioles pitcher who just died from heatstroke had ephedrine in his system at the time of his death. What most people don’t know is that Bechler at the time of his death was overweight, out of shape and took more than the recommended dosage of ephedrine (according to the corner.) On top of that he had pre-existing heart problems. If a person combines all that with the heat outside then your health will be at jeapordy. Another example is Korey Stringer a NFL (National Football League) player who died of a heatstroke in the spring of 2001. That was actually the first time ephedrine was linked to a death. But, it turned out that there was no correlation between the drug and Stringer’s death after all (not a lot of people were interested in that part, because, they were so scared of what the product could do if taken incorrectly.) Is ephedrine safe? Yes, if taken in moderation as with any supplement. Ephedrine shouldn’t be abused or taken lightly. If a person does have questions about ephedrine consult a physician or research the drug on the web. I took the drug for four years in moderation and I’m still alive and kicking. But, before I messed with it I researched it and used caution.


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