- any of a large genus (Ephedra) of low, leafless, green gymnospermous shrubs (family Ephedraceae): the dried rhizomes and roots are used as a natural source of ephedrine
- any stimulant herb derived from this shrub and used in medicine
Origin of ephedraModern Latin from Classical Latin ephedra, the horsetail plant from Classical Greek ephedros, sitting by from epi-, on, near + hedra, a seat
- 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.
- 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 .
Origin of ephedraLatin ephedra horsetail from Greek ephedrā from feminine of ephedros sitting upon ep-, epi- epi- hedrā seat ; see sed- in Indo-European roots.
From Ancient Greek á¼Ï†ÎÎ´ÏÎ± (ephedra, “sitting upon"), from á¼Ï€Î¯ (epi, “upon") + á¼•Î´ÏÎ± (hedra, “seat").