Re: Alternative medicine

Kathryn Aegis (
Fri, 3 Jan 1997 04:00:04 +0000

James Rogers:
>2) More than two people have died from Ephedrine (Ma Huang). There have
>been many deaths and hospitalizations caused by the mixing of Ephedrine with
>other drugs. I personally know of a death where Ephedrine was implicated.

While I appreciate the thought you put into providing examples, you
have neglected two elements relevant to this discussion:

(i) most of our basic pharmaceuticals (aspirin, penecillin, etc.) are
based on plant extracts, which have been synthetically replicated and
controlled. This does not mean that the original substances are no
less potent. Ephedrine, or Ma Huang, can be found in half of the cold
and allergy medications now on the shelf at any drugstore, and the
label on decongestants clearly indicates that ephedrine is
contradindicated for individuals who have emphysema, heart disease,
bronchitis, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid or prostate problems.

(ii) death or other harm by overdose or combining is not the fault of
any drug, herb or vitamin supplement. It is usually the result of an
individual either taking substances haphazardly or the doctor not
having enough information to realize what reactions will occur. For
this reason pharmacists utilize computer programs to track their
customers prescriptions. My own doctor always asks what supplements I
am taking and notes them in my file to prevent such problems.


Kathryn Aegis