Plants of the genus Ephedra, including E. sinica and others, have traditionally been used by indigenous people for a variety of medicinal purposes, including treatment of asthma, hay fever, and the common cold.
The alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are active constituents of E. sinica and other members of the genus. These compounds are sympathomimetics with stimulant and decongestant qualities and are chemically substituted amphetamines.
Pollen of Ephedra spp. was found in the Shanidar IV burial site in Iraq, which led to the suggestion that its use as a medicinal plant dates to over 60,000 years ago. Paul B. Pettitt has stated that „[a] recent examination of the microfauna from the strata into which the grave was cut suggests that the pollen was deposited by the burrowing rodent Meriones persicus, which is common in the Shanidar microfauna and whose burrowing activity can be observed today“. It has been suggested that Ephedra may be the soma plant of Indo-Iranian religio.
If you ingest about 1 cup of herb tea or less (try microdosing first), you might feel energized and if you consume more, you might enter a trance-lik state, in which you enter the spirit world.