The recent situation of the resources of Chinese crude drug Ma-huang, Ephedrae Herba
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With the progress of economical expansion in China nowadays, its natural resources including crude drugs have been rapidly reducing. The habitat of Ephedra plants, the botanical origin of Chinese crude drug Ma-huang, too, has been rapidly diminishing within the last two decades. We have visited China for an interdisciplinary study on Ephedra plants since 2001. From the study we concluded that the most serious reasons for the reduction were the reclamation of wild Ephedra habitats for plantations of various kinds of crops. Over collection and overgrazing may be less serious, but still damaged the wild Ephedra habitat considerably. On the other hand, the cultivation of Ephedra plants in China started in the 1980s based on the government policy. In the Province of Ning-xia, it seemed to be successfully operated by using deserted land. However, there are several problems to be resolved. First of all, weed control and watering must be well managed. Since the selling price of Ephedra plants depends partly on its ephedrine content, it must be controlled. Thus the monthly variation of ephedrine content, as well as local and specific variation, should be examined hereafter for the advance of Ephedra cultivation.
- Journal of traditional medicines
Journal of traditional medicines 22(Suppl.1), 61-69, 2005
Medical and Pharmaceutical Society for WAKAN-YAKU