Docket Management
Docket: 95N-0304 - Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids
Comment Number: EC -993

Accepted - Volume 322

Comment Record
Commentor Ms. Della Lawhon Date/Time 2003-03-30 21:05:29
Organization Hyde Park Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
Category Health Professional

Comments for FDA General
1. General Comments I am writing in response to your request for comments regarding Ephedra use. The vast majority of studies assessing the health risks of Ephedra and ephedrine involve cases when they have been used as an aid to weight loss and to athletic performance enhancement. In Chinese medicine Ma Huang (Ephedra) is not used to promote weight loss or increase energy levels. It is used by trained professionals for conditions such as colds, cough, wheezing and congestion. For the proper indications, Ma Huang is dispensed by trained professionals, within properly balanced herbal combinations, in small dosage and for a limited period of time. Ma Huang is a valuable herb in the Chinese Materia Medica and plays an essential part in the first systematic Chinese herbal text, written around 200 A.D. The improper uses of Ma Huang are well-documented in the traditional Chinese medical literature including Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica (Bensky/Gamble) that trained professionals practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine study. The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization have cited Oriental Medicine, which includes Chinese herbology as an effective means of healthcare. Chinese Herbalists are licensed acupuncturists who have completed rigorous graduate training in traditional Chinese medicine and biomedical sciences. Training exceeds 3200 graduate hours; and most herbalists have taken national boards in chinese herbal medicine (see The NY Suffolk County recently passed a bill banning ephedra. However, this Ephedra banning bill exempts from the ban properly qualified alternative medicine professionals including practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In this way trained professionals can take care of their patients and the public has access to a safe and legitimate form of herbal medicine. Regards, Della Lawhon, MAOM, Lic.Ac.

EC -993