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Ephedra is the name for extracts derived from a shrub in the family Ephedraceae which are high in concentrations of ephedrine. Because ephedra is an herb, it can be marketed as a dietary supplement and thus escapes FDA regulation. Ephedra is found in many popular weight control products, some of which the FDA believes may be hazardous. However, it is the opinion of many that ephedra is safe when used as directed (http://www.ephedrafacts.com/consumer1).

Ephedra is banned in Illinois. The New York Senate has approved a bill banning ephedra in that state.

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