Ephedrine, a substance found in the Chinese herb ma huang, was traditionally used in Chinese medicine for treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis. It contains a substance which dramatically increases metabolism and was popularly sold as a weight loss supplement, energy booster and athletic performance enhancer. However, due to several reported cases of adverse effects from its users, the FDA banned ephedrine from the market. An ingredient called alkaloids ephedrine has been found to be unsafe, particulary on the central nervous system and the heart. However, not all ephedrine contain this dangerous substance and further studies are being conducted to create a formula that would have the same positive results sans the dangerous side effects.