Ephedra sinica is a cone bearing shrub that is native to Mongolia, Russia, and northeastern China. Ephedra sinica goes by the common names Chinese Ephedra and Ma Huang. Ephedra sinica can grow to heights of approximately two feet. Since Ma Huang is a xerophytic plant, it can grow in arid and semi-arid conditions.
Ephedra sinica has a long history of use as a treatment for respiratory ailments in Chinese medicine. The dried stems of the plant have been used to brew a tea to provide energy. It is rumored that Ma Huang can help reduce cigarette cravings for those looking to quit smoking.