Ephedra used to be featured in numerous weight loss products, including the popular E-P-A stack (marketed as Stacker). Due to some unfortunate side effects, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of ephedra in diet aids.

However, there are still some herbal equivalents in use. Fans of guarana and ma huang say that these herbs give their metabolisms a boost just like ephedra. Bitter orange peel extract acts in a similar fashion.

These supplements can be dangerous when taken in large amounts, or even when used regularly in people with heart conditions. That’s because they are known to stimulate the heart and raise blood pressure. If you have any health concerns at all, please get your doctor’s approval before taking ephedra or ephedra-like herbs.