Mormon Tea

What other names is Mormon Tea known by?

Brigham Tea, Desert Tea, Ephedra nevadensis, Éphédra du Nevada, Ephedra viridis, Gray Ephedra, Green Ephedra, Nevada Ephedra, Popotillo, Squaw Tea, Té Mormón, Teamster's Tea, Thé des Mormons, Thé Mormon.

What is Mormon Tea?

Mormon tea is made from a plant, Ephedra nevadensis. The dried branches are boiled in water to make the tea. People use it as a beverage and as a medicine.

Be careful not to confuse Mormon tea (Ephedra nevadensis) with ephedra (Ephedra sinica and other ephedra species). Unlike these other plants, Mormon tea does not contain ephedrine, an unsafe stimulant.

As a medicine, people take Mormon tea for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea. It is also used for colds, kidney disorders, and as a "spring" tonic.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Colds.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Mormon tea for these uses.

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How does Mormon Tea work?

The tannins in Mormon tea have a drying (astringent) effect and can reduce body secretions such as mucus. This might explain its use for colds. There isn't enough information to know how Mormon tea might work for other uses such as kidney problems and sexually transmitted diseases.

Are there safety concerns?

Mormon tea seems to be safe when consumed as a beverage in normal food amounts. But there isn't enough information to know if Mormon tea is safe in medicinal amounts.

Possible side effects include stomach complaints, kidney and liver damage, nose or throat cancer, increased urination, and constipation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Mormon tea seems to be safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Mormon tea absorbs substances in the stomach and intestines. Taking Mormon tea along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take Mormon tea at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Dosing considerations for Mormon Tea.

The appropriate dose of Mormon tea depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Mormon tea. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011