Many people make no distinction between Ephedrine, Ephedra and Epfedrin HCL. The herb that contains the product Epfedrin is called ephedra. The active ingredient is actually ephedrine and is an alkaloid. And Epfedrin HCL is a salt of a hydrochloric acid and is a mixture of ephedrine and hydrochloride. It is so combined to increase the bioavailability of the basic ephedrine. An ephedrine without HCL does not work so well because it can not be taken up in the bloodstream.