Use of Medicinal Plants

There is a long history of the use of medicinal plants to treat specific medical conditions. Many early medicines fall into the category of nitrogen-containing plant products called alkaloids. Ephedrine is an alkaloid which was originally extracted and purified from Ephedra sinica (ma huang) plant. Ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. This biologically active compound has basic amine on its structure and the isolation/purification procedures relay on liquid-liquid extraction with sequential basic and acidic aqueous solutions and finally crystallization of the final compound. Please research and write a procedure (no longer than a page) for a student who use your procedure and be able to purify this compound. Also, write the reaction equation (or using a chart that show reaction of acid and base) for each step of extraction.

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