There is a great deal of information out there concerning ephedrine, ephedra and ma huang. Ultimately you are responsible for what you put into your body, and it's in your best interest to educate yourself as much as possible as to the pros and cons of ephedrine use. Remember, ephedrine itself has NOT been banned -- it's only banned when marketed or used in conjunction with weight loss products (i.e. Xenadrine or Ripped Fuel that contains ephedrine or ephedra). Below are some links to help you further educate yourself on the topic.
Harvard Research Paper, 1997
-This paper, published by June Weintraub in 1997, is contained within the Drugs and Devices Information Line at the Harvard School of Public Health. While the DDIL also delves into other drugs (Phen-Pro, Prozac, etc.), this particular page focuses solely on ephedra and ephedrine. If you're looking for research information for a school paper, this might be a helpful resource (it lists sources at the bottom from which information was culled, which might be of further help). There is some rather high-end scientific wording for some of the article (as you might expect in a Harvard paper), but one line in particular sticks out: "Ephedrine in combination with caffeine has been shown to promote thermogenesis, fat loss, and muscle gain in several controlled trials."
VCU Ephedrine Rat Study, 1998
Some people like to call ephedrine "legal speed", but a 1998 study at Virginia Commonwealth University dispelled that myth. The report revealed that the stimulus effects of amphetamine and ephedrine as training drugs, while similar, are not identical.
"It is also concluded that the stimulus effects of ephedrine and those of the designer drug MDMA, while perhaps sharing some amphetaminergic commonality, are nonidentical."
Tips For Taking Ephedrine Safely
This explains in rather easy-to-understand form how ephedrine can be taken in safest form. That is to say, it explains the doses and why moderation is important if you choose to take ephedrine. The products referenced in the article are dated, since weight loss products containing ephedrine have been since been banned in the United States, but the dosage and moderation tips should be given due consideration by anyone considering taking ephedrine.