Through the mining era, this tea, which acted as a tonic, was the drink of choice in the waiting rooms at houses of ill - repute. Ephedra Extracts's active component, ephedrine, was isolated from the product in 1887. In 1924, physicians began making use of it as a decongestant and a bronchodilator. An ephedra alkaloids-based product called Zoom entered the fitness supplement market through the 1980s. Ephedrine Hydrochloride weight loss supplements were soon manufactured by other companies. 2004.