Sida cordifolia

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Sida cordifolia is an herb in the Malvaceae family used widely in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known as Country mallow or Bala and grows in transitional or waste areas. Leaves are heart shaped with a single leaf at each node. The flowers are produced at the growing ends and are yellow in color. It is cool, astringent and extremely bitter, which makes it useful for reducing inflammation,and is diuretic and invigorating. In Ayurvedic terms it is beneficial in deranged pitta. The herb is rejuvinating to the nervous, circulatory, and urinary systems. The root has been used for asthma and arthritis for 2000 years. Cooked leaves are a remedy for piles. In Cambodia the roots are considered as diuretic and depurative; they are given in the treatment of gonorrhea and ringworm. [1]

Bala is used in massage oils which are used topically to massage sore muscles and joints in arthritis or rheumatism, sciatica and neuritis of the legs. The leaves can be used as an infusion in treating fevers and delirium. The root of this plant is astringent, diuretic, and tonic, and its infusion is useful in cystitis, strangury, haematuria, bleeding piles, chronic dysentery, leucorrhoea, and gonorrhea The seeds are considered aphrodesiac and a nervine and are used in treating colic, tenesmus and gonorrhea.

Constituents include ephedrine (1%), phytosterols and potassium nitrate. There may be an estrogenic effect from the phytosterols. [2]

Sida cordifolia can be found in a few supplements for weight loss, substituted after the ephedra ban. The supplement contains 1% ephedrine alkaloid which can aid in fat loss, commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes for superior performance and leaner bodies. It is currently and most commonly being manufactured in tablets that also contain caffeine. Its effects on the body are different from the much warmer herb Ma Huang, a very popular, yet controversial ephedra extract.

Like its relatives (Ma Huang, and the pill Pseudoephedrine), S. cordifolia is also effective as an anti-asthmatic treatment, but would be used for people who run hot rather than those who run cold. It is considered as diaphoretic, diuretic, and central nervous system stimulating. The Sida Cordifolia plant is native to India, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.

See also


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