Sida cordifolia

Sida cordifolia


No documentation.

Vernacular Name

Bala, ellu, goma, hamo, hnan, huma, khareti, kunjud, sesam, sesame, sesamum, tala, tel, til, country mallow. [1]


Growing to a height of 3 meters, this erect annual yields small, yellow flowers with small, white or black seeds. S. cordifolia is described as being generally miasmal in nature. Since prehistoric times, S. cordifolia has been used for its medicinal properties in India, specifically Ayurvedic medicine. [2]

Origin / Habitat

Sida cordifolia is an annual originating in tropical and subtropical areas of India and Nepal, though now widely cultivated throughout India.

Chemical Constituents

The primary medicinally efficacious constituent of S. cordifolia is the alkaloid ephedrine. It should be noted that the seeds contain about four times as much of this alkaloid as other parts of the plant. Additionally, the plant contains mucins, phytosterols, potassium nitrate, and resin and resin acids. [1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, roots, seeds. [1]

Traditional Use

Ayurvedic medicine dictates that the uses of Bala are many. It has use in certain respiratory disorders, including but not limited to athsma, nasal congestionand phthisis, [2][3] Bala is also quite useful in many blood and urine related disorders, as it has been classified as a cardiac stimulant. [2] In a traditional root infusion, Bala has been used to treat blood in the urine, blood and bile disorders, cystitis, gonorrhea spermatorrhea and leucorrhea. Additionally, Bala has traditional indications in the treatment of dysentery, rheumatism, fever, and facial paralysis. [1] Ayurvedic medicine also indicates that Bala may be used in insanity and other mental disorders. [4] Its rasa (taste) is described as madhura (sweet). Bala has a sita virya, indicating that it has a cooling effect on the body, and pacifies the pitta dosha while stimulating the kapha dosha.


Dosages vary widely with application and preparation.

In the current western market, the herb is standardized to the alkaloids. It is not standardized in Ayurvedic use.



Sida cordifolia is most commonly prepared as an extract of either the whole plant or just the root. It has been shown to have antioxidant properties according to a 2003 study. [5] According to a 1999 study, ethyl acetate of S. cordifolia has been found to have both analgesic and hypoglycemic properties. [6] 

Additionally, in a 2005 animal study, S. cordifolia exhibited a depressive effect on the central nervous system and a low toxicity in mice. [7] 

An aqueous solution of S. cordifolia was found to stimulate liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in rats. [8] Additionally, animal studies have found S. cordifolia to have vasorelaxative, hypotensive and bradycardiac effects. [9] [10] 


In a 2000 study of S. cordifolia found it to have beneficial effects on treatment of Parkinson’s disease when used in combination with Mucuna pruriens, Hyoscyamus reticulatus and Withania somnifera. The study observed 18 people clinically diagnosed with Parkinson’s, all of whom took a milk concoction of the aforementioned herbs. Thirteen subjects participated in a 28 day cleanse beforehand while the remaining five subjects did not. Only the subjects who cleansed before the treatment showed improved activity in daily life. Side effects included excessive salivation. [11] 

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

Potential interactions exist with MAO inhibitors, central nervous system stimulants and decongestants.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Consult a health care professional before using this product if you have heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, psychiatric condition, difficulty in urinating, prostate enlargement, or seizure disorder, if you are using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or any other prescription drug, or you are using an over-the-counter drug containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine (ingredients found in certain allergy, asthma, cold/cough and weight control products). 

Exceeding recommended serving will not improve results and may cause serious adverse health effects. 

Discontinue use and call a health care professional immediately if you experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, severe headache, shortness of breath, or similar symptoms.


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

Not intended for use by anyone under the age of 18.

Adverse reaction

While there are no studies reporting serious adverse events with this particular herb, nevertheless, it does contain ephedrine alkaloids and therefore the relative precautions should be noted.

Read More

  1)  Western Herbs


  1. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.303.
  2. Oudia, Pankaj. Sida cordifolia. Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM). 2004. Available from: [Accessed on 20 February 2009].
  3. Franzotti EM, Santos CV, Rodrigues HM, Mourão RH, Andrade MR, Antoniolli AR. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic activity and acute toxicity of Sida cordifolia L. (Malva-branca) J Ethnopharmacol. Sep2000; 72 (1-2): 273-277.
  4. Herbal Monograph – Sida cordifolia. The Himalaya Drug Company. 2002. Available from: [Accessed on 24 February 2009].
  5. Auddy B, Ferreira M, Blasina F, Lafon L, Arredondo F, Dajas F, Tripathi PC, Seal T, Mukherjee B. Screening of antioxidant activity of three Indian medicinal plants, traditionally used for the management of neurodegenerative diseases. J Ethnopharmacol. Feb2003;84(2-3):131-138.
  6. Philip BK, Muralidharan A, Natarajan B, Varadamurthy S, Venkataraman S. Preliminary evaluation of anti-pyretic and anti-ulcerogenic activities of Sida cordifolia methanolic extract. Fitoterapia. Apr2008;79(3):229-231.
  7. Franco CI, Morais LC, Quintans-Júnior LJ, Almeida RN, Antoniolli AR. CNS pharmacological effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of Sida cordifolia L. leaves. J Ethnopharmacol. 26Apr 2005;98(3):275-279.
  8. Silva RL, Melo GB, Melo VA, Antoniolli AR, Michellone PR, Zucoloto S, Picinato MA, Franco CF, Mota Gde A, Silva Ode C. Effect of the aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia on liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Acta Cir Bras. 2006;21(1):37-39.
  9. Santos MR, Nascimento NM, Antoniolli AR, Medeiros IA. Endothelium-derived factors and k+ channels are involved in the vasorelaxation induced by Sida cordifolia L. in the rat superior mesenteric artery. Pharmazie. May2006;61(5):466-469.
  10. Medeiros IA, Santos MR, Nascimento NM, Duarte JC. Cardiovascular effects of Sida cordifolia leaves extract in rats. Fitoterapia. Jan2006;77(1):19-27.
  11. Nagashayana N, Sankarankutty P, Nampoothiri MR, Mohan PK, Mohanakumar KP. Association of L-DOPA with recovery following Ayurveda medication in Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Sci. 15Jun2000;176(2):124-127.