Herbs & Plants

Sida cordifolia

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Botanical Name : Sida cordifolia
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Sida
Species: S. cordifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Name :Bala, Country mallow, Heart-leaf sida or Flannel weed

English Name: Country Mallow
Hindi Name: Khareti, Bala, Barial, Kumghi.

Parts used: Root, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds.

Habitat :Sida cordifolia is native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed in Africa, Australia, the southern United States, Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, and French Polynesia. The specific name, cordifolia, refers to the heart-shaped leaf.

S. cordifolia is an erect perennial that reaches 50 to 200 cm (20 to 79 in) tall, with the entire plant covered with soft white felt-like hair that is responsible for one of its common names, “flannel weed”. The stems are yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender. The yellow-green leaves are oblong-ovate, covered with hairs, and 3.5 to 7.5 cm (1.4 to 3.0 in) long by 2.5 to 6 cm (0.98 to 2.4 in) wide. The flowers are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange center, with a hairy 5-lobed calyx and 5-lobed corolla.
Flowers yellow, peduncles, axillary, jointed much above the panicles, upper flowers nearly sessile and fasciculate towards the tip of the branches forming subspicate inflorescence. Fruits subdiscoid, 6-8 mm across, mericarps 10, 3 sided. Seeds trigonous, glabours, tufted-pubescent near the hilum.

As a weed, it invades cultivated and overgrazed fields, competing with more desired species and contaminating hay.

Chemical constituents: Asparagin, alkaloids: ephedrine, hypaphorine, vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol (Ghosal, Chauhan, and Mehta 1975), phytosterols, mucin, gelatin, potassium nitrate and rutin. Ephedrine content of whole plant is 0.085 %. The seeds contain 0.32% of alkaloid. A study reported 0.112% of ephedrine in whole plant of Sida cordifolia (Khatoon, Srivastava, Rawat and Mehrotra 2005). The seeds contain more alkaloids that that is found in the stems, roots or leaves.  Non-polar constituents have been reported from plant growing in Bangladesh (Khan, Rashid, Huq and Ahmad 1989).

No tannin or glycosides have been identified from the plant. The roots and stems contain the alkaloid ephedrine, normally observed in the different varieties of the gymnosperm genus Ephedra. Recent analyses have revealed that ephedrine and pseudoephedrine constitute the major alkaloids from the aerial parts of the plant, which also show traces of sitosterol and palmitic, stearic and hexacosanoic acids. The flavones: 5,7-dihydroxy-3-isoprenyl flavone (1) and 5-hydroxy-3-isoprenyl flavone (2), ?-sitosterol and stigmasterol have been isolated from the plant. The analgesic alkaloid (5?-Hydroxymethyl-1?-(1,2,3,9-tetrahydro-pyrrolo [2,1-b] quinazolin-1-yl)-heptan-1-one)has also been found. Sterculic, malvalic and coronaric acids have been isolated from the seed oil, along with other fatty acids (Chem. Ind. 1985. 483).

Medicinal Uses:
According to Ayurveda, the plant is tonic, astringent, emollient, aphrodisiac and useful in treatment of respiratory system related troubles. Bark is considered as cooling. It is useful in blood, throat, urinary system related troubles, piles, phthisis, insanity etc.

Sida cordifolia is used in the treatment of leucorrhoea, gonorrhea, general debility and rheumatism. Expressed juice of the whole plant is useful in premature ejaculation. The juice obtained from the roots is applied to unhealthy sores. Decoction of the root bark is given in sciatica and rheumatism.

S. cordifolia is used in Ayurvedic medicine, known as “malva branca”, is a plant used in the folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation of the oral mucosa, blenorrhea, asthmatic bronchitis and nasal congestion, stomatits, of asthma and nasal congestion and in many parts of Africa for various ailments, particularly for respiratory problems.It has been investigated as an anti-inflammatory, for treating cancer, and for encouraging liver re-growth. Due to its ephedrine content, it possesses psychostimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart.

A 50% ethanolic extract of Sida cordifolia tested on rats showed potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity, activity comparable with the standard drug deprenyl.

The plant has demonstrated anti-pyretic and anti-ulcerogenic properties.

The aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia stimulates liver regeneration in rats.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is  always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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