BALA, Sida cordifolia


Latin name: Sida cordifolia

English name: Country mallow

Sanskrit name: Bala, Vatya

Indian name: Bariyar, Kharethi

Medicinal parts used: Roots, leaves, seeds and stems

Sida cordifolia, commonly known as bala, is a plant in the family Malvaceae. Bala is a small, downy, erect shrub with tawny-yellow flowers. It grows wild along roadsides throughout the tropical and sub-tropical plains of India and Sri Lanka. It is considered to be one of the most valuable drugs in Ayurveda.

Its principal constituent is Ephedrine which is one of the alkaloids reported to be present. It contains phytosterol and potassium nitrate. The phytosterols have estrogenic activity. It is used traditionally in cases of spermatorrhea, polyurea, leucorrhea and certain nervine disorders such as monoplegia, sciatica, palsy, etc.

Therapeutic use:

  • Bala acts as a general stimulant on many parts of the body at the same time and is most often used as a CNS (central nervous system) stimulant, as a decongestant and as an appetite suppressant in a wide variety of successful weight loss products.
  • It is used by Ayurveda physicians as an antipyretic in febrile and infectious diseases, and also as an aphrodisiac.
  • Bala is also useful in the treatment of chronic broncho-pulminary conditions characterized by bronchospasm and cough.


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