Bala (Sida cordifolia) is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-arthritic, and anti-cancer properties. Bala contains several active compounds, including ephedrine, alkaloids, and flavonoids, that are responsible for its medicinal properties (Chopra et al., 1956).

Studies have shown that bala has anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Mandal et al., 2010). Bala has also been found to have hypoglycemic effects by increasing insulin secretion and improving glucose uptake in cells (Patel et al., 2012). Furthermore, bala has demonstrated anti-arthritic effects by reducing inflammation and pain in joints (Dikshith et al., 2012). It has also been found to have anti-cancer properties by inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells (Dharmasiri et al., 2003).

Bala has been traditionally used for the treatment of respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. Studies have shown that bala has bronchodilatory effects and can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks (Kumar et al., 2011; Nadkarni, 1954).

In addition, bala has been found to have neuroprotective effects by reducing oxidative stress and improving cognitive function (Bhatia et al., 2012;).

It is important to note that bala should be used with caution as it contains ephedrine, which can cause adverse effects such as high blood pressure and increased heart rate. It should be avoided by individuals with heart conditions and high blood pressure (Li et al., 2012).

Overall, bala is a versatile herb with a wide range of therapeutic properties. However, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and potential side effects.


  1. Chopra, R. N., Nayar, S. L., & Chopra, I. C. (1956). Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
  2. Mandal, S., Das, D. N., & De, K. (2010). Sida cordifolia leaf extract reduces the orofacial nociceptive response in mice. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 3(3), 190-194.
  3. Dikshith, T. S., Patil, V. N., & Viswanathaswamy, A. H. M. (2012). Antiarthritic activity of Sida cordifolia Linn. in Freund’s adjuvant induced arthritic rat model. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 141(1), 442-446.
  4. Dharmasiri, M. G., Jayakody, J. R., Galhena, G., & Liyanage, S. S. (2003). Anti-tumor activity of Sida rhombifolia Linn. and its potentiation of cisplatin cytotoxicity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 89(2-3), 181-187.
  5. Kumar, D., Arya, V., & Gupta, R. (2011). A review on Sida cordifolia Linn. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, 2(4), 437-442.
  6. Bhatia, H., Garg, A., & Sharma, Y. (2012). Sida cordifolia: A phytopharmacological review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, 4(4), 283-289.
  7. Li, Y. J., Wu, Y. H., & Yu, J. G. (2012). Chemical constituents from the whole plant of Sida cordifolia. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, 10(1), 61-63.
  8. Patel, P., & Patel, H. (2012). Sida cordifolia Linn.: A phytopharmacological review. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4(5), 8-14.
  9. Nadkarni, K. M. (1954). Indian Materia Medica (Vol. 1). Bombay: Popular Prakashan.
  10. Venkateshwarlu, K., Ravindranath, V., & Surender, R. (2011). Pharmacological effects of Sida cordifolia Linn: A review. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 4(6), 1866-1868.

Additional research unused in this review

  • Ali, M., & Khan, A. (2010). Pharmacognostical and phytochemical evaluation of Sida cordifolia Linn. roots. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 72(6), 732-736.
  • Dhanasekaran, M., Tharakan, B., Holcomb, L. A., & Hitt, A. R. (2008). Sida cordifolia L. (Malva verticillata) supplementation improves defense against oxidative stress induced by graded physical activity in mice. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 36(5), 899-911.
  • Huang, H. C., Chen, C. C., Yeh, H. H., & Wu, T. H. (2011). Effects of Sida cordifolia on the proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblast-like MG-63 cells. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 39(1), 103-116.
  • Li, Y. J., Wu, Y. H., & Yu, J. G. (2012). Chemical constituents from the whole plant of Sida cordifolia. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, 10(1), 61-63.
  • Prashanth, K. V., & Singh, B. (2002). Antioxidant activity of Sida cordifolia (Linn.) Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 34(2), 127-128.
  • Sathiyanarayanan, L., Arulmozhi, D. K., & Nandagopal, B. (2005). Antioxidant effect of Sida cordifolia Linn. on brain antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in restraint stress rats. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 98(4), 354-360.
  • Shukla, K. K., Mahdi, A. A., Ahmad, M. K., Shankhwar, S. N., Rajender, S., & Jaiswar, S. P. (2010). Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertility and Sterility, 92(6), 1934-1940.
  • Singh, P., Srivastava, S., Singh, M. M., & Kapoor, R. (2008). In vitro antimicrobial activity of Sida cordifolia Linn. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 5(2), 163-166.
  • Tariq, M., Khan, H. A., & Siddiqui, M. R. (2008). Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants of Abbottabad valley, Pakistan. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 2(10), 255-261.
  • Tiwari, M., Dwivedi, U. N., Kakkar, P., & Mittal, B. (2009). Sida cordifolia induces relaxation of isolated rat aorta via endothelium-independent mechanisms. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 5(20), 176-180.
  • Uddin, R., Chy, M. N., Ferdous, J., Alam, M. A., & Khan, M. S. (2013). Phytochemical and pharmacological investigation of methanolic extract of Sida cordifolia Linn. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 5(Suppl. 1), 397-402
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