Latin Name: Sida cordifolia
Also Known As: Abutilon en Épi, Bala, Bariar, Country Mallow, Guimauve, Heartleaf, Herbe de Douze Heures, Indian Chikana, Khareti, Malva Blanca, Malva-Branca, Malva-Branca-Sedosa, Mauve Blanc, Mauve du Pays, Silky White Mallow, Vatya, White Mallow.
Origin: India and Sri lanka
Parts Used: Stem and roots
Active Agents: Ephedrine, sterculic acid, malvalic and coronaric acid, pseudoephedrine, fatty acid, saponine, hypaphorine, ecdysterone, indole alkaloids, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ole-beta-sitosterol
Descriptionn of Plant: Sida cordifolia is perennial herb that grows 30mtr in height. Leaves of this plant are oblong or ovate and are 2.5 – 7cm lon and 2.5 – 7cm long and 2.5 – 5cm broad with 6 – 7 veins. Its leaves are serrate, truncate and heart-shaped. Plant bears small, solitary, axillary and white or yellow colored flowers. Both roots and stems of the plant are stout and strong. Roots are bitter in test, odorless and greyish yellow in color. Tap roots are generally branched at the tip. Fruits are moong sized, disc-shaped and velvety in upper half about 6 – 8mm in diameter. Seeds are smooth and greyish black in color and are called bajibanda in Ayurveda. Flowering season of plant is august to December and fruits appear from October to January. Sida corifolia(Bala) is widely distributed along with other species are common throughout the tropical and sub-tropical plains all over India and Srilanka, growing wild along the roadside.
The Bala plant is associated with the ancient Hindu Goddess of beauty and grace Parvathi. The herb is part of the 'magical trio combination' associated with women in Indian herbal folk medicine "Tripura Sundari" in common language - meaning "thrice beautiful". The other herbs recommended for beautifying women are: Ashoka and Shatavari.
Country mallow,also referred to by its scientific name Sida cordifolia Linn belongs to the Malvaceae family. In India Sida cordifolia. Linn is commonly known as Bala, which is widely used in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine in India and various other countries for immunity. Ayurveda has mentioned bala as brmhaniya, a bulk promoting herb. Maharishi Charaka mentions Bala as a rejuvenative (rasayana) to muscle tissue (mamsa dhatu) and muscular system.
Traditional Use and Health Benefits: Bala is one of the most valued and well used Ayurvedic herbs. It is used for weight loss, and boosting physical endurance and strength, often used by athletes and bodybuilders. It is also known as an Aphrodisiac.
In India it has been used for 2000 years for conditions such as :
- Colds and flu
- Nasal congestion
- Aching joints and bones
- Coughs and wheezing
Bala is a diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulating to the central nervous system and anti-asthmatic. So it would seem to have a stimulating, strengthening, energising effect. The stem of the plant generally contains essential oils and 1-2 % alkaloids composed mainly of stimulants, which are known to be excellent for weight loss.
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