Native from tropical America, it has spread along many tropical regions
in the world , where propagates so fast to be considered an invasive herb.
This generally occurs in very spoilt soils because of the heavy rains,
excessive hot or uncontrolled grazing.
Description of bala
Perennial shrub of the mallow family up to 1 m.
Erect stems, ligneous.
Leaves cordate, hairy with serrate edge.
Yellow flowers, gathered in final
inflorescences. Fruit in capsule.
Active principles of Sida cordifolia
- Essential oils
- Alkaloids: ephedrine, pseudoephedrine , vasicinone, vasicine
Seeds, leaves and roots
PROPERTIES OF SIDA CORDIFOLIA
Medicinal uses of bala
Stimulating preparations with bala: The seeds are used as heart stimulant, although, for its content in ephedrine, they
can be toxic. Ephedrine, (efedra, Sida cordifolia) caffeine, (coffee,
mate, guarana,) or sinephedrine, (sour orange, Sida cordifolia)
enter as components of many stimulating medications, to alleviate the pain, to remove the sensation of hunger - nutritious diets - or to increase
the caloric expense, by accelerating the metabolism.
Many athletes also
use this component in preparations to increase musculación. Among
other effects the ingesta of this component can aim at other objectives
as the feeling of personal well-being or bigger sexual pleasure.
Home remedies with bala: The bronchodilator value of vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol
are used to elaborate preparations for the treatment of the bronchial
affections, especially in what refers to cough, asthma, bronchitis,
nasal congestion, flu, pain in the chest , etc.
Being considered a diaphoretic - it increases perspiration-
it has an added value to fight the previous affections, at the same
time that it is very appropriate to reduce fever. (Decoctions of
Bala leaves preparations for external use: With the crushed leaves a cataplasm can be carried out to alleviate
local pains and because of its astringent value for the cure of external
wounds or imperfections of the skin.
Bala in Ayurveda: In India it is considered an ayurvedic plant. Ayurveda is a system of holistic medicine
in India, with more than 5000 years of antiquity that conceives the
health like the result of a lifestyle in general, in which the body,
the mind and the spirit form a whole.
It is an entire philosophical
way of leaving in which would enter the diet so much, as the yoga, the
meditation or the use of natural remedies.
How is Sida cordifolia used?
Given the toxicity of its components it is
not advised to use bala in home-made preparations!!!
Toxicity of Sida cordifolia
The continuous use of products with ephedrine can suppose a series
of risks to health:
Side effects of Sida cordifolia
Its effects, similar to those of the amphetamines,
can be more counteractive when ephedrine is taken in combination with
other stimulants, especially with caffeine.
One has to keep in mind
that many products considered as natural medicines either to diminish
weight, or for the treatment of breathing ailments, contain this component.
Because not being aware of its presence, or when ignoring its contraindications,
a prolonged use, specially combined with other stimulants, can be harmful.
On the other hand, we don't have to forget that the mentioned alkaloid
needs every time higher doses to achieve the same objectives. For these
reasons many states of United States have prohibited the use of
ephedrine in dietary complements
Symptoms of poisoning with Sida cordifolia
The main symptoms of having been poisoned with bala are the following: