Scientific noun: Sida cordifolia
Common noun: : Bala
Family :Mallow family -malvaceae
Description: 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.
Habitat: 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.

Active principles:

  • Resins
  • Essential oils
  • Alkaloids: ephedrine, pseudoephedrine , vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol
Active parts: Seeds, leaves and roots

Uses :

The seeds are used as heart stimulant, although for its content in ephedrine can be toxic. Ephedrine, (efedra, Sida cordifolia) caffeine, (coffee, mate, guarana, line) 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 sensation of personal well-being or bigger sexual pleasure.

· With the crushed leaves can be carried out a cataplasm to alleviate local pains and because of its astringent value for the cure of external wounds or imperfections of the skin.

· The bronchodilator value of the vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol are used to elaborate preparations for the treatment of the bronchial affections, especially in what refers to the 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 the root)

In India it is considered an ayurvedic plant - 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.

Given the toxicity of its components it is not advised to use home-made preparations.



The continuous use of products with ephedrine can bear a series of risks to health. Its effects, similar to those of the amphetamines, can be more counteractive when ephedrine is taken in combination with other stimulants, especially with the 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. By 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 the ephedrine in the dietary complements


- Hypertension
- Arrhythmia
- Headache
- Tremors
- Sickness
- Insomnia
- tachycardia
- Heart illness
- Hepatic illness
- Heart attack.

Treatment: Avoid a prolonged used of products containing ephedrine.