Herbs Profile

Bala (Indian country mallow);Sida Cordifolia

sida cordifolia BalaBala means ‘strength’. Its stem and roots are tough and this is literally what they impart—inner strength. It is a nourishing tonic, especially for nervous conditions.

Common name Indian country mallow (E) Sanskrit Bala- Latin Sida cordifolia–Radix (Malvaceae)





  • Rasa (taste) Sweet
  • Vı-rya (energy) Cooling
  • Vipa-ka (post-digestive effect) Sweet
  • Gun.a (quality) Heavy, unctuous
  • Dos.a effect VPK=, mainly clears high pitta and vata, can increase kapha and ama if used excessively
  • Dha-tu (tissue) All tissues, primarily nerve and reproductive
  • Srotas (channel) Nervous, reproductive, urinary, circulatory, respiratory


  • Alkaloid Asparagin, ephedrine (mainly in seeds and aerial parts)
  • Phytosterols
  • Mucins


  • Balya Strengthening
  • Br.m.hanı-ya An anabolic, weightincreasing, and nourishing herb
  • Ojovardhana Increases ojas
  • S´va-saka-sahara Alleviates breathing difficulty
  • Rasa-yana Rejuvenative
  • Jı-vanı-ya Promotes energy
  • Medhya Promotes intellect
  • Hr.daya Heart tonic
  • Vr.s. ya Increases sexual potency
  • Va- jı-karan.a Aphrodisiac
  • Va-tas´amana Pacifies vata and neurological disorders


Demulcent, diuretic, tonic, adaptogen, antispasmodic, antipyretic,  antifungal/antiprotozoal, expectorant, antiasthmatic, nervine, analgesic, aphrodisiac


Urinary Cystitis, stones, infection, haematuria, polyuria, urgency; high pitta and vata in mutravahasrotas (Bhavapraka´sa).

Nerves Pain, neuralgia, sciatica, paralysis and neurosis; all structural and nervous disorders with  high vata. It is an excellent energy tonic when there is exhaustion due to an aggravated nervous system. An external oil massage using warm bala siddha taila is commonly used for these conditions along with internal treatment (Frawley & Lad 1994).

Reproductive Infertility, leucorrhoea and apanaksetra congestion along with reproductive weakness (´sukraksaya). Bala is a renowned energy tonic that enhances sexual potency and ojas. Used to aid the growth of the fetus and keep the mother strong (Paranjpe 2001).

Lungs Dry cough, asthma, tuberculosis and haemoptysis; vata–pitta disorders of the lungs. The low levels of ephedrine help to bronchodilate constriction and prevent wheezing and restricted breathing (Paranjpe 2001).

Fever High temperature from an underlying deficiency and weakness.

Heart Bala is a great heart tonic used for treating arrhythmia, tachycardia, irregular pulse and palpitations. As it benefits both mamsa dhatu and mamsavahasrotas it can be used to strengthen the heart muscle.


* Gokshura, licorice, coriander in urinary infection caused by high pitta–vata.

* Fresh ginger, lemon grass, black pepper in fever.

* Pippali, anthrapachaka in vata–pitta respiratory problems. Also with ephedra and vasa in congestive lung disorders.

* Ashwagandha, shatavari, lotus seed in reproductive disorders.

* Ashwagandha and kapikacchu in paralysis.

* Arjuna, guggul for cardiac disorders.


  • High ama and kapha.
  • Hypertension.


Due to its ephedrine content it may interact with caffeine and MAO inhibitors, exacerbating effects and elevating blood pressure; beta-blockers by reducing drug efficacy due to opposing activity, ephedrine (e.g. Sudafed) by additive sympathomimetic effects inducing further toxicity and arrhythmia, and steroids (dexamethasone) by enhancing clearance levels and thus reducing effectiveness of the drug (Treasure 2000).


500mg–5g per day or 3–15ml of a 1:3 @ 25% tincture.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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