Bala, org (1/2 lb.)

Item Number : 7492 Price: $11.95 Quantity :

USDA Organic

Certified Organic Bala root powder (Sida cordifolia)


Used externally as an oil to support muscle health and comfort*

  • Promotes muscular comfort*
  • Tones the muscle tissue*
  • Calms the nerves*
  • Strengthens and energizes the body*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for all doshas, may increase kapha (if used in excess)

Commentary: Since April 12, 2004 herbs containing ephedrine alkaloids have been prohibited by the FDA for use in dietary supplements. The final rule states that it “does not affect the use of Ephedra preparations in traditional Asian medicine.” Bala is an entirely different species of plant than Ephedra, but it does contain a relatively small amount of ephedrine alkaloids as do several other plants. Because of the way the final rule is written, it is currently unclear how bala may be used by practitioners of Ayurveda. As a result, Banyan does not market Bala as a dietary supplement. We do make it available as a bulk powder to Ayurvedic practitioners for traditional use in external preparations.

Bala name means “strength” alluding to its power to strengthen and energize the body. As a common ingredient in Ayurvedic massage oils, it tones the muscles, calms the nerves and helps support muscle health and comfort. *

For a 1 lb bag click here For five lbs or more in bulk click here

Products that contain Bala include: Ashwagandha/Bala Oil, Mahanarayan Oil, and Vata Massage Oil

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

For more information on Bala visit: The FDA's Final Rule on Dietary Supplements containing Ephedrine Alkaloids The AHPA's petition to the FDA for reconsideration and a stay of action

Wikipedia's entry for Sida cordifolia

Herbs for life monograph

Search index page description Banyan Botanicals Bala root powder is USDA certified organic, sustainably sourced, and fairly traded. Bala is also known as Khareti (Hindi), Bala (Sanskrit), Kotikanbevila (Sinhalese), Indian country mallow (English). The botanical name of Bala is Sida cordifolia. Bala root powder is available in ½ lb and 1 lb bags and in bulk bags of 5 lbs or more.


Botanical name: Sida cordifolia, Malvaceae

Similar species: S. acuta, S. rhombifolia, S. spinosa

Other names: Bariar, Barial, Jamglimedhi (H), Arivalmanaippundu, Kuruntotti (T), Country Mallow (E)

BalaBotany: Sida cordifolia is a small highly branched shrub covered in a wooly pubescence. The leaves are 2.5-5 cm long, cordate, crenate, borne on long petioles up to 3.8 cm long. The yellow flowers are solitary or found in pairs in the leaf axils, the calyx 6-8 mm long, the corolla slightly extending beyond the calyx. The fruit is a schizocarp, 6-8 mm in diameter, containing 7-10 carpels. Bala is found in tropical and subtropical regions in both hemispheres, often as an invasive weed of tropical pastures (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 312).

Part used: Root and leaves.

Dravyaguna: root

    Rasa: madhura
    Vipaka: guru
    Virya: shita
    Karma: purishasangrahaniya, jvaraghna, kasahara, raktaprasadana, hrdaya, balya, medhya, vajikarana, jivaniya, brimhana, Vatapittahara (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 250; Warrier et al 1996, 129; Dash 1991, 64)

Constituents: Researchers have isolated an acylsteryglycoside sitoindoside from Bala, as well as small amounts of the alkaloid ephedrine, beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols, palmatic, stearic and hexacosanoic acids, and resins. The seeds are stated contain upwards of four times the amount epherdrine as the rest of the plant (Yoganarasimhan 2000, 497; Kapoor 1990, 303).

Medical research:

Antiinflammatory: An ethyl acetate extract of the root and aerial parts of Sida cordifolia showed comparable antiinflammatory activity with indomethacin in experimental animals, and both the root and aerial parts showed very good central and peripheral analgesic activities at a dose of 600 mg/kg (Kanth and Diwan 1999).

Hypoglycemic: A methanol extract of the root was found to possess significant hypoglycaemic activity, in vivo (Kanth and Diwan 1999).

Toxicity: No data found.

Indications: Arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, paralysis, sciatica, neuritis, neuralgia, epilepsy, rheumatism, asthma, anorexia, fatigue, impotence, spermatorrhea, gonorrhea, cystitis, leucorrhea, urinary frequency, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, chronic fever.

Contraindications: Kaphakopa, ama (Frawley and Lad 1986, 162). Use with caution in hypertension due to the presence of ephedrine.

Medicinal uses: Like many other species in the Malvaceae, Bala is used in Ayurveda for its soothing and mucilaginous qualities, but unlike the similar Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), Bala contains small amounts of ephedrine, making it a mild bronchodilator with vasoconstrictive properties (Duke 1999; Nadkarni 1954, 1135). Although remedies that promote sympathetic innervation typically aggravate Vata, Bala is in fact a rejuvenative to Vata, and whatever adrenergic activity the plant has is offset by its other qualities. Bala has an affinity for diseases of the nervous system and can be used in a wide variety of conditions where Vata is the main pathogenic factor (Frawley and Lad 1986, 162). It provides a gentle stimulus while remaining a nourishing brimhana dravya. In cases of paralysis a milk decoction of Bala root is taken along with equal parts Ashvagandha root and Kapikachu. This preparation can also be applied topically, the steam funneled off from the decoction is directed on to the affected area by a hose (nadi sveda). An excellent taila can be prepared from the root of Bala, useful in abhyanga to treat paralysis and frozen shoulder, and is used externally for tinnitus. A liniment made from equal parts of the Bala root and the formula Dashmula can be used in the treatment of sciatica (Nadkarni 1954, 1137). The Chakradatta mentions Bala as a useful remedy for diseases of the heart, used with equal parts Nagabala and Arjuna, and one quarter part Madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra), decocted and prepared as a ghrita (Sharma 2002, 306). In cases of asthma Bala can be very useful, but should be used with pungent tasting botanicals such as Pippali or Ela (Elettaria cardamomum) to offset its strong Kapha-promoting qualities that may contribute to bronchial catarrh. In cases of urinary tenesmus Bala is most useful as a soothing diuretic, taken along with Kava (Piper methysticum) or Parasikayavani (Hyocyamus niger) as an antispasmodic. The leaves of Bala are mucilaginous and cooling and may be used internally as a demulcent in chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, cystitis and bleeding hemorrhoids (Nadkarni 1954, 1137). In the treatment of Parkinsonism, Bala may be effective to manage symptoms when taken along with Kapikachu (Mucuna pruriens), Ashvagandha and Parasikayavani (Hyocyamus niger). There are several similar species in the Sida genus, including S. acuta, S. humilis, S. indicum, S. rhombifolia and S. spinosa. Most of these are generally identified by the suffix ‘bala,’ such as Atibala, Mahabala, Nagabala, etc., but unfortunately there is no general agreement as to which is which. Kirtikar and Basu describe S. spinosa as Nagabala and S. rhombifolia as Atibala (1935, 305-13). According to Srikanthamurthy Bala is S. cordifolia, Mahabala is S. rhombifolia, Atibala is a related member of the Malvaceae called Abutilon indicum, and Nagabala is Grewia hirsuta (Tiliaceae) (2001, 250). The Bhavaprakasha mentions Mahabala specifically in dysuria, and as a laxative, whereas Atibala taken with milk is stated as a treatment for diabetes (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 250). The Madanaphala nighantu mentions Nagabala as a treatment for rakta pitta, a condition characterized by bleeding from different parts of the body (Dash 1991, 64).


• Churna: 1-5 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Kvatha: 1:4, 30-90 mL b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Tincture: 1:3, 35% alcohol, 3-5 mL b.i.d.-t.i.d.

sida_cordifolia.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/10 14:25 (external edit)