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Sida cordifolia is a perennial shrub of the mallow family Malvaceae native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed in Africa, Australia, and the southern United States. S. cordifolia is an erect perennial that reaches 50 to 200 cm tall. The stems are yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender. The yellow-green leaves are oblong-ovate, covered with hairs and 3.5 to 7.5 cm long by 2.5 to 6 cm wide. The flowers are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange center, with a hairy 5-lobed calyx and 5-lobed corolla.
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Botanical Names
Sida cordifolia
Indian Names
Hindi : Kungyi English : Country mallow Sanskrit : Bala Tamil : Mayir-manikham Bengali : Brela Gujarati : Junglimethi Malayalam : Velluram Punjab : Simak Telugu : Chittamutti, Mattavapulagam; Marathi : Chikana
Chemical Constituents
A preliminary phytochemical screening of the hydroalcoholic extract of the leaves of Sida cordifolia demonstrated the presence of alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids and saponins. Chemical studies of the leaves of this plant revealed the presence of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (vasoconscrictor), vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol (bronchodilators) (1). The roots and stems contain the alkaloid ephedrine, normally observed in the different varieties of the gymnosperm genus Ephedra. Recent analyses have revealed that ephedrine and pseudoephedrine constitute the major alkaloids from the aerial parts of the plant, which also show traces of sitosterol and palmitic, stearic and hexacosanoic acids. The flavones: 5,7-dihydroxy-3-isoprenyl flavone and 5-hydroxy-3-isoprenyl flavone, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol have been isolated from the plant. The analgesic alkaloid (5′-Hydroxymethyl-1′-(1, 2, 3, 9-tetrahydro-pyrrolo [2, 1-b] quinazolin-1-yl)-heptan-1-one) has also been found. Sterculic, malvalic and coronaric acids have been isolated from the seed oil, along with other fatty acids.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health
Pharmacology
It is used in the folk medicine for several purposes as anti rheumatic, antipyretic, laxative, and diuretic, anti inflammatory, analgesic, hypoglycaemic, anti asthmatic. It is also used to treat nasal congestion and also as aphrodisiac. Further clinical studies showed that it also possesses antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal activities (2). Ethanolic extract of Sida cordifolia tested on rats showed potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory activity. The plant has demonstrated anti-pyretic and anti-ulcerogenic properties. No tannin or glycosides have been identified from the plant. The aqueous fraction of the hydro alcoholic extract of the leaves of Sida cordifolia induce hypotension and bradycardia, which could be due to both indirect cardiac muscarinic activation through the vagus nerve, and direct activation of endothelial vascular muscarinic receptors and consequent release of NO. However, further experiments are necessary to clearly elucidate the underlying mechanisms responsible for these responses. Root and leaf extract of S. cordifolia recorded significant activity against all the test bacteria. Sida cordifolia L. root is used in pain, nervous disorders, coryza, and cardiac diseases (1).
Health Benefits
Sida cordifolia is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also used in the folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation of the oral mucosa, blenorrhea, asthmatic bronchitis and nasal congestion, stomatits, of asthma and nasal congestion and in many parts of Africa for various ailments, particularly for respiratory problems. It has been investigated as an anti-inflammatory, for treating cancer, and for encouraging liver re-growth. Due to its ephedrine content, it possesses psycho stimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart. The aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia stimulates liver regeneration in rats (3). Sida cordifolia is commonly known as bala and widely used in Ayurveda. Sida cordifolia is a good source of antioxidant. The comparative antioxidant potential of ethanol extracts of Sida cordifolia leaf, stem, root, and whole plant was studied. All extracts of Sida cordifolia have effective reducing power and free-radical scavenging activity. Only the root extract exhibited superoxide-scavenging activity and inhibited lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenate. The highest antioxidant activity was observed in the root extract. The results obtained in the current study indicate that S. cordifolia is a potential source of natural antioxidants (4).
Research References
1. B. Mahesh and S. Satish Antimicrobial Activity of Some Important Medicinal Plant against Plant and Human Pathogens World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 4 (S): 839-843, 2008 2. I.A. Medeiros, M.R.V. Santos, N.M.S. Nascimento, and J.C. Duarte Cardiovascular effects of Sida cordifolia leaves extract in rats Fitoterapia 2006, 77:19– 27 3. Joya T. F., Mina L. R., Glenn B., Greg O., Sean S. P., Gary L. C., Lori A. L. and Tse-Ling F. Severe Hepatotoxicity Associated with the Dietary Supplement LipoKinetix Ann Intern Med. 2002 (136):590-595 4. K. Dhalwal, Y.S. Deshpande, A.P. Purohit and S.S. Kadam Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity of Sida cordifolia. 2005 Pharmaceutical Biology 43(9):754-761