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Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated:
23 Sep 2019 | 05:55 PM (IST)
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Bala

Sida Cordifolia
Bala which means “strength” is a popular herb in Ayurveda. All parts of Bala possess various medicinal properties, especially the root.
Bala helps in managing weight by suppressing appetite and decreasing the urge to overeat. It also helps to manage blood glucose levels due to its hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) property. Bala also protects the liver cells against cell damage caused by free radicals due to its antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity. This antioxidant property also helps to protect the heart cells against free radical damage and manages blood pressure by preventing constriction of blood vessels. Bala might also be beneficial in managing bleeding piles due to its blood coagulant and astringent properties.
According to Ayurveda, taking Bala powder along with honey or milk twice daily helps to manage erectile dysfunction in men due to its Vajikarna (aphrodisiac) property. It also improves immunity due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property.
Massaging your joints with Bala oil helps to manage symptoms of rheumatism like joint pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Bala powder along with coconut oil can also be used for quick wound healing due to its Ropan (healing) property and Sita (cold) nature[2][7-9].

What are the synonyms of Bala?

Sida cordifolia, Badiananla, Kisangi, Chittuharalu, Baladana, Khareti, Manepundu, Nilatutti, Chiribenda, Antisa, Barila, Bariyar, Balu, Khereihati, Simak, Kharent, Chikana, Khiranti, Kattutam, Heartleaf sida, White burr, Beej band[1].

What is the source of Bala?

Plant Based

Benefits of Bala

What are the benefits of Bala for Fatigue?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of fatigue[3][6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bala is useful to manage fatigue in day to day life. Fatigue refers to a feeling of tiredness, weakness or lack of energy. According to Ayurveda, fatigue is referred to as klama and Kapha dosha is the primary dosha that is imbalanced in case of fatigue. Bala helps to reduce the symptoms of fatigue due to its Balya (strength provider) and Tridosha balancing nature.

Tip
Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Bala powder.
Mix with milk or honey.
Consume it twice a day after taking food to manage the symptoms of fatigue.

What are the benefits of Bala for Erectile dysfunction?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of erectile dysfunction (ED). It acts on the central nervous system. It contains ephedrine which acts as a mood altering and stimulating drug. Bala might increase the duration of erection and thus controls ejaculation during sexual act[3][7][8][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Sexual dysfunction in men can be in the form of loss of libido i.e., having no inclination towards a sexual act. There can also be a low erection time or semen expelled soon after a sexual activity. This is also referred to as ‘early discharge or premature ejaculation. Bala helps to maintain a healthy sexual life and reduce the symptoms of sexual weakness like erectile dysfunction and delay ejaculation.This is due to its Vajikarna (aphrodisiac) property.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Bala powder.
b. Mix with milk or honey.
c. Consume it twice a day after taking food.
d. Repeat this daily to improve sexual health.

What are the benefits of Bala for Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of asthma and bronchitis. Bala has anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic and immunomodulatory properties. Ephedrine, vasicinone, vasicine and vasicinol in Bala act as bronchodilators. They help in the dilation of the bronchial tubes and gives relief from bronchitis[3][4][10][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bala helps to control the symptoms of respiratory system problems like bronchitis. This is because the main Doshas involved in the respiratory problems are Vata and Kapha. The vitiated Vata combines with deranged Kapha dosha in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passage. This leads to bronchitis. Bala helps to balance Vata-Kapha and remove the obstruction in the respiratory passage. It also helps to increase immunity due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Bala powder.
b. Mix with honey.
c. Consume it twice a day after taking food.
d. Repeat daily till you do not get relief from the symptoms of bronchitis.

What are the benefits of Bala for Common cold symptoms?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of cold. It has adaptogenic and immunomodulatory properties. It enhances immunity and prevents the recurrence of cold and associated symptoms[3][4][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bala helps to control the symptoms of respiratory system problems like cough and cold. This is because it helps to balance Kapha and expel out the mucus from the lungs. It also helps to increase immunity due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Bala powder.
b. Mix with honey.
c. Consume twice a day after taking food.
d. Repeat daily to get rid of the symptoms of cold.

What are the benefits of Bala for Influenza (flu)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of flu. It has adaptogenic and immunomodulatory properties. It enhances the immunity and prevents the recurrence of flu and associated symptoms[3][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bala helps to reduce the symptoms of flu. In Ayurveda, flu or influenza is known as Vata Shleshmika Jwara. Flu is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. According to Ayurveda Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha gets disturbed during the seasonal changes which leads to flu. Bala helps to reduce the symptoms of flu and fights against seasonal changes due to its Tridosha balancing and Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Bala powder.
b. Mix with honey.
c. Consume twice a day after taking food.
d. Repeat daily till you do not get relief from the symptoms of flu.

What are the benefits of Bala for Obesity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of obesity. It contains ephedrine and norephedrine that acts on the central nervous system (CNS). It helps to suppress the appetite and promote weight loss. It also helps to lower the blood sugar level that may also contribute to weight loss[3][4].

What are the benefits of Bala for Headache?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of headache[3][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bala helps to manage headache especially if it starts in your temples and spreads to the central part of your head. This is due to pitta-related imbalances in the stomach and intestines like indigestion, hyperacidity, heartburn along with anger or irritation. According to Ayurveda this is known Pitta headache. Bala helps to remove Pitta aggravating factors and reduces headache. This is due to its Sita (cold) potency.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Bala powder
b. Mix with milk or honey
c. Consume it twice a day after taking food to get rid of headache.

What are the benefits of Bala for Nasal congestion (blocked nose)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Bala might be beneficial in the management of nasal congestion. It reduces the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane due to its anti-inflammatory property[3][11].

How effective is Bala?

Insufficient evidence
Common cold symptoms, Erectile dysfunction, Fatigue, Headache, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Influenza (flu), Nasal congestion (blocked nose), Obesity

Precautions when using Bala

Advice from Experts
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Anxiety
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, a certain compound present in it may stimulate the nervous system and worsen anxiety. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements if you suffer from anxiety[3][4].

2. Thyroid
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, it may stimulate the thyroid and worsen thyroid problems. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements if you have thyroid problems[3][4].

3. Kidney stones
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, it may cause kidney stones. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements if you have a history of kidney stones[3].

4. Glaucoma
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, it may dilate the pupils and worsen glaucoma. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements if you have glaucoma[3].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements during breastfeeding[3][4].
Patients with diabetes
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Bala may lower blood glucose level. So it is generally advisable to monitor the blood glucose level regularly while taking Bala or Bala supplements (although Bala is safe if taken in food amount) along with anti-diabetic drugs[3-5].
Patients with heart disease
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Bala contains a compound that may cause bradycardia (slow down heart beat) and lower blood pressure. So it is generally advised to consult your doctor and monitor your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while taking Bala or Bala supplements along with anti-hypertensive drugs[3][4][6].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Although Bala is safe if taken in food amounts, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bala or Bala supplements during pregnancy[3][4].
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Restlessness
2. Irritability
3. Insomnia
4. Lack of appetite
5. Nausea
6. Vomiting[3].

Recommended Dosage of Bala

  • Bala Powder - 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon twice a day.
  • Bala Capsule - 1-2 capsules twice day.
  • Bala Juice - 1-2 teaspoon once or twice a day.

How to use Bala

1. Bala Churna
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon Bala churna.
b. Mix with milk or honey.
c. Consume it twice a day after taking food.

2. Bala Capsule
a. Take 1-2 capsules of Bala.
b. Swallow with water after taking food twice a day.

3. Bala Juice
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon Bala juice.
b. Mix with the same quantity of water.
c. Have it once or twice a day before taking food.

4. Bala tea
a. Soak about 1 teaspoon of dried Bala or Bala powder in a cup of water.
b. Boil until water is reduced to half.
c. Drink hot or refrigerate to consume later.

Benefits of Bala

1. Joint pain
Bala powder or oil helps to reduce joint pain when applied to the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the joints are considered as a site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Applying Bala powder or oil helps to reduce joint pain due to its Tridosha especially Vata balancing property.
Tips:
a. Take ½-1 teaspoon Bala powder.
b. Make a paste with water.
Or
a. Take Bala oil as per your requirement.
b. Massage or apply on the affected area.
c. Repeat until you get relief from joint pain.

2. Paralysis
Oil prepared with Bala helps to reduce the symptoms of paralysis. Paralysis occurs when a part or the whole body loses proper functioning. According to Ayurveda, paralysis is due to imbalance of the Vata dosha that governs the motor and sensory functions. A massage with Bala oil gives strength to the affected area. This is because of its Vata balancing and Balya (strength provider) properties.
Tips:
a. Take ½-1 teaspoon Bala powder.
b. Make a paste with water.
Or
a. Take Bala oil as per your requirement.
b. Massage or apply on the affected area.
c. Repeat to manage the symptoms of paralysis.

3. Wound healing
Bala helps in quick healing of the wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin. This is due to its Ropan (healing) property. It also reduces inflammation and gives a cooling effect due to its Sita (cold) nature.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon Bala powder.
b. Mix with coconut oil and make a paste.
c. Apply on the affected area once or twice a day.
d. Repeat daily for quick wound healing.

Recommended Dosage of Bala

  • Bala Powder - ½ - 1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Bala

1. Bala Powder
A. Wound healing
i. Take 1-2 teaspoon Bala powder.
ii. Mix with coconut oil and make a paste.
iii. Apply on the affected area once or twice a day for quick healing of wound.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Does Bala have a role in diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala has a role in diabetes. It has hypoglycemic property that helps to reduce the increased levels of glucose in the blood. The antioxidant property of Bala lowers the risk of diabetic complications[11].

Q. Is Bala good for the liver?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala is good for the liver. It has antioxidant and hepatoprotective property that prevents damage of the liver cells. It also helps in liver regeneration by formation of new liver cells[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Bala helps to protect the liver and also helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. This is because of its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property.

Q. Is Bala good for the heart?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala is good for the heart. It has antioxidant and cardioprotective properties. It inhibits lipid peroxidation (lipid degradation due to free radicals) and prevents damage of the blood vessels. Bala also helps to reduce blood pressure[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Bala is good for the heart. It protects heart muscles and gives strength to function properly This is because of its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property. Bala also helps to maintain normal blood pressure due to its Mutral (diuretic) nature.

Q. Is Bala beneficial in piles?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala is beneficial in bleeding piles(hemorrhoids) as it acts as a blood coagulant. Excessive strain while passing stool or constipation may cause the site of hemorrhoids in the anal area to tear and bleed. Bala coagulates the blood in the anal area and thus prevents the loss of blood that is passed in the feces [7].
Tip:
1. Take 10 gm of Bala powder.
2. Boil it with 80 ml of water until it is reduced to 20 ml.
3. Strain the liquid and add 1 cup of milk to it.
4. Drink this mixture in the morning to get relief in haemorrhoids[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Bala helps to manage piles that occur due to an imbalance of Pitta dosha and leads to pain, burning, irritation or sometimes bleeding in the anal region. The Pitta balancing, Ropan (healing) and Kashay (astringent) properties help in the quick healing of piles. It also provides a cooling effect on the affected area because of its Sita (cold) property.

Q. Can Bala help in Lack of Perspiration?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available to explain the exact mechanism of Bala in lack of perspiration. However, Bala has traditionally been used in lack of perspiration[10].

Q. Can Bala be used for Tuberculosis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala might help manage tuberculosis where damage to lung tissue occurs(known as cavitation) which further leads to spread of infection. Bala helps to promote the healing of damaged lung tissues and thus prevents further spread of infection[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Tuberculosis occurs due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha, and leads to internal weakness (making you look thin and lean). Bala helps to prevent this condition due to its Vata and Kapha balancing and Balya (strength provider) properties. These properties provide internal strength and stamina to the body, reduces the symptoms associated with Tuberculosis.
Tips:
1. Take ¼-½ teaspoon Bala churna.
2. Mix it with milk or honey.
3. Consume it twice a day after taking food.

Q. Does Bala help in wound healing?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Bala has a role in wound healing. It helps in wound contraction and promotes the formation of new skin cells[10].

Q. Can Bala Help in rheumatism?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, the topical application of Bala oil might help in rheumatism due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It inhibits the activity of mediators responsible for inflammation and reduces the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism[8][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Bala oil is helpful to manage rheumatism. Rheumatism or pain in the joints occurs due to an imbalance of Vata dosha in the body. It can be applied to the affected area that helps to reduce joint pain because of its tridosha especially Vata balancing property.
Tips
1. Take Bala oil as per your requirement.
2. Massage or apply on the affected area.
3. Repeat daily for better results.

References

  1. Balkrishnan A.Bala.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya.Danik Bhaskar.2017.
  2. Galal A, Raman V, Khan I.Sida cordifolia, A traditional herb in modern perspective – a review. Current Traditional Medicine. 2015; 1(1):5-17.
  3. WebMD.Sida Cordifolia: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  4. Jain A, Choubey S, Singour PK et al.Sida cordifolia (Linn) – An overview. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science.2011;1(2):23-31.
  5. Kaur G, Kamboj P, Kalia AN.Antidiabetic and anti-hypercholesterolemic effects of aerial parts of Sida cordifolia Linn. on Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources.2011;2(4):428-434.
  6. Nimmy VS, P. Jayasreee, MS Deepa. A comparative study on anticonvulsant effect of Ksheera Bala taila - An Ayurveda formulation made with two source plants of Bala (Sida cordifolia,Linn. and Sida retusa Linn).
  7. Khurana N, Sharma N, Patil S, et al.Phyto-pharmacological properties of sida cordifolia: A review of folklore use and pharmacological activities.Asian J Pharm Clin Res.2016;9(2):52-58.External Link
  8. Mallikarjuna G*, Prabhakaran V, Sree Lakshmi K.Pharmacological activities of Sida cordifolia: A review. International Journal of Phytopharmacology.2013;4(5):315-321.External Link
  9. Polireddy DM.Evaluation Of Anti-Arthritic Activity Of Ethanolic Extract Of Sida-Cardifolia.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC & TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH.2015;4(11):86-96.External Link
  10. Singh A, Navneet.A review on medicinal plants and herbs of Uttrakhand (India): its traditional, ethanomedicinal and antimicrobial potential.Nature and Science.2016;14(12):90-96. External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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