IntroductionSida cordifolia (bala, country mallow, heart-leaf sida or flannel weed) is a perennial subshrub of the mallow family Malvaceae native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed in Africa, Australia, the southern United States, Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, and French Polynesia. The specific name, cordifolia, refers to the heart-shaped leaf.
Sida cordifolia is related to Ma-huang (Ephedra) and is native to India, where it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for at least 2000 years. Like Ephedra, it contains ephedrine, but in smaller quantities. Ephedrine is commonly to enhance (athletic) performance and as a party energizer. Due to its ephedrine content, it possesses psychostimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart.
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