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Does Sida Cordifolia Help You Lose Weight?

When you choose to use a fat burner you’re presented with hundreds of different products. Whilst some contain ingredients that’ll work well for you, others contain ineffective and even unsafe ingredients.

In this article we’ll give you the lowdown on one supplement you’ll want to avoid – Sida cordifolia.

This is what we’ll cover:

  • What is Sida cordifolia?
  • Does it help you lose weight?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Is it FDA approved?
  • Is there a safer option?

What is Sida cordifolia?

Sida cordifolia is a perennial shrub with heart-shaped leaves and yellow flowers that often have an orange-colored center. Otherwise known as Bala, country mallow or flannel weed, this plant is found throughout the world but is native to Brazil.

It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for a number of reasons including bronchitis, nasal congestion and inflammation. It contains mainly alkaloids, fatty oils and steroidal saponins which provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties [1].

The leaves of the plant have also been found to contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine [2]. In Indian medicine, The leaves are often cooked and eaten, or the whole plant is juiced to treat illness. It can also be mixed with milk to treat urinary tract conditions. Historically the plant has also been used to treat rheumatism, regenerate liver enzymes, decrease stress and erectile dysfunction.


Sida Cordifolia and Weight Loss

A number of companies rely on the suggestion that this supplement can stimulate the central nervous system (CNS) to increase heart rate and blood pressure, therefore increasing metabolic rate.

However, there is no real evidence to support its use as a weight loss supplement [3]. Studies have found that does not promote CNS and therefore cannot burn fat through this mechanism [4].

It seems that the only potential mechanism of this supplement to increase weight loss is it’s potential ability to its hypoglycemic effect – it lowers blood sugar.

A study in Phytotherpay Research [1] for example found that doses of the Bala extract reduced blood sugar by 31%, with maximum effects taking place at 2-hours after administration.

This suggests that the plant extract may help to reduce the storage of fat within fat cells, but doesn’t have a direct effect on fatty acids themselves.

It is worth noting that low blood sugar can be dangerous. Additionally, the study was conducted on rats therefore the transfer to humans is currently questionable.


Key Point: There is little to no evidence that Sida cordifolia increases weight loss.

Are There Any Side Effects?

The fact that the leaves of the Bara extract contain ephedrine and pseudoephidrine is concerning. Although the quantities are relatively low at 2% this is still enough to cause considerable side effects [3].

Ephedrine stimulates the central nervous system in a similar way to amphetamines. Potential side effects relating to the ephedrine-containing component of the plant include:

  • A depressive effect on the nervous system
  • Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Insomnia, anxiety and nervousness
  • Memory loss and even stroke
  • Vomiting and nausea

Research into the side effects of this supplement is relatively limited. However, ephedrine itself has been linked to heart attacks, seizures, strokes and death.

Due to it’s potential stimulatory effects you should not take this supplement and caffeine together. It will greatly increase the chances of side effects or more dangerous adverse reactions.

Is Sida Legal?

No. Remember that it contains the amphetamine-like stimulant ephedrine, which was banned on April 12, 2004 by the federal government [5].

In their report, the FDA issued a final regulation declaring dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids as unsafe. they also presented the fact that an unreasonable risk of illness or injury under the conditions of use may occur.

Additionally the FDA suggested that taking this action based upon the well-known pharmacology of ephedrine alkaloids, the peer-reviewed scientific literature on the effects of ephedrine alkaloids, and the adverse events reported to have occurred in individuals following consumption of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids”.

There are serious concerns about the safety of this supplement and for that reason it should be avoided. There are other, much safer alternatives available that can be taken in its place.

Summary – Is Sida Cordifolia Safe?

Sida cordifolia is a perennial shrub with yellow flowers and heart-shaped leaves. It is native to South America but can be found throughout the world.

It contains mainly a number of bioactive compounds including alkaloids, fatty oils and steroidal saponins which, it is claimed, provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The leaves of the plant have also been found to contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

There is no evidence that this supplement helps with weight loss, and does not trigger mechanisms that would either provide a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system in order to increase fatty acid use.

There are a number of side effects that may occur with use of this supplement. These include depression of the nervous system, decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and nausea. In more serious cases it may cause heart attacks, seizures or potentially death.

Ephedrine has been banned by the FDA since 2004 and due to the content of this compound found in Sida, we recommend that you avoid this supplement and instead opt for a safer alternative.

Is There a Safer Option?

There certainly is.

When you are researching into fat burners it is important that the ingredients are not only proven to work but also safe to use.

Instant Knockout is a gold-standard, industry-leading fat burner that supports you in acheiving your weigh and fat loss goals. It uses natural ingredients and a host of vitamins as well as many other nutrients.

It’s even been endorsed by multiple MMA fighters, who have seen benefits such as:

  • Increased Calorie Burning – Lose fat faster and safely
  • More Energy – Train hard and reduce fatigue
  • Appetite Control – Cut food cravings without an afterthought
  • Day-Long Fat Burning – Boost the metabolic furnaces

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  1. Ravi Kanth, V et al. Analgesic, Antiinflammatory and Hypoglycaemic Activities of Sida cordifolia. Phytotherpay Res. 1999; 13: 75-77
  2. Franzotti, EM et al. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic activity and acute toxicity of Sida cordifolia L. (Malva-branca). Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2000; 72(1-2): 273-277
  3. Jain, A et al. Sida cordifolia (Linn) – An overview. J App Pharma Sci. 2011; 1(2): 23-31
  4. Mediros IA et al. Cardiovascular effects of Sida cordifolia leave extract in rats. Fitoterapia. 2006; 77(1): 19-27
  5. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Final rule declaring dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids adulterated because they present an unreasonable risk. Final rule. Fed Regist. 2004; 69(28): 6787-854.