Plants

Sida rhombifolia (Root)

MAHABALA (Root)
Mahabala consists of dried roots of Sida rhombifolia Linn. (Fam. Malvaceae), an erect annual or perennial undershrub, 1.5 m high, distributed throughout the country especially in moist regions, ascending to an altitude of 1800 m in the Himalayas.
 
 sida rhombifolia
SYNONYMS –
Sansk. : Atibala, Pitapushpi
Assam. : —
Beng. : Pitabedala, Kheriti
Eng. : Country Mallow
Guj. : Mahabala
Hindi. : Pitabala, Pitabariyar
Kan. : Kasangihettutti-gida
Kash. : —
Mal. : Anakkuruntotti
Mar. : Mahbala
Ori. : —
Punj. : Khurunti
Tam. : Kurunthotti
Tel. : Gubatada, Pedda Mutheera Pulagum
Urdu. : —
 
DESCRIPTION –
 
a) Macroscopic:
Drug occurs as entire root or cut pieces of varying lengths, 7-8 mm in thickness, with wavy lateral roots comparatively thinner than main roots having numerous rootlets, brownish-yellow, surface, rough due to scars of small rootlets and lenticels; fracture, hard and splintery.
 
b) Microscopic:
Mature root shows cork consisting of 3-10 rows of narrow, rectangular, tangentially elongated, thin-walled, parenchymatous cells, a few containing rosette crystals of calcium oxalate; secondary phloem composed of phloem fibres in wedgeshaped patches with thin-walled parenchyma in between; phloem rays thin-walled, tangentially elongated towards secondary cortex; a few rosette crystals of calcium oxalate found scattered in phloem parenchyma; secondary xylem composed of vessels, fibre, parenchyma and rays; vessels arranged in radial rows, fibres moderately long, thick-walled, lignified with wide lumen and pointed apex; xylem rays 2-3 cells wide, a few containing rosette crystals of calcium oxalate; in Bala (S. cordifolia Linn.) 1-3 cells wide with rosette crystals of calcium oxalate; 1 or 2 cells wide with rhomboidal crystals of calcium oxalate in Atibala (Abutilon indicum Sw.), and rosette crystals of calcium  oxalate present in secondary cortex and absent in xylem rays in Nagabala (S.veronicaefolia Lam.).
Powder – Creamish-grey; shows moderately large, thick-walled, lignified fibres, with wide lumen and pointed tips, fragments of cork cells simple, pitted vessels and a few rosette crystals of calcium oxalate.
 
CONSTITUENTS – Alkaloids (Vasicinone and Vasicine).
 
PROPERTIES AND ACTION –
Rasa : Madhura
Guna : Guru, Picchila, Snigdha
Virya : sita
Vipaka : Madhura
Karma : Grahi, Pittaghna, Vataghna, sukravriddhikara, Ojovardhaka, Kantivardhaka, Balya.
 
IMPORTANT FORMULATIONS – Mahavishagarbha Taila, Navratna Rajamriganka Rasa
 
THERAPEUTIC USES – sukrakshaya, Kshata, Kshaya, Vishamajvara, Daurbalya, Vatavyadhi, Vatarakta, Raktapitta, sopha
 
DOSE – 3-6 g of the drug in powder form.