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  • 1 National Botanical Research Institute Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division Rana Pratp Marg Lucknow 226001 India
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The roots of Sida cordifolia , known as ‘Bala’ in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, are used to treat a variety of ailments, including pulmonary tuberculosis, rheumatism, hematuria, urinary and heart diseases. The roots have recently been used to cure Parkinson’s disease and as a food supplement for fat loss. During a survey of Indian herbal drug markets it was observed that the roots and whole plants of other species of Sida , viz. S. acuta, S. cordata and S. rhombifolia , were being sold under the same vernacular name. In this context, HPTLC markers and a method for quantitative estimation of ephedrine, one of the therapeutically active constituents of this genus, have been developed. The study concluded that common and distinguishing bands were observed for all four Sida species in UV light at λ = 366 nm. The roots of S. cordifolia and S. rhombifolia had a similar HPTLC profile but the whole plant of S. cordifolia had characteristic blue bands at RF 0.60 and 0.81 and a red band at RF 0.87. Similarly, the whole plant of S. acuta can easily be differentiated on the basis of blue bands at RF 0.15 and 0.67; the roots can be differentiated by blue bands at RF 0.84 and 0.90. Although no characteristic bands were observed for S. cordata whole plant, the roots of this plant could also be identified by the presence of yellow and blue bands at RF 0.18 and 0.79, respectively. Amount of ephedrine varied in the four species studied. The maximum amount (0.112%) was found in S. cordifolia whole plant and the minimum amount (0.005%) in the roots of S. cordata .

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