An Overview of Pharmacognostical and Pharmacological Properties of Sida rhombifolia


Mary Sebastian*, Suresh J., Mruthunjaya K., A. Sri Vasavi Reddy and Apurva Singh


Department of Pharmacognosy, JSS College of Pharmacy, JSS University, S.S. Nagra, Mysore -570015, Karnataka.



Sida rhombifolia is a very small perennial or annual plant which grows in tropical and subtropical areas. It belongs to the family Malvaceae. Malvaceae is a cosmopolitan family of herbs, shrubs and trees. Modern research carried out on the Malvaceae plants revealed that most of the plants belonging to this family are medicinally important as they contain biologically active compounds. Sida rhombifolia has considerable reputation for its medicinal value in traditional medicine. It grows upto 50-120cm in height. It is commonly called Bala or Atibala.  It has been reported the presence of steroids, terpenoids, alkaloids, phenol, saponins, glycosides, tannins in it. Its leaves, stem, bark and roots are usable parts. The stems are rich in mucilage and are employed internally as an emollient, diuretic, and as a febrifuge with pepper. The roots are bitter, cooling, and anthelmintic. It possesses antiseptic, wound-healing activities and it is also used for the treatment of diarrhoea, cough and ulcer, and in the treatment of dysenteries, tuberculosis, urogenital diseases and for a skin application in chicken pox. It is an Ayurvedic herb, used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including female infertility. It is having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial, anthelminthic, antifungal, and anti rheumatic properties. The present review is therefore, an effort to give a detailed survey of the literature on its pharmacognostic, pharmacological properties.


KEYWORDS: Sida rhombifolia, Anthelmintic activity, Anti inflammatory activity Pharmacognostic, Pharmacological properties



Sida rhombifolia is a perennial or sometimes annual plant native to the tropic and subtropic areas. The stems are erect to sprawling and branched growing 50-120 cm in height, with a woody lower section. The dark green, diamond-shaped leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, 4-8 cm long, with petioles that are less than a third of the length of the leaves (fig 1). S. rhombifolia is one of the most important species among the twenty genus of Sida used as medicinal plant throughout the world. It possesses antiseptic, wound-healing activities and it is also used for the treatment of diarrhoea, cough and ulcer1. It is also used there for the treatment of dysenteries, tuberculosis, skin, urogenital diseases and also as food2. The root and stems of the plant are useful for the treatment of fever, heart disease, piles and some inflammations3. Stems of S.rhombifolia are also employed as demulcent and emollient4.


Sida rhombifolia is an Ayurvedic herb, used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including female infertility. It is a very small perennial plant. Leaves, stem, bark and roots are usable parts. The stems are rich in mucilage and are employed internally as an emollient, diuretic, and as a febrifuge with pepper. The roots are bitter, cooling, and anthelmintic5,6.


Kingdom                                :               Plantae

Subkingdom          :               Tracheobionta

Superdivision       :               Spermatophyta

Division                 :               Magnoliophyta

Class                      :               Magnoliopsida

Order                      :               Malvales

Family                    :               Malvaceae

Genus                     :               Sida

Species                  :               Sida rhombifolia




Hindi                      : Pitabala, Pitabariyar

Telugu                   : Gubatada, Pedda Mutheera Pulagum

Malayalam             : Anakkuruntotti

Kannada                                : Kasangihettutti-gida

Tamil                      : Kurunthotti


Phytochemical Analysis (table-1):

Leaves, stems and roots of the plant were shade-dried, powdered and were extracted successively with each of petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and ethanol in a soxhlet extractor for 18-20 hrs7. The extracts were concentrated to dryness under reduced pressure and controlled temperature. All the extracts were subjected to qualitative chemical tests for the identification of various phytoconstituents8, 9.



Table 1: Phytochemical analysis





Petroleum ether

Steroids, terpenoids

Steroids, terpenoids

Steroids, terpenoids


Alkaloids, phenol

Alkaloids, phenol

Alkaloids, phenol

Ethyl acetate









tannins, saponins, terpenoids


tannins, saponins, terpenoids


tannins, saponins, terpenoids


Phenol and Flavonoid Content (table-2):

The total phenol content was determined using Folin-ciocalteau reagent10 and the total flavonoid content was estimated using aluminium chloride method11, 12.


Table 2


Total phenol


Total flavonoid



91.97 ± 2.24

28.69 ± 0.21


95.48 ± 1.2

30.45 ± 0.7


99.67 ± 0.56

33.39 ± 1.05



Anti-inflammatory activity: 

The hydroalcoholic extract (HAE) of leaves of Sida rhombifolia L. were tested to evaluate its anti-inflammatory activity. The anti inflammatory activity was assessed by carragenan induced paw oedema method. Oedema was induced by injecting carrageenan (0.1 ml of carrageenan 0.5%) subcutaneously into the sub-plantar region of the right hind paw and 0.1 ml of sterile saline (0.9%) in the left paw. It showed oral administration of extract (400 mg/kg) presented inhibitory effects, compared to the control group (p<0.05). It was observed that a significant difference among the groups Indomethacine and HAE in relation to the Control after the oedema. The HAE reduced the oedema significantly in 67%, 56%, 37% and became constant in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th hour respectively when compared with the control. Hence it was reported that the HAE reduces the oedema when compared to control13.


Free radical scavenging activity:

The alcoholic extract of Sida rhombifolia (SRE) roots, was evaluated for the possible mode of action by studying its antioxidant potential in adjuvant induced rats. The alcoholic extract of the roots of the plant (SRE) was considered for the study based on the plants anti-arthritic potential. Arthritis was induced by 0.1 ml of Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) by intra-dermal injection in the right hind paw. Diclofenac sodium (0.5 mg/kg) was used as the standard. The test group received SRE (100 mg/kg) as emulsion in carboxy methyl cellulose daily for a period of 6 weeks by oral route14. The arthritic rats showed soft tissue swelling around the ankle joints during the acute phase of arthritis and it was considered to be oedema of the particular tissues. The swelling has been found to be increasing in the initial phase of inflammation and then becomes constant in two weeks. Administration of various doses of SRE to the animals did not show any toxicity and hence it has confirmed the safety of the extract15.


In vitro Antimicrobial Activity:

The Petroleum ether (C2H5-O- C2H5), chloroform (CHCl3) and methanol (CH3OH) fruit extracts of Sida rhombifolia L. were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against different species of bacterial strains by detecting minimum inhibitory concentration and zone of inhibition. The minimum inhibitory concentration values were compared with control and zone of inhibitions were compared with standard ciprofloxacin. The antibacterial activity found to increases in the different fruits extracts in order of petroleum ether extracts, chloroform extracts and methanol extracts. Of the different extracts, the methanol extract displayed the highest antibacterial activity, as was evidenced by it displaying the highest mean zone of inhibition against maximum of the test bacteria. The minimum inhibitory concentration of methanolic extract against most of the test bacteria was within 100μg/ml. Notably, both tannin and phenolics have been reported to possess antibacterial activity16, 17. The above antibacterial activity of S. rhombifolia fruit may be due to the combined or individual effect of the present phytoconstituents18.


Acute and subchronic toxicity study:

Acute and subchronic toxicities of the water extract from the root of Sida rhombifolia L were studied in both male and female rats. Oral administration of the extract at a single dose of 5,000 mg/kg body weight (5 males, 5 females) did not produce signs of toxicity, behavioral changes, mortality or differences on gross appearance of internal organs. The subchronic toxicity was determined by oral feeding the test substance at the doses of 300, 600 and 1,200 mg/kg body weight for 90 days (10 males, 10 females). The examinations of signs, animal behavior and health monitoring showed no signs of abnormalities in the test groups as compared to the controls. The test and control groups (on the 90th day) and the satellite group (on the 118th day) were analyzed by measuring their final body and organ weights, taking necropsy, and examining hematological parameters, blood clinical chemistry and histopathology features. The results suggest that S. rhombifolia administered orally did not cause acute or subchronic toxicities to male and female rats19.


In vitro antioxidant studies:

Antioxidant activity of the ethanol extract of Sida rhombifolia was determined by DPPH free radical, hydrogen peroxide scavenging assays, reducing power, total antioxidant capacity using phosphomolybdenum method, and rapid radical scavenging screening methods. The ethanol extract of Leaves, Stem and Roots exhibited significant dose dependent inhibition of DPPH activity. The scavenging activities of the extracts were very potent and the power of the extracts increased with increasing concentration. The reducing power of extracts was very potent and the power of the extract increased with increasing concentration. The total antioxidant capacity of the extracts was calculated based on the formation of the phosphomolybdenum complex. The total antioxidant capacity of the Roots was found higher next to Stem and Leaves shows less activity compared with the above and ascorbic acid8.


Hepatoprotective activity:

Hepatoprotective activity of the aqueous and methanolic extract of the aerial parts of Sida rhombifolia was determined by carbon tetrachloride, paracetamol and rifampicin induced hepatotoxicity. The control and toxicant groups received the vehicle while the test groups received test samples orally. The extract showed significant hepatoprotective activity. The hepatoprotective activity of the drug against CC14 may be due to the inhibitory effects on microsomal enzymes or on lipid peroxidation or due into stimulatory effects on hepatic regeneration or due to the free radical scavenging effects since CC14 is reported to cause liver damage due to free radical formation which in turn causes peroxidation of cellular membranes leading to necrosis20. The hepatoprotective activity of the drug against paracetamol intoxication may be due to the inhibition of cytochrome P450 or promotion of its glucuronidation or stimulation of hepatic regeneration or activation of the functions of reticuloendothelial systems or inhibition of protein biosynthesis21. The hepatoprotective activity of the drug against rifampicin intoxication may be due to inhibitory effects on formation of the active metabolite, 25-desacetyl rifampin22, which in turn reduces drug metabolising enzymes and actively and specifically binds to RNA polymerases and thereby inhibits the synthesis of nucleic acid and protein synthesis5.



From the times immemorial, plants have been used as curative agents for variety of ailments. Medicinal plants are important for pharmacological research and drug development. One fifth of all the plants found in India are used for medicinal purpose. Out of this Sida rhombifolia is having wide medicinal properties. The main chemical constituents in it are steroids, terpenoids, alkaloids, phenol, saponins, glycosides and tannins. The present study shows the pharmacognostical and pharmacological properties of the plant. Furthermore clinical and pathological studies should be conducted to investigate the active potentials of bioactive compounds present in this plant.



1.        Echou AJ et al. Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia. Contribution to ethnobotanical and floristic studies in Cameroon. Organisation of African Unity Scientific and Research Commission. Centre national de production de manuels scolaire Benin Porto-novo 1996.

2.        Drury HColonel, William H. Allen and Co. Useful plants of India. 1998.

3.        Ekramul IM et al. Larvicidal Activity of a New Glycoside, Phenyl Ethyl b-D Glucopyranoside from the Stem of the Plant Sida rhombifolia. Pakistan Journal of Biolological Sciences 6(1); 2000: 73-75.

4.        Khatun KR, Thounaojam BB. Indian medicinal plants. Actinodaphne Dehradun, India International Book Distributors 1995.

5.        Kumar S Rao, Mishra S H. Anti-Inflammatory and hepatoprotective activities of Sida Rhombifolia Linn. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 29; 1997: 110-116.

6.        Nadkarni KM. Indian materia medica. Bombay Popular Prakashan. Bombay. 1982: 3rd ed: vol.I. p.1138.

7.        Kokate CK, Purohit AP, Gokhale SB. Pharmacognosy. Thirty seventh editions. p: 6.11-6.12.

8.        Narendhirakannan R.T et al. In vitro antioxidant studies on ethanolic extracts of leaf stem and root of Sida rhombifolia L. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences. vol 1 (2); 2010.

9.        G. E.Trease and W. C. Evans, Pharmacognosy. In: Phenols and Phenolic Glycosides. 15th edition. ELBS, London. 2004: p 150-170.

10.     Sadashivan S and Manikam A. Biochemical methods for agricultural sciences. Wiley Eastern limited. New Delhi. 1992: p.187.

11.     Woisky R and Salatino. An Analysis of propilis. Some parameters and procedures for chemical quality control. Journal of Agricultutural Research. 37; 1998: 99-105.

12.     Harborne JB. Phytochemical methods. A guide to Modern technique of plant analysis.

13.     Najeh Maissar KHALIL, Joceana Soares SPEROTTO and Melania Palermo MANFRON. Anti-inflammatory activity of the hydroalcoholyc extracts of leaves of Sida rhombifolia L. Acta Farm. Bonaerense. 25 (2); 2006: 260.

14.     Williams et al. Supression of Adjuvant induced by Liposomally Conjugated Methotrexate in the Rat. British Journal of Rheumatism.1994: 530- 533.

15.     Amarender Reddy Gangu, Prapulla P1 et al. Free radical scavenging activity of the alcoholic extract of sida rhombifolia roots in arthritic rats. International journal of research in pharmacy and chemistry. vol 1. Issue 3.

16.     Javanmardi J et al.  Chemical charecterization of Basil (Osmium basilium L.) found in local accession and used in traditional medicine. Iranian Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemistry. 2002: 5878-5883.

17.     Leven M et al. Screening of higher plants for biological activities/antimicrobial activity, Plant. Med. 1979: 311-321.

18.     Rashmi ranjan sarangi et al. comparative in vitro antimicrobial activity studies of sida rhombifolia linn fruit extracts. International journal of pharmtech research. vol.2.

19.     Seewaboon Sireeratawong. Acute and subchronic toxicity study of the water extract from root of Sida rhombifolia Linn. in rats. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology.vol 3.issue 6.

20.     Handa SS, Anupam Sharma. Hepatoprotective activity of andrographolide from Andrographis paniculata against carbontetrachloride. lndian Journal of Medical Research. [B] 92; 1990: 276-83.

21.     Handa SS, Anupam Sharma. Hepatoprotective activity of andrographolide against galactosamine and paracetamol intoxication in rats. Indian Journal of Medical Research [B] 92; 1990: 284-92.

22.     Bowman WC, Rand MJ. In: Text Book of Pharmacology, 2nd ed. Oxford, London. Blackwell Scientific Publications. 1982: 34-39.


Received on 21.12.2011

Modified on 27.12.2011

Accepted on 01.01.2012        

© A&V Publication all right reserved

Research Journal of Pharmacognosy  and Phytochemistry. 4(1): Jan. - Feb. 2012, 49-52