Sida acuta is a medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years throughout many parts of the world.
This article will look at the health benefits of Sida acuta, as well as its safety and history.
Table of Contents
- What is Sida acuta?
- Health Benefits of Sida acuta:
- Sida acuta Safety:
- Naming & Taxonomy:
- History & Traditional Use:
What is Sida acuta?
Sida acuta is commonly used to treat malaria and Lyme disease. The plant is also used to support liver health and has antibacterial and anti-ulcer properties.
Sida can be found in cultivated fields, waste areas, and along the roadside; it’s often seen as a weed. It has been used medicinally throughout the world, including Central America, India, and Africa.
The plant’s Latin name is Sida acuta, while its common name is common wireweed. It is also known as “sengh” in some parts of the world.
The major bioactive constituents in this herb include:
- Cryptolepine (primary alkaloid)
- Ferulic acid
- Steroids: ecdysterone, -sistosterol, stiglnaterol, ampesterol
- Phenolic compounds: evofolin-A & B
Health Benefits of Sida acuta:
Below are the top research-backed health benefits of Sida acuta and its bioactive compounds.
1. May Treat Lyme Disease & Bartonellosis
Sida acuta is commonly used in herbal formulas for treating Lyme disease and its co-infections.
Lyme disease expert and herbal author Stephen Harrod Buhner has an herbal protocol for treating Bartonella. Sida acuta is one of the main herbs used in the treatment due to its broad antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial herbs can help treat Lyme disease and its co-infections in a number of ways, such as by inhibiting the growth of certain pathogens, eradicating the bacteria, and managing the symptoms of the infectious disease.
Summary:Herbal experts indicate that sida may work to treat lyme disease and its symptoms. Clinical research is needed for confirmation of Sida’s antibacterial activity.
2. May Treat Malaria
Sida acuta is known for its benefits in treating malaria. Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum and transmitted by mosquitoes.
An in vitro study evaluated five plant extracts, including Sida acuta, against the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The extract of Sida showed the most activity against Plasmodium falciparum. Researchers attribute the results to sida’s alkaloid compounds, which are responsible for the plant’s antibacterial and antimalarial effects.
Another in vitro study confirmed this plant’s anti-plasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum, and again, researchers identified the plant’s alkaloid compound, cryptolepine, as a significant contributor to its potent activity.
Summary:In vitro research has found that Sida acuta may effectively treat malaria. Human clinical trials are needed for verification.
3. Antimicrobial Properties
Sida acuta benefits the body through its antibacterial properties.
This antibacterial activity was demostrated in a study using Sida acuta extract against several microorganisms. The extract had a significant inhibitory effect against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus faecalis.
Another study using Sida acuta extracts revealed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus in patients with HIV/AIDS.
Researchers investigated the antibacterial activity of two alkaloid compounds in Sida, cryptolepine and quindoline. These alkaloids displayed antibacterial activity against several microorganisms such as Staphylococcus species, Bacillus cereus, Listeria innocua, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Summary:Lab-based studies show that two alkaloid compounds found in Sida acuta may inhibit bacterial growth, but human research is required in order to confirm this finding.
4. May Support Healthy Liver Function
Sida acuta is known for its hepatoprotective properties (prevents liver damage).
An animal study revealed significant hepatoprotective effects with the treatment of Sida acuta. Results showed decreased liver biomarkers such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and bilirubin. The plant’s phenolic compound, ferulic acid, found in the root, is notably responsible for the hepatoprotective effects as it inhibits free radicals and acts as an antioxidant.
Summary:Animal research indicates that Sida acuta may possess hepatoprotective ability. Clinical trials, however, are needed for verification.
5. Other Potential Benefits:
- May Have Anti-Diabetic Activity: In an animal study, Sida acuta extract exhibited cholesterol and blood sugar-lowering effects. Sida extract reduced diabetes-related acute inflammation in an animal study.
- May Have Nephroprotective Properties: An in vitro study of Sida acuta extract showed to stop kidney stone growth.
- May Have Neuroprotective/Anticonvulsant Properties: Sida acuta may have an impact on the central nervous system. An animal study revealed anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-convulsant, and sedative effects.
- May Have Anti-Ulcer Activity: An in vivo study demonstrated significant anti-ulcer effects of Sida acuta compared to the ulcer drug famotidine. Researchers believe the plant’s flavonoid compounds, tannins, steroids, and triterpenoids are responsible for the anti-ulcer activity.
Summary:Sida acuta have been tied to a wide variety of health benefits. Human clinical trials are needed to verify these findings.
Sida acuta Safety:
Sida acuta contains minimal amounts of ephedrine, which may potentially cause mild restlessness; therefore, this herbshould not be used with pharmaceuticals that have similar effects.
According to herbalist Stephen Buhner, Sida may interfere with diabetic medications as it is a hypoglycemic herb.
Pregnancy & Lactation:
Stephen Buhner states that it is not recommended to use Sida acuta during pregnancy or if you are trying to conceive. The plant is an abortifacient, meaning it may induce abortions.
There is no safety information on the use of Sida acuta during lactation.
Standard dosing for Sida acuta is as follows:
- Tincture (1:5, 60% alcohol, dried leaf): Take 20 to 40 drops up to 4 times daily.
- For a severe staph infection: Take ½ tsp. to 1 tbsp. 3 to 6 times per day for up to 60 days.
- Tea: Add 1 to 2 tsp. of powdered leaves in 6 ounces of hot water. Allow steeping for 15 minutes. Drink 1 to 2 times per day.
- For acute conditions: Drink up to 10 cups per day.
Stephen Buhner states that Sida acuta can increase fatigue. Reducing the dosage will help subside any fatigue.
Sida acuta is not on the United Plant Saver’s “species-at-risk list” of plants that are sensitive to the impact of human activities.
Naming & Taxonomy:
Sida acuta is the plant’s scientific name. It belongs to the Malvaceae (i.e., mallow) family of plants.
The herb is a small perennial plant with little yellow flowers, solitary or in pairs.
All parts of the plant are used medicinally (i.e., leaves, bark, root, seeds, and blossoms); however, the leaves are most commonly used.
Other plants in the this species include:
- Sida rhombifolia
- Sida alnifolia
- Sida ulmifolia
- Sida ovata
- Sida cordifolia
- Sida abutifolia
- Sida elliottii
History & Traditional Use:
Sida acuta has been used for thousands of years. Indigenous people of tropical countries use different parts of this plant to treat health concerns, including rheumatic conditions, azoospermia (absence of sperm), oligospermia (low sperm count), wounds, sciatica, nervous and heart diseases, colds, coughs, asthma, tuberculosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
In Papua New Guinea, the fresh root is chewed on to cure dysentery (an infection of the intestines).
In Nicaragua, a tea of the plant is used to treat asthma, fever, aches, pains, and ulcers, and is used as an anti-worm agent. In addition, a decoction of the whole plant is used to treat ‘sexual diseases’.
In Cameroon, they believe the whole plant of Sida acuta contains anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, sedative, and anti-ulcer properties.
Central Americans also treat malaria with a decoction of the whole plant and headaches with a topical plant poultice.
In India, the root is considered cooling, astringent, and tonic. It is used to promote appetite, assist digestion, reduce fever, and treat liver, bile, and blood disorders, as well as nervous and urinary diseases.
Sida acuta has been traditionally used for thousands of years and is used for treating various ailments, including malaria, bacterial infections, ulcers, Lyme disease, and its co-infections.
Most of this herb’s effects are supported by animal and lab-based research, as well as traditional reviews affirm the plant’s health benefits. More research, in particular human clinical trials, is needed.
It is recommended to always consult with your physician before adding a new herbal supplement to your regimen, especially if you take any medication.
Feng, J., Leone, J., Schweig, S., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Evaluation of natural and botanical medicines for activity against growing and non-growing forms of B. burgdorferi. Frontiers in Medicine, 7(6). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050641/
Murali, S. & Deepa, N. (2022). A comprehensive review of Sida acuta: Potential plant of medical interest. European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 9(3). https://www.ejmcm.com/article_18337_d9fbadffd5314dcd96ac630f55fbcec8.pdf
Sreedevi, C.D., Latha, P.G., Ancy, P., Suja, S.R., Shyamal, S., Shine, V.J., Sini, S., Anuja G.I, & Rajasekharan, S. (2009). Hepatoprotective studies on Sida acuta Burm. f. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 124(2), 171-175. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19422907/