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genus Sida

Discuss the Herbal Traditions of India or just hang around and play your sitar

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:13 am

Posts: 2
Anyone involved with Ayurveda should be familiar with genus Sida. Sida cordifolia is the legendary Bala (although Sida acuta is an adequate substitute). About a dozen Sidas qualify as Rasayana. Sida acuta has saved my life over the last seven years. Good stuff. Sida is antibiotic, antifungal, anti-malarial (protozoic), and anti-cancer at least. Has something like 150 benefits.

Let me introduce myself, new to the forum. My name is Bill Bruneau. I and my wife started Bountiful Gardens seeds in 1982 (now deceased) and were part of keeping open-pollinated heirloom food plants available, among other initiatives. One of our specialties was medicinal seeds. But it wasn't until Stephen Buhner let me in on the secret, in his book Herbal Antibiotics, until then I had no awareness of anything genus Sida. Of course we dealt with temperate seed for the most part and genus Sida was considered tropical.

Buhner identified three tropical medicinals that were particularly effective antibiotics: cryptolepis, alchornea, and sida. I started purchasing the tinctures. It took me five years to figure out that I had two open infections running in my body, in particular, some bacteria that was attacking my heart causing afib. All I knew at the time was that these three tinctures stopped my afib every time within minutes. finally found out I had leaky gut, and a bad root canal finally betrayed itself. Tooth fixed, not so sure about the gut yet.

Did not take me long to start worrying about buying herb extracts from tropical Africa, in particular the Congo. I needed some independence from something that was daily saving my life. As a plant person I finally got my hands on some Sida actua seeds. Since I had them, planted a flat full of Sida, and they all came up! Next was to see if they survived our California coastal mountain weather. they did. Planted some in some five gallon buckets. They did fine. So I had herb but no direction on what to do. My extracts were labelled leaf, so I gathered some leaves, stuffed them in a jar, drowned it in vodka, and left it for six months. It was 66% of commercial. I now make 70% tinctures from the whole plant that is much more powerful.

So my "great" discoveries were: that Sida species can grown as annuals in Mendocino county (Zone 8), and Sidas grown as annuals are fully medicinal. (Actually I have never harvested Sida as a perennial, so it is possible it is more potent, but I am ecstatic over the power and range of Sida acuta. Am testing other varieties as I go.)

What blows me out is that genus Sida has zero presence in Western herbal lore! Somehow it slipped through the cracks as it were. I mean several Sida species are considered native to our semi-tropical South, but ignored as weeds. So I started researching genus Sida. It soon became apparent that Sida was all over the tropical world, and was treasured as a medicinal nearly everywhere, for an incredible list of maladies.

The big research payoff was Ayurveda. Bless Indian researchers who are proving that Ayurveda is real and potent in its effects. After a year or two of research I had a lot of information, and it became obvious that no one else was going to write on genus Sida, so I did. And I did it because my second thought on discovering Sida was, "I love my community and do not want to see it decimated". Pharma is now less than 50% effective and getting less so constantly. So I have written a 560 page book (Amazon) with over 800 citations, essentially everything known to date. Our local professional herbalists were waiting impatiently - they knew about Sida but did not know what to do with it or how much or .... one told me she had some (Sida cordifolia) but did not know what to do with it, so she just used it when nothing else worked.

Needless to say 800 citations total for a world medicinal is ridiculous, vitamin c probably has 60,000 entries in PubMed alone. But it is a start and outlines the incredible power of Sida. I feel a pressure daily to get the word out. This genus is a game-changer for herbalists and for our survival in a post-pharma era. I tell my local herbalists that adding Sida to any medicine they make will only improve it.

Check out my website ( for full information on Sida. What I hope for is help in getting these plants better known and used before it is too late. Pharma is dead and doing nothing for our future, if anything dismantling their natural products operations. We are going to have to save ourselves, and you now have a really cool new tool for health in genus Sida. To survive antibiotic resistance we will need a number of powerful herbs. Sida is not the only answer, but it is our best first answer.

I hope that I am allowed on this forum, and we can really develop a dialogue on Sida.

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