Sida cordifolia

Regularly billed as 'herbal ecstasy', sida cordifolia is also used as a weight loss aid. It's a common ingredient in legal 'party pills', but what is it?

yellow Sida Cordifolia plant

A weed? Herbal ecstasy? What is sida cordifolia?

What is sida cordifolia?

Sida cordifolia is defined as a weed in various places, including Africa, Australia and North America. It is covered with soft white hair, has heart-shaped leaves, and produces dark yellow flowers. It contains ephedrine alkaloids, which work on your central nervous system and your heart. It acts as a stimulant, an appetite suppressant and a decongestant. It is regularly used as an ingredient in legal highs designed to mimic the effects of ecstasy.

What are the effects of sida cordifolia?

  • Speeds up the heart and increases blood pressure.
  • Can make you feel more alert and focused.
  • Can suppress your appetite and is used as a weight loss aid.
  • Dilates the bronchioles in the lungs so makes breathing easier.
  • Can produce an aphrodisiac effect.

What are the risks of taking sida cordifolia?

  • Mixing sida cordifolia with alcohol can be dangerous.
  • It can cause insomnia, hand tremors and a general feeling of anxiety.
  • In extreme cases users can experience a pounding heart, severe headaches, and a shortness of breath.

Sida cordifolia and the law:

Sida cordifolia is not listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and is therefore legal to sell and possess.

If you are planning on taking sida cordifolia:

  • Avoid taking sida cordifolia if you have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • Do not mix with alcohol or any caffeine products.
  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you are taking antidepressants that contain MAO inhibitors, then avoid products containing sida cordifolia.

Photo of sida cordifolia by Bob Peterson

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015