S. cordifolia is used in Ayurvedic medicine.Known as "malva branca", it is a plant used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation of the oral mucosa, blenorrhea, asthmatic bronchitis and nasal congestion, stomatitis, of asthma and nasal congestion and in many parts of Africa for various ailments, particularly for respiratory problems. It has been investigated as an anti-inflammatory, for preventing cell proliferation, and for encouraging liver re-growth. Due to its ephedrine content, it possesses psychostimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart.
A 50% ethanolic extract of Sida cordifolia tested on rats showed potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity comparable with the standard drug deprenyl.
The plant has demonstrated anti-pyretic and anti-ulcerogenic properties.
The aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia stimulates liver regeneration in rats.
S. cordifolia is an erect perennial that reaches 50 to 200 cm (20 to 79 in) tall, with the entire plant covered with soft white felt-like hair that is responsible for one of its common names, "flannel weed". The stems are yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender. The yellow-green leaves are oblong-ovate, covered with hairs, and 3.5 to 7.5 cm (1.4 to 3.0 in) long by 2.5 to 6 cm (0.98 to 2.4 in) wide. The flowers are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange center, with a hairy 5-lobed calyx and 5-lobed corolla.