Vasaka (Malabar nut) Medicinal Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

Vasaka overview

Vasaka or Adhatoda vasica or Malabar nut is an important Ayurvedic medicinal herb. The entire parts of the plant from root to leaves are used to treat many ailments. It is the leaves, which are of great importance. The plant is effective in treating of asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis and other disorders. Justicia adhatoda is used as medicine in Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy, Unani and other ancient system of medicine. This product is endorsed by many doctors worldwide.  It is used as expectorant, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, antiseptic and bronchodilator.Vasaka-Malabar nut


Common Name of Vasaka

  • Latin Name: Adhatoda vasica
  • English: Malabar nut
  • Persian: Bansa
  • Hindi: Vasika
  • Assamese: Bahaka
  • Bengali: Vasaka
  • Gujarati-Alduso, Ardusi
  • Kannada-Adusoge
  • Malayalam-Atalotakam
  • Marathi-Adulsa
  • Samkrit-Vasakc
  • Tamil-Adadorai, Arathorai
  • Telugu-Adasaramu.
  • Delhi-Piya-bansa
  • Sinhala: Pawatta
  • Ronmei: Thimpui
  • Sanskrit: Vasaka
  • Nepali: Asuro


What is Vasaka / Justicia adhatoda?

Vasaka is a very important medicinal herb where leaf, root, flower and whole plant is used for many drug formulations. Vasaka is a tall, much-branched, dense, evergreen shrub, with large, lance-shaped leaves. Flowers in dense, short spikes; stalks of the spikes shorter than leaves. Leaf-like structures called bracts, present on the spikes; these are conspicuously veined. The plant is native of India, occurs throughout the plains and in the lower regions of Himalaya. It is used for many medicinal uses as well as health benefits.


Medicinal uses of Vasaka

The drug Vasaka comprises the fresh or dried leaves of the plant. Leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine, and an essential oil. The chief use of Vasaka is as an expectorant; it is given in the form of juice, syrup or decoction. It softens the thick sputum, facilitates its coming out and thus brings about quick relief in bronchitis. The expectorant activity is due to stimulation of bronchial glands.

Chemical composition of Vasaka

The leaves of Vasaka contain phyto-chemicals such as alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenolics and flavonoids. Leaves contain vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid and an essential oil. It also have other chemicals such as Luteolin, Tritriacontane, B- Sitosterol, Kaempferol, 3- Sophoroside, Adhatodic acid, q- Hydroxyvasicinine, Vit –C, vasicol. Vasicinol, Vaicinolone, Adhatodine, Adhavasinone, Anisotine, Carotene, Vasakin, Vasicinone, Vascicolone, Vasicolinone and many more.

Health benefits of Vasaka

  1. Vasaka for respiratory problems: It is an effective herb in the management of respiratory congestions like cough, bronchitis, asthma, etc.  The medicinal herb expands the airways and provides great relief to the bronchitis patients. It is a well known ayurvedic medicine for expectorant and helps to ease out the phlegm.
  2. Ayurvedic Vasaka for tuberculosis: Vasaka is known for anti-microbial properties thereby helpful in fighting of tuberculosis. Along with treating tuberculosis, it shows positive impacts for cough and bronchitis.
  3. Vasaka for arthritis: Vasaka has anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for joint pain and helps to subsidise arthritis swelling
  4. Vasaka to purify blood: The Ayurvedic herb Malabar nut is good for purifying of blood.  It increases the blood count and also ensures lowering of blood pressure. If you want to purify your blood, it’s the good bet. It is good for the health of heart acts like as a cardiac tonic.
  5. Vasaka for doshas balancing: It balances pitta and Kapha doshas. It helps to balance Pitta and good for the health of liver and gall bladder.
  6. Vasaka for voice: It helps in clarity of voice.
  7. Vasaka for fever: It is beneficial in case of thirst, fever, vomiting, sugar, bleeding disorders and leprosy.
  8. Malabar nut for skin health: It is good for skin health because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial features.
  9. Malabar nut eases cramps: It eases abdominal pain by coming down abdominal muscles.
  10. Vasaka for dyspnea: It cures dyspnea by improving the lung function and its efficiency.


Side effects of Vasaka

  • One should take precaution while eating Vasaka.
  • Its medicinal formulations should be taken only after consultation of physician.
  • Its over dosage may lead to many ill effects.
  • Expecting mother shouldn’t take Vasaka as it heavily impacts the uterus.
  • It lowers the blood sugar level; therefore diabetic patients should care of it.
  • Children shouldn’t use it.


Vasaka Dose

  • Leaf Juice – 10-20 ml
  • Root decoction 40-80 ml
  • Flower juice- 10-20 ml
  • Leaf dry powder – 1 – 3 grams


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