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 asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and other disorders. Justicia adhatoda is used as medicine in Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy, Unani, and another ancient system of medicine. This product is endorsed by many doctors worldwide. It is used as expectorant, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, antiseptic, and bronchodilator.
Common Name of Vasaka
- Latin Name: Adhatoda vasica
- English: Malabar nut
- Persian: Bansa
- Hindi: Vasika
- Assamese: Bahaka
- Bengali: Vasaka
- Gujarati-Alduso, Ardusi
- Tamil-Adadorai, Arathorai
- 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 the whole plant are 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 to India, occurs throughout the plains and in the lower regions of Himalayas. 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 it’s coming out, and thus brings about quick relief in bronchitis. The expectorant activity is due to the stimulation of bronchial glands.
Chemical composition of Vasaka
The leaves of Vasaka contain phytochemicals such as alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenolics, and flavonoids. Leaves contain vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid, and an essential oil. It also has 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
- 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 bronchitis patients. It is a well known ayurvedic medicine for expectorant and helps to ease out the phlegm.
- Ayurvedic Vasaka for tuberculosis: Vasaka is known for anti-microbial properties thereby helpful in fighting tuberculosis. Along with treating tuberculosis, it shows positive impacts for cough and bronchitis.
- Vasaka for arthritis: Vasaka has anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for joint pain and helps to subsidize arthritis swelling
- Vasaka to purify blood: The Ayurvedic herb Malabar nut is good for purifying blood. It increases the blood count and also ensures the lowering of blood pressure. If you want to purify your blood, it’s a good bet. It is good for the health of the heart acts as a cardiac tonic.
- Vasaka for doshas balancing: It balances pitta and Kapha doshas. It helps to balance Pitta and good for the health of the liver and gall bladder.
- Vasaka for voice: It helps in clarity of voice.
- Vasaka for fever: It is beneficial in case of thirst, fever, vomiting, sugar, bleeding disorders, and leprosy.
- Malabar nut for skin health: It is good for skin health because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial features.
- Malabar nut eases cramps: It eases abdominal pain by coming down abdominal muscles.
- Vasaka for dyspnea: It cures dyspnea by improving lung function and its efficiency.
Side effects of Vasaka
- One should take precautions while eating Vasaka.
- Its medicinal formulations should be taken only after the consultation of a physician.
- Its overdosage may lead to many ill effects.
- Expecting mothers shouldn’t take Vasaka as it heavily impacts the uterus.
- It lowers the blood sugar level; therefore diabetic patients should care about it.
- Children shouldn’t use it.
- Leaf Juice – 10-20 ml
- Root decoction 40-80 ml
- Flower juice- 10-20 ml
- Leaf dry powder – 1 – 3 grams