Adhatoda vasica Nees.
Synonym A. zeylanica Medic. Justicia adhatoda Linn.
Family Acanthaceae.
Habitat Throughout India, up to an altitude of 1,300 m.
English Malabar Nut, Vasaca.
Ayurvedic Vaasaa, Vaasaka, Vaasikaa, Simhaasya, Simhaparni, Simhavadanaa, Vaajidanta, Vrisha, Aataruushaka.
Unani Arusaa.
Siddha/Tamil Aadaathodai.
Folk Vasaakaa.
Action Expectorant (used in
bronchial, asthmatic and pulmonary affections), antispasmodic, febrifuge.
Key application As bronchodilatory, expectorant. (Indian Herbal
Pharmacopoeia.) The Ayurvedic
Pharmacopoeia of India indicates its use in dyspnoea.
The chief quinazoline alkaloid vasicine is reported in all parts of the plant, the highest being in inflorescence. It is a bitter bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant, hypotensive, cardiac depressant, uterotonic and abortifacient. An aqueous solution of vasicinone hydrochloride, when studied in mice and dogs, was found to potentiate the bronchodilatory activity of aminophylline, also that of isopre naline. Vasicinone exhibited smooth- muscle-relaxant properties of airways.
Alkaloids present in the plant showed significant protection against allergin-induced bronchial obstruction in guinea pigs.
The leaves are found to activate the digestive enzyme trypsin.
An extract of the leaves showed significant antifungal activity against ringworm.
Adhatoda beddomei C.B. Clarke, found in Kerala, is considered to be
more powerful and active than A. vasica. Fresh leaf juice is used in haemoptysis and menorrhagia, also as an anti- asthmatic.
Jacobinia tinctoria Henl. is equated with the red-flowered var. of Vaasaa.
Dosage Leaf—10—20 ml juice. Dried leaves—10—20 g for deoction. Root—3—6 g powder. (API Vols. I, IV.)

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

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