Adhatoda Vasica(aadathodai)- A Siddha Herb


Botanical Name(s): Adhatoda Vasica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Justicia
Species: J. adhatoda
Popular Name(s): Adulsa
Parts Used: Leaves, Roots, Flowers and Stem Bark
Habitat: The plant grows in plains & in lower Himalayan ranges upto 1000 m above sea level.


Malabar nut is a small evergreen, subherbacious bush. The leaves are 10 to 16 cm in length, minutely pubescent and broadly lanceolate. When the leaves are dried, they appear dull brownish green in color and taste bitter. The inflorescence is dense, short pedunculate, bractate and spike terminal. The corolla is large and white, with lower lip streaked purple. The fruit is a 4-seeded small capsule. The stomata in the plant are elongated and oval in shape. The plant has been used in India for over 200 years. It is commonly cultivated in the tropics in the country.

Plant Chemicals
The chief alkaloid present in the leaves of Malabar nut is a quinazoline alkaloid, vasicine; the yield of the alkaloid from different samples in India ranged from 0.541 to 1.105 per cent on dry basis. Vasicine is accompanied by l- vasicinone, deoxyvasicine and maiontone. Some minor alkaloids viz. Vasicol, adhatodinine and vasicinol also present. The roots of the plant contain vasicinolone, vasicol, peganine, hydroxy oxychalcone and glucosyl oxychalcone. The flowers of the plant contain b-sitosterol-D-glucoside, kaempferol, glycosides of kaempferoland and queretin.

Uses & Benefits of Malabar Nut

  • The leaves of Malabar nut are rich in vitamin C and carotene and yield an essential oil.
  • The shrub is the source of a drug well known in indigenous systems of medicine for its beneficial effects, particularly in bronchitis.
  • Its leaves, flowers, fruits and roots are extensively used for treating cold, cough, whooping cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
  • The leaves are known to moderate the hypotensive activity, by lowering the blood pressure.
  • They assist in conditions like uterine involution, menorrhagia (excessive menstural bleeding), post-childbirth hemorrhage and uterine stimulant activity.
  • The fresh juice obtained from leaves of Malabar nut has been used to treat tuberculosis. Its local use gives relief from pyorrhea and bleeding gums.
  • The leaves of this plant are, sometimes, also used as insecticides.
  • Antispasmodic properties are also associated with the plant. It helps in easing pain.
  • Reference

              Dr. Natkaruni – Indian Medicinal Plants

              Pathartha guna vilakam


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