Adhatoda vasica is an evergreen herb that grows extensively in wastelands. It has small pointed lance-like green leaves that are 10-16 cm long. The flowers are bisexual with large white petals. They have a strong tea-like smell. The fruit has 4 seeds in a small capsule. It grows to a height of 3-4 metres.
Their branches are opposite and ascending. It grows well in the tropical forests where there is moisture. All parts of Adhatoda Vasica is used in preparing medicines.
Geographical places where adhatoda vasica grows
You can find the plant growing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Nepal, China, India, and Sri Lanka. In India, it grows well in Manipur, Bengal, and Punjab in the North. In South India, you can find it in Travancore.
The common English name is Malabar Nut. It also has the names adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, Adosa, and Vasaka.
Botanical name and family
The botanical name is Adhatoda Vasica. It belongs to the Acanthaceae family.
Medicinal uses of Adhatoda vasica for curing diseases
Practitioners of Indian medicine have used this plant for more than 2,000 years. It contains the alkaloids vasicinone, vasicine, maiontone, and vasicinol. It contains the essential oil ketone.
Expectorant: The main use of the plant is for clearing the bronchial passages. It softens the thick mucus and brings it out. You can use the leaves for treating cold and cough. It is also effective against asthma.
Antipyretic action: The preparation using the leaves of the plant cures fever and malaria. It makes the body temperature steady when one is suffering from malarial fever. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it on the forehead to bring a fever down. It shows good action against dengue. Drink 1 teaspoon of the juice twice daily to counter dengue.
Antidiarrheal action: Have one teaspoon of the juice of the vasaka leaves daily to get a cure for diarrhea and dysentery.
Antiemetic nature: It helps stop vomiting and cures stomach upsets. This is mainly due to the unpleasant taste of the leaves. You can have the juice with honey.
Hepato-protective nature: The plant shows protective action for the liver. You can use it for curing jaundice. Drink 2 teaspoons of the juice of the Malabar Nut leaves with 1 teaspoon of honey, three times daily.
Uterine stimulant action: People use it traditionally at the time of childbirth to induce childbirth. Care should be taken when you use it since it could induce an abortion if used at the wrong time.
Antibiotic nature: You can treat infections such as gonorrhea with the paste of the leaves of the plant. It shows remarkable healing properties.
Rectifies the skin pigmentation: Use of the Malabar Nut helps one to cure leucoderma. The corrective action is induced when you have 1-2 teaspoons of the juice of the leaves twice daily before meals. The effect is due to the purification action on the blood. It is good for treating leprosy too.
Good for the brain: When you have the juice regularly, it stimulates the neuron action in the brain. This helps the person develop good memory power.
Improve heart health: Adhatoda Vasica reduces the bad cholesterol and thus protects the heart.
Anti-asthmatic and bronchodilator property: Malabar Nut is good for the respiratory system. It shows good action against bronchitis. Yoga practitioners use the juice of the leaves to open their respiratory passage before commencing yoga asanas. Adhatoda Vasica helps your overcome difficult breathing problems and provides comfort.
Anthelmintic action: Use the Malabar Nut to get rid of the worms in your intestine. Mix 1 teaspoon of the juice in one glass of water. Add 1 teaspoon of honey if you want to improve the taste. Have this for one week, and you will become free from worms.
Get relief from tuberculosis: Adhatoda Vasica shows anti-tubercular activity. This is because of the mucolytic action of the derivatives of the Malabar Nut.
Quenches thirst: Like lemons, the Adhatoda Vasica helps quench thirst. It soothes the throat.
Treat problems of the mouth and eyes: Problems like pyorrhea and sore eyes have a ready cure in the Malabar Nut. You make a paste of the leaves and use it like toothpaste.
Treat the skin: If you want to condition the skin, you can use the paste of the leaves. This takes care of eczema, skin diseases, and infections.
Helps alleviate burning sensation: If you have burning sensations in the hands and feet, you can use the paste of the bark to get relief. Usually, you have this sensation if you have tuberculosis.
Get a cure for urinary tract problems: One can use the Adhatoda Vasica for the treatment of urinary tract infection.
Relieves headaches: Drink the juice of the leaves to get relief from mild or severe headaches. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 glass of water. Add lemon or honey to improve the flavor.
Treats high blood pressure: You can reduce high blood pressure by having Malabar Nut daily.
Good for diabetics: If you have diabetes, the Malabar Nut will help you reduce the blood sugar levels.
Good insecticide: It helps kill white ants, flies and mosquitoes. Make an infusion of the leaves and apply it in the corners of the room to keep insects out.
Treats bleeding: If you have bleeding due to piles, you can make a poultice from the leaves of the Malabar nut and use it. This will help you to treat bleeding piles.
Relieves constipation: For those who suffer from constipation, drinking juice of the Adhatoda Vasica will help provide relief. Mix 1 teaspoon in one glass of water and have it twice a day to cure constipation. Add honey if you want to improve the taste.
Cholagogue activity: In studies conducted on animals, it was seen that the Adhatoda Vasica helped to excrete bile and bilirubin. Further, it diluted the bile.
Helpful uterotonic: It supports the health of the uterus. You should have 1 teaspoon of the juice twice daily for satisfactory results.
Helps relieve wounds: One may use the extracts of Adhatoda Vasica on wounds and get faster and more effective relief.
Side effects of Malabar Nut
Use of the Adhatoda Vasica should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because it contains oxytocic acid that stimulates uterine contraction. If you have large doses of this extract, it will cause irritation in the alimentary canal leading to diarrhea and vomiting.