VASAKA, Adhatoda vasika


Latin name:                   Adhatoda vasika / Justicia adhatoda

English names:         Malabar nut tree

Sanskrit name: Vasanga

Indian name: Adusa, Vasaka

Medicinal parts used: Leaves, Roots, Fruits and Flowers

Vasaka, also called Malabar nut tree, is well known throughout India. It is tall, with several branches, dense, and an evergreen shrub. Leaves are large and lance-shaped. The leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine besides an essential oil. It has capsular four-seeded fruits. The flowers are either white or purple in colour.

Vasaka is indigenous to India. It grows all over the plains of India and in the lower Himalayan ranges.

Therapeutic use:

  • The leaves, roots and the flowers are extensively used in indigenous medicine as a remedy for cold, cough, bronchitis and asthma.
  • A poultice of its leaves can be applied with beneficial results over fresh wounds, rheumatic joints and inflammatory swellings.
  • A warm decoction of its leaves is useful in treating scabies and other skin diseases.
  • Its leaves, bark, the root-bark, the fruit and flowers are useful in the removal of intestinal parasites.
  • Vasaka plays a very effective role in the treatment of tuberculosis too.
  • Vasaka also has immense potential as an antiulcer agent of great therapeutic relevance.
  • Vasaka leaf also exhibits significant hepatoprotective effect in conditions leading to liver damage.
  • Vasaka was used by traditional midwives at the time of delivery due to its uterotonic activity.
  • It is also prescribed commonly for bleeding due to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, local bleeding due to peptic ulcer, piles, menorrhagia, etc.
  • Its local use gives relief from bleeding gums.

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