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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Buds and flowers of Adhatoda vasica

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Adhatoda vasica is a small evergreen plant with broad, lanceolate leaves measuring 10 to 16 centimeters in length and 5 centimeters wide.It belongs to the family Acanthaceae.

 Its common names are Malabar nut, Adulsa, Arusha, Vasaka, Justicia adhatoda, Adulsa Arusa, Adathodai, Bakash, Adathoda, Adalodakam, Adusoge, Addasaramu, Lion’s Muzzle, Stallion’s Tooth etc. 

Adhatoda vasica grows on the plains of India and in the lower Himalayans, up to a range of 1000 meters above sea level. This plant is also cultivated in other tropical areas. It will grow well in low moisture areas and dry soils.

 They become greenish-brown when dried and have a bitter taste. They have a smell similar to strong tea. The wood of the stem is soft, and makes a great charcoal for gunpowder. The flower has large, attractive, white petals, streaked with purple on the lower lip. The fruit is a small capsule with 4 seeds. 

It is also known as VASACA. The Vasaka is a common shrub distributed throughout India. In Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine it is commonly known as vasa.  It commonly grows in waste places. The medicinal value of the medicinal herb has been mentioned in old texts. It is household remedy for various disorders. Charaka Samhita has classified the drug under mucolytic and expectorant drugs. 

The intake of extract of Adhatoda is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Principal alkaloids found in the plant extract are Vasicine, and vasicinone.Besides these the plant also contains an organic acid known as Adhatodic acid. It contains essential oil and colouring matter.

Key words: vasaca, Charak Samhita,

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