Adhatoda vasica (Malabar nut)
Malabar nut health benefits
Adhatoda vasica (Malabar nut) is a shrub native to Asia, commonly known as Vasaka, that grows also in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, and the Pothohar region of Pakistan, and in the Pharwala area . This herb has been used for treatment of various diseases and disorders in Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine .
Adhatoda vasica (Malabar nut) is known for its multiple traditional medicinal uses in folk medicine, where it is used, among others, to treat asthma and cough . Extracts of Adhatoda vasica bark, leaves, and flower have also been used to erradicate living red spider mites and eggs from leaves , where this plant has also shown certain efficacy. The leaf of Adhatoda vasica (Vasaka) is an important drug of Ayurveda, where it is prescribed as an expectorant . Other uses reported from this plant include its use in the indigenous system of medicine of Naga tribes in India for curing intestinal worm infections. Image: Justicia adhatoda by Shihchuan under Creative Common license (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Common name: Malabar nut, Malabar chestnut, White vasa, Yellow vasa, Vasaka.
ADHATODA VASICA ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS
Several active constituents have been identified in Adhatoda vasica, among them vasicine, isolated from the extracts of Adhatoda vasica Nees (Acanthaceae) showed a moderate antibacterial activity . A mucolytic drug called Bromhexine was developed from the active constituent vasicine, extracted from the leaves of Adhatoda vasica.
Another two active constituents extracted from Adhatoda vasica leaves, namely vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine, showed both strong antimycobacterial activity when they were tested against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, being effective against both a multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strain and one sensitive strain . This may open the hope for developing new alternative medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis . Vasicinone is another compound found on this plant .
Another active constituent present in Adhatoda vasica, this time an alkaloid named Quinazoline, was found to be present in its leaves .
ADHATODA VASICA IN AYURVEDA
In Ayurveda, the leaf juice of Adhatoda vasica (Vasa swarasa) is incorporated in many traditional herbal formulations. In order to extract Adhatoda vasica leaf juice (swarasa), the classical method involves exposing a bunch of crushed fresh leaf to heat followed by squeezing out the juice . Other methods for extracting the leaves juice showed less effectiveness when compared to the traditional method described before, the traditional method was found to give the best quality juice with highest amount of total alkaloids and vasicine content . Image right: Justicia adhatoda by Shihchuan under Creative Common license (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Adhatoda vasica Nees (Acantheceae), has also been used for its beneficial effects in bronchitis . In studies done in mice its leaves showed anti-ulcer activity, the anti-ulcer activity was studied in experimental rats . In a study done in guinea-pigs, after oral administration to the guinea-pig the antitussive activity of Adhatoda vasica was similar to codeine against coughing induced by irritant aerosols .
Another study done in Swiss albino mice suggests that Adhatoda plant extract has significant radioprotective effects, something that suggests further studies aimed at identifying the role of major ingredients in the extract are needed .
ADHATODA VASICA SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS As with other herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables, Adhatoda vasica can interact with many physical conditions. Leaf extracts of Moringa oleifera and Adhatoda vasica were 100% abortive at doses equivalent to 175 mg/kg . Please, read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
 Enzyme inhibition, antioxidant and antibacterial potential of vasicine isolated from Adhatoda vasica Nees.
Shahwar D, Raza MA, Tariq S, Riasat M, Ajaib M.
Research Lab. II, Department of Chemistry, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan.
 Antimycobacterial activity of two natural alkaloids, vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine, isolated from Indian shrub Adhatoda vasica Ness. leaves.
Ignacimuthu S, Shanmugam N.
Division of Ethnopharmacology, Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai 600 034, India.
 Anti-tuberculosis activity of selected medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates.
Gupta R, Thakur B, Singh P, Singh HB, Sharma VD, Katoch VM, Chauhan SV.
Department of Botany, School of Life Sciences, Khandari Campus, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University , Agra, India.
 Efficacy of Curcuma aeruginosa rhizome and Adhatoda vasica plant extracts, on red spider mite, Tetranychus urticae in Livistona rotundifolia.
Svinningen AE, Rashani KP, Jegathambigai V, Karunaratne MD, Mikunthan G.
Green Farms Ltd., Marawilla, Sri Lanka
 Quantitative determination of vasicine and vasicinone in Adhatoda vasica by high performance capillary electrophoresis.
Avula B, Begum S, Ahmed S, Choudhary MI, Khan IA.
National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, MS 38677, USA
 Validation of Different Methods of Preparation of Adhatoda vasica Leaf Juice by Quantification of Total Alkaloids and Vasicine.
Soni S, Anandjiwala S, Patel G, Rajani M.
Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry Department B. V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education Research Development Centre (PERD), Thaltej, Ahemdabad - 380 054, India.
 Protective effect of Adhatoda vascia Nees against radiation-induced damage at cellular, biochemical and chromosomal levels in Swiss albino mice.
Kumar M, Samarth R, Kumar M, Selvan SR, Saharan B, Kumar A.
Laboratory of Radiation and Cancer Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan Jaipur 302004, India
 Rapid micropropagation via axillary bud proliferation of Adhatoda vasica Nees from nodal segments.
Abhyankar G, Reddy VD.
Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, Osmania University, Hyderabad 500 007, India.
[9-a] Tumor Promotion and Oxidative Stress in Ferric Nitrilotriacetate-Mediated Renal Carcinogenesis: Protection by Adhatoda vasica.
Jahangir T, Sultana S.
Section of Chemoprevention and Nutrition Toxicology, Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi, 110062, India.
 Anti-ulcer activity of Adhatoda vasica Nees.
Shrivastava N, Srivastava A, Banerjee A, Nivsarkar M.
Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, B.V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
 Randomized trial of a fixed combination (KanJang) of herbal extracts containing Adhatoda vasica, Echinacea purpurea and Eleutherococcus senticosus in patients with upper respiratory tract infections.
Narimanian M, Badalyan M, Panosyan V, Gabrielyan E, Panossian A, Wikman G, Wagner H.
Department of Family Medicine, Yerevan State Medical University, Yerevan, Armenia.
 Antitussive effect of Adhatoda vasica extract on mechanical or chemical stimulation-induced coughing in animals.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., Pimpri, Pune, India.
 THE EFFECT OF VASA (ADHATODA VASIC NEES) on AMLAPITTA.
Bharti, Mohan K, Tewari SK.
Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banares Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005, India.
 Phytochemical investigation of roots of Adhatoda vasica.
Jain MP, Sharma VK.
Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu-Tawi, India.
 Commonly used Indian abortifacient plants with special reference to their teratologic effects in rats.
Nath D, Sethi N, Singh RK, Jain AK.
Division of Toxicology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India.
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