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What are the Health Benefits of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica, Malabar Nut)?

What is Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica, Malabar Nut)?

Adhatoda vasica, Vasaka

It is an important and a powerful Ayurvedic medicinal herb. It is a tall, branched, dense evergreen shrub 2.2-3.5 mtrs by height. Leaves are 10-30cm long and 3-10 cm broad. Flowers are white in colour with little purple. This herb is found at the altitude of 1300 mtrs throughout India. Vasa herb is used in the treatment of various diseases, and mainly in cold, cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Whole of the plant is beneficial and all part of this plant contains alkaloid vasicine which is a bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), cardiac depressant (decreases heart rate and contractility), uterotonic and abortifacient.

Classification of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica), Malabar Nut

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass: Asteridae
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Genus: Adhatoda
  • Species: vasica

Other name of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica), Malabar Nut

  • Latin Name: Adhatoda vasica
  • English: Malabar nut
  • Persian: Bansa
  • Hindi: Adusa, Bansa, Arusha, Adosa
  • Assamese: Bahak
  • Bengali: Vasok, Adulsa, Bakash
  • Gujarati: Adulso, Bansa, Aduraspee
  • Kannada: Adusogae
  • Malayalam: Adolakam
  • Marathi: Adulsa
  • Sanskrit: Vasaka
  • Tamil: Adadorai, Arathorai
  • Telugu: Adasaramu
  • Sinhala: Pawatta
  • Ronmei: Thimpui
  • Sanskrit: Vasaka
  • Nepali: Asuro

What are the Medical Qualities of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica), Malabar Nut?

  • Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
  • Gun (qualities) – Laghu (Light), Rooksha (dryness)
  • Vipaka – Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
  • Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency
  • It balances the Kapha and Pitta dosha

What are the Health Benefits of Vasaka?

  • Tuberculosis – Vasaka juice is very useful in tuberculosis. The juice is taken once daily.
  • Bronchitis – Vasaka oil is useful for bronchitis conditions.
  • It used to speed delivery during child birth.
  • A decoction of the leaves is useful for cold and sore throat. It should be taken one teaspoonful twice a day.
  • The poultice is to treat wounds, rheumatisms and other painful conditions.
  • Powder of this herb is useful for leucoderma. The powder is taken 3 to 6gm one time a day with water.
  • It acts as a blood purifier.
  • The herb balances Pitta and Kapha doshas.
  • Vasaka is helpful in clarity of voice.
  • The herb is beneficial in case of thirst, fever, vomiting, sugar, bleeding disorders and leprosy.
  • Malabar nut is good for skin health because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial features.
  • The Malabar nut is helpful in easing the abdominal pain
  • Vasaka cures dyspnea by improving the lung function and its efficiency.

What are the important Medicinal Properties?

Adhatoda vasica is rich in medicinal properties that are given below with the meaning:

  1. Abortifacient: induces abortion.
  2. Anthelmintic: expel parasitic worms (helminthes) and other internal parasites from the body.
  3. Anti-asthmatic: Fight against asthma.
  4. Anti-inflammatory: Reduces swelling. The presence of chemical constituents like alkaloids vasicine, vasicine acetate, 2-acetyl benzyl amine and vasicinolone, shows strong anti-inflammatory activity.
  5. Antioxidant: It neutralizes the oxidant effect of the free radicals and other substances.
  6. Antiseptic: As per the function it is capable of preventing infection by inhibiting the growth of infectious agents.
  7. Antitussive: prevent or relieve the cough.
  8. Antiulcer: tending to prevent or heal ulcers.
  9. Bronchodilator: causes widening of the bronchi.
  10. Hepatoprotective: Protects liver.
  11. Oxytocic: Hastening or facilitating childbirth, especially by stimulating contractions of the uterus.
  12. Rubefacient: produces redness of the skin on topical application by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation.
  13. Wound healing: Vasa increases rate of healing.

What are the uses of Vasaka?

  • Chronic bronchitis and asthma
  • Cold and cough
  • Sedative
  • Expectorant
  • Antiseptic
  • Rheumatism
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pyorrhea and bleeding gums
  • Respiratory system
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Dysentery and diarrhea
  • Nervous disability
  • Cardiac- depressant effect
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Sore throat
  • Leucoderma
  • Jaundice
  • Piles
  • Leprosy
  • Blood disorder
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of memory
  • Tumor
  • Blood purifier
  • Fever
  • Gonorrhea
  • Female related problem
  • Diphtheria
  • Antispasmodic
  • Abortifacient
  • Antitussive
  • Mucolytic
  • Utero tonic

For what Purpose is the Extract of Vasaka Leaves Useful?

Vasaka is hot by potency, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial by its function. The leaf juice (Vasa swarasa) is used in many formulations. It is used in the treatment of cold, cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma, excessive menstruation, diarrhoea and dysentery, fresh wounds, rheumatic joints and inflammatory swellings, eye diseases, and liver diseases.

Leaf Juice – 10-20 ml twice daily with plain water.

What way is Vasaka Herb Beneficial in Respiratory Infection?

Vasaka manage the respiratory infections. As its vipaka is katu due to which it act upon kapha dosha. The problems which come under the respiratory infection are asthma, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, bleeding disorders, nose bleeding , bronchitis due to lack of appetite and poor digestion, cough, chronic wheezing (whistling sound while breathing), fever due to cough / phlegm.

How is Vasaka helpful in Sore Throat, Throat Pain, Tonsillitis & Postnasal Drip?

Vasaka has the properties like anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral due to which it is helpful and beneficial in a sore throat, throat pain and tonsillitis. Due to these properties it reduces redness, pain, and inflammation of soft palate.

How is Vasaka helpful in Ulcer?

As it has Sheeta (cold) potency decreases the aggravated pitta which helps in healing the ulcers.

How is Vasaka good for Dyspepsia, Gastritis or Acidity?

Vasaka has cold potency which helps in pacifying the pitta dosha due to which Vasaka has good results in dyspepsia, gastritis or acidity. It reduces acid formation in the stomach.

What are the Doses of Vasaka?

  • Leaf Juice – 10-20 ml
  • Root decoction – 40-80 ml
  • Flower juice – 10-20 ml
  • Leaf dry powder – 1-3 grams
  • Root bark powder – 250 mg-500 mg.

What are the Side Effects of Vasaka?

  • One should take precaution while eating Vasaka.
  • Its medicinal formulations should be taken only after consultation of physician.
  • It’s over dosage may lead to many ill effects.
  • Expecting mother shouldn’t take Vasaka as it heavily impacts the uterus.
  • It lowers the blood sugar level therefore diabetic patients should take care of it.
  • Children shouldn’t use it.
  • Care should be implemented while taking this herb with other drugs or supplements that exhibit expectorant or antispasmodic effects.

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