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Information about the herb Adhatoda Vasica

Adhatoda vasica, also known as malabar nut tree is part of the Acanthaceae plant family. It is a small evergreen, sub-herbacious bush which grows commonly in open plains, especially in the lower Himalayas (up to 1300 meters above sea level), India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaysia.

General Information
Plant Constituents

Adhatoda Vasica

General Information

Botanical Name: Adhatoda vasica, Justicia adhatoda

Common Name: Adatodai, Arusa, Adulsa, Bakas, Malabar Nut Tree

Plant Family: Acanthaceae

History: Adhatoda leaves have been used extensively in Ayurvedic Medicine for over 2000 years primarily for respiratory disorders.

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Plant constituents of Adhatoda vasica

Adhatoda contains:


  • Quinazoline Alkaloids
  • vasicine - 45-95% (the mucolytic drug bromhexine was developed from this alkaloid)
  • N-oxides of vasicine
  • vasicinone
  • deoxyvasicine
  • oxyvasicinine
  • maiontone
  • essential oil

The leaf extract, is considered safe and the oil has low toxicity.


  • b-sitosterol-D-glucoside
  • kaempferol
  • glycosides of kaempferoland
  • queretin


  • vasicinolone
  • vasicol
  • peganine
  • hydroxy oxychalcone
  • glucosyl oxychalcone


  • odorous volatile principle
  • organic adhatodic acid


  • abortifacient [an agent that induces or causes premature expulsion of a fetus (abortion)]
  • anti-asthmatic [an agent to relieve asthma]
  • antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions]
  • antitussive [an agent that relieves coughing]
  • bronchodilator [an agent to dilate the bronchials]
  • expectorant [an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages]
  • febrifuge [an agent that reduces or eliminates fevers]
  • mucolytic [an agent that thins and breaks down mucus]
  • oxytocic [an agent that stimulates contraction of the uterine muscle, facilitating or speeding up childbirth]
  • uterotonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates the uterus or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]

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Usage of Adhatoda vasica

Adhatoda Vasica was traditionally used by midwives at the time of delivery because of its uterotnoic activity. Due to its anti-implantation activity, adhatoda should not be used while pregnant.

Medicinal Part used: Leaves, roots, flowers and stem bark

Adhatoda vasica is commonly used for:

  • Blood Conditions
  • bleeding due to idiopathic (unknown) thrombocytopenic (blood does not have enough platelets) purpura (excessive bruising)

Cardiovascular Conditions

  • moderate hypotensive activity (lowers blood pressure)
  • pulmonary diseases

Female Conditions

  • assists uterine involution (rolling or turning inward)
  • menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding)
  • postpartum (after childbirth) hemorrhage
  • uterine stimulant activity

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • dyspepsia
  • local bleeding due to peptic ulcer and/or piles (hemorrhoids)

Respiratory Tract Conditions

  • acute and chronic bronchitis often combined with the herbs Licorice and Marshmallow for soothing the respiratory tract
  • allergic asthma, often combined with the herbs Albizia, Baical Skullcap, Eyebright and Tylophora
  • antihistamine effects (the leaves may be dried and smoked to relieve asthma)
  • broncho-dilation effects
  • emphysema
  • obstructive airway disease (chronic) often combined with the herbs Polygala, Grindelia, Euphorbia and Elecampane
  • phthisis (wasting of the body as in tuberculosis)
  • relieves cough and breathlessness

Other Conditions

  • bleeding gums (applied locally)
  • diphtheria
  • gives relief in pyorrhoea, a gum disease (applied locally)
  • intermittent fever
  • Tuberculosis (all strains of inhibited by the essential oil)
  • typhus fever


Recommended dosage is as follows:

  • 0.5-1.5g/day dried root
  • 1-3mL/day 1:2 fluid extract

Higher doses may be needed for the oxytocic effect during childbirth [to stimulate contraction of the uterine muscle, facilitating or speeding up childbirth]

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  • Contraindicated in pregnancy except at during the birthing process
  • Adhatoda vsica is reported to have oxytocic (stimulates contractions of the uterus) and abortifacient (substance that induces abortion) effects.

Large doses cause

  • diarrhea
  • irritation of the alimentary canal
  • vomiting

Drug Interactions:

Do not use Adhatoda without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • None indicated

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Global Herbal Supplies has Adhatoda vasica available in the following forms:



Information given by our website is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other medical professionals. You should not use the information given for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. The above information is just a guide to general circumstances and in no way should it contradict the advice that you have been given by your naturopath, medical doctor or specialist.

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