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

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 andElecampane
  • 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: