Justicia adhatoda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Justicia adhatoda
Justicia adhatoda 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Justicia
Species: J. adhatoda
Binomial name
Justicia adhatoda

Adhatoda vasica Nees

Justicia adhatoda, commonly known in English as Malabar Nut, Adulsa, Adhatoda, Vasa, or Vasaka,[1][2] is a medicinal plant native to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.[3]

The plant's range includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China, as well as Panama where it is thought to have been introduced.[3]

Botanical description[edit]

J. adhatoda is a shrub with lance-shaped leaves 10 to 15 centimeters in length by four wide. They are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged, and borne on short petioles. When dry they are of a dull brownish-green colour. They are bitter-tasting. When a leaf is cleared with chloral hydrate and examined microscopically the oval stomata can be seen. They are surrounded by two crescent-shaped cells at right angles to the ostiole. The epidermis bears simple one- to three-celled warty hairs, and small glandular hairs. Cystoliths occur beneath the epidermis of the underside of the blade.

Trunk has many, long, opposite, ascending branches, where the bark is yellowish in color. Flowers are usually white and the inflorescence shows large, dense, axillary spikes. Fruits are pubescent, and are with club-shaped capsules.

Chemical composition[edit]

Several alkaloids are present in the leaves. The most important is vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid.[3] The vasicine yield of the herbage has been measured as 0.541 to 1.1% by dry weight.


This shrub has a number of traditional medicinal uses in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.[3]

Vasicine, the active compound, has been compared to theophylline both in vitro and in vivo.[4] Another, vasicinone, showed bronchodilatory activity in vitro[5] but bronchoconstrictory activity in vivo.[6] Both the alkaloids in combination (1:1) showed pronounced bronchodilatory activity in vivo and in vitro.[7] Both alkaloids are also respiratory stimulants.[7] Vasicine has a cardiac–depressent effect, while vasicinone is a weak cardiac stimulant; the effect can be normalized by combining the alkaloids.[7][8] Vasicine is reported to have a uterine stimulant effect.[8] Vasicinone was shown to have an antianaphylactic action.[8]

Cultural reference[edit]

It is the Unofficial provincial flower of the Punjab province of Pakistan.


It is also called Adhatoda vasika, which is derived from a former scientific name. It has different names in different Indian languages.[9]

  • sinhala: pawatta(පාවට්ටා), agaladara (අගලදාර)
  • Malayalam: Adalodakam (ആടലോടകം)
  • Sanskrit: Sinhapuri, Vasaka (वसाका)
  • Hindi: Adosa, Arusha, Rus, Bansa
  • Bengali: Adulsa, Bakash,Vasok
  • Gujarati: Aradusī, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa (અરડૂસી)
  • Kannada: Adusogae
  • Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa (अडुळसा)
  • Oriya: Basanga
  • Persian: Bansa
  • Punjabi: Bhekkar
  • Tamil: Adathodai, pavettai
  • Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram (అడ్డసరం)
  • Nepali: Asuro, Kalo vasak (नेपाली)
  • Mizo: Kawldai


  1. ^ "Common Names for Malabar Nut (Justicia adhatoda)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Aslam, Mohd; Rais, Sumbul; Alam, Masood; Pugazhendi, Arulazhagan (2013). "Adsorption of Hg(II) from Aqueous Solution Using Adulsa (Justicia adhatoda) Leaves Powder: Kinetic and Equilibrium Studies". Journal of Chemistry 2013: 1–11. doi:10.1155/2013/174807. ISSN 2090-9063. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Facts about for Malabar Nut (Justicia adhatoda)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Nepali, Kunal; Sharma, Sahil; Ojha, Ritu; Dhar, Kanaya Lal (2012). "Vasicine and structurally related quinazolines". Medicinal Chemistry Research 22 (1): 1–15. doi:10.1007/s00044-012-0002-5. ISSN 1054-2523. 
  5. ^ Amin, A. H.; Mehta, D. R. (1959). "A Bronchodilator Alkaloid (Vasicinone) from Adhatoda vasica Nees". Nature 184 (4695): 1317–1317. doi:10.1038/1841317a0. ISSN 0028-0836. 
  6. ^ Mehta, D. R.; Naravane, J. S.; Desai, R. M. (1963). "Vasicinone. A Bronchodilator Principle from Adhatoda Vasica Nees (N. O. Acanthaceae)". The Journal of Organic Chemistry 28 (2): 445–448. doi:10.1021/jo01037a041. ISSN 0022-3263. 
  7. ^ a b c Avula, B.; et al. (2008). "Quantitative determination of vasicine and vasicinone in Adhatoda vasica by high performance capillary electrophoresis". Die Pharmazie – An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 63 (1): 20–22. doi:10.1691/ph.2008.7175. 
  8. ^ a b c Rajani, M; Soni, S; Anandjiwala, Sheetal; Patel, G (2008). "Validation of different methods of preparation of Adhatoda vasica leaf juice by quantification of total alkaloids and vasicine". Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 70 (1): 36. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.40329. ISSN 0250-474X. 
  9. ^ Dr. K. M. Nadkarni's Indian Materia Medica, Volume 1, Edited by A. K. Nadkarni, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1976, pp. 40.

External links[edit]