Justicia adhatoda

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Justicia adhatoda
Justicia adhatoda 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Justicia
J. adhatoda
Binomial name
Justicia adhatoda
  • Adeloda serrata Raf.
  • Adhatoda pubescens Moench
  • Adhatoda vasica Nees
  • Dianthera latifolia Salisb.
  • Ecbolium adhatoda (L.) Kuntze
  • Gendarussa adhadota (L.) Steud.

Justicia adhatoda, commonly known in English as Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, or(বাসক) vasaka,[2][3] is a medicinal plant native to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic, homeopathy and Unani systems of medicine.[4]

The plant's native range is the Indian subcontinent (Assam, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Laos and Myanmar. It has been introduced elsewhere.[5]

Botanical description[edit]

Justicia 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.[6] 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.[7]

The 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]

The leaves of Justicia adhatoda contains phytochemicals such as alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenolics and flavonoids.[8] The most important is vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid.[4] The vasicine yield of the herbage has been measured as 0.541 to 1.1% by dry weight.

Traditional medicine[edit]

This shrub has a number of traditional medicinal uses in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.[4] Drug vasaka is obtained from dried leaves of the plant. Vasaka is mainly used in treatment of chronic bronchitis and asthma. Leaf juice is given in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea.

Cultural reference[edit]

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


  1. ^ "Justicia adhatoda L.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  2. ^ "Common Names for Malabar Nut (Justicia adhatoda)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c "Facts about for Malabar Nut (Justicia adhatoda)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Justicia adhatoda L.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. ^ Kumar, M., Dandapat, S., Kumar, A. and Sinha, M.P., Determination of Nutritive value and mineral elements of five-leaf chaste tree (Vitex negundo L.) and Malabar Nut (Adhatoda vasica Nees), Academic Journal of Plant Sciences, 2013; 6(3): 103-108. http://www.idosi.org/ajps/6(3)13/1.pdf
  7. ^ Kumar, M., Dandapat, S., Kumar, A. and Sinha, M.P. Anti-typhoid activity of Adhatoda vasica and Vitex negundo Persian Gulf Crop Protection, 2013; 2(3): 64-75 http://corpprotection.ir/files_site/paperlist/Journal2-3-130906213336.pdf
  8. ^ Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Dandapat, S. and Sinha, M. P. Phytochemical screening and antioxidant potency of Adhatoda vasica and Vitex negundo, The Bioscan; 8(2): 727-730, 2013 http://www.thebioscan.in/Journal%20Supplement/82Sup26%20MANOJ%20KUMAR.pdf

External links[edit]