Scientific Name – Adhatodavasica

Family – Acanthaceae

It commonly known in English as Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, vasaka, is native to Asia.

The plant’s native range is Afghanistan, the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It has been introduced elsewhere.


It is a shrub with 10-20 lance-shaped leaves 8-9 centimeters in length by four wide. They are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged, and borne on short petioles.[citation needed] 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.

Rasadi pancaka Rasa-Tikta Kaṣāya Guna-Rukṣa Laghu Vipāka-Katu

Vasa or Malabar Nut is an evergreen shrub and a medicinal plant which is native to Asia. The plant can be found in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China. This is a bitter tasting herb extensively used in traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. The medicine from Vasa is used to treat cough, cold, asthma, bronchitis and others. It is also used in treating fever, jaundice, diarrhea, dysentery, headache and tuberculosis.

The Vasa is bitter, pungent, astringent, light to digest, rough and has cold potency. It increases Vata and reduces the effect of kapha and pitta. The root, leaf and flower are the parts used.

Phytoconstituents – Leaves contain quinazoline derivatives such as vasicine, vasicinone, B-sitosterol, Kaempferol, 1-peganine, Aadhatodine, Vasicolinone and Anisoline.

Benefits of Vasavaleha for Cough:

  1. Vasavaleha shows antitussive activity.
  2. Vasicine present in vasavaleha extracts dilates the bronchioles or air passages in the lungs.
  3. The different phytoconstituents present in vasa also have cough suppressing properties and act on the brain, specifically the medulla.2 Benefits of Vasavaleha for Infections:
  4. Vasavaleha has shown antimicrobial activity against various microbial strains like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia, Salmonella typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus. 2

Benefits of Vasavaleha as an Antioxidant:

  1. Vasavaleha has strong antioxidant properties.
  2. This makes vasavaleha a good supplement to be taken for typhoid when the bodys antioxidant system is failing.
  3. Vasavaleha helps tackle the free radicles and reactive oxygen species generated in the body leading to cardiovascular problems, Alzheimers disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, cataract formation, and other conditions