Vasaka : Chemical Constituents and Uses

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Source and Distribution of Vasaka:

Vasaka consists of the dried and fresh leaves of the plant Adhatoda vasica (vasaka scientific name), belonging to the family Acanthaceae. It is also known as adhatoda, adulsa and malabar nut.

English: Justicia adhatoda, Acanthaceae, Aduls...

English: Justicia adhatoda, Acanthaceae, Adulsa, Malabar Nut, inflorescence. The fresh leaves are used in homeopathy as remedy: Justicia adhatoda (Just.) Deutsch: Justicia adhatoda, Acanthaceae, Indisches Lungenkraut, Malabarnuss, Infloreszenz. Die frischen Bätter werden in der Homöopathie als Arzneimittel verwendet: Justicia adhatoda (Just.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This plant is indigenous to India and is found in sub-himalayan tract and especially in Maharashtra in Konkan region. It is also found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It is not cultivated on commercial basis. It is included in different formulations of Ayurveda. It is obtained from garden plants and wild sources. It is propagated by stem cuttings and by seed germination. It is obtained in all seasons of the year.

Chemical constituents of Vasaka:

Vasaka leaves contain quinazoline alkaloids such as vasicine, vasicinone and 6-hydroxy vasicine. Biochemically, vasicine is oxidised to its ketonic derivative vasicinone, which exerts the bronchodilator activity. The drug also contains volatile oil, betain and vasakin. Vasaka also contains adhatodic acid.

Vasaka Benefits: Vasaka Medicinal Uses

  • Vasaka syrup acts as an Expectorant
  • Bronchodilator
  • Large doses of vasaka powder causes irritation and cause vomitting and diarrhoea
  • Vasicine shows oxytocic property like oxytocin and methyl ergotamine
  • Vasicine also has abortificient activity due to the release of prostaglandins
  • Bromhexine hydrochloride is a synthetic derivative of vasicine. This changes the structure of bronchial secretions and reduces viscosity of sputum

Vasaka Synonyms:

  • Bengali – Bakas
  • Gujrati – Adsoge
  • Vasaka in Hindi – Arusha
  • Kannada – Adusoge
  • Malayalam – Adalodagam
  • Marathi – Adulsa
  • Sanskrit – Vasa
  • Tamil – Adatodai
  • Telugu – Addasaramu
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