Vasaka, Malabar nut (Adhatoda Vasica)

Vasaka is a tall, thick, herbaceous shrub that is evergreen. This shrub has several long, contrasting, climbing branches on its trunk. The bark of this plant is yellow in color. The lance-shaped leaves have short petioles, a smooth edge, and an opposite arrangement. The leaves have a bitter flavor, and they turn a drab brownish green when they dry. Vasicine, an alkaloid substance, is abundant in the leaves. The inflorescence typically has enormous, thick spikes that are auxiliary, and the flowers are typically purple and white in color. Fruits have club-shaped capsules and are pubescent.

General Information

Vasa often spelled Vasaka, is a herb that is naturally used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, colds, and coughs. In addition to its many cooling qualities, it is a strong anti-microbial agent.

One of the plant's active components, vasicine, is what offers this herb its numerous therapeutic benefits.

Vasa is shown to be particularly beneficial in the management of many respiratory system illnesses and may even provide relief for many tuberculosis patients due to its outstanding effectiveness as a natural expectorant.

Its herbal extract has a lot of medicinal potential, but using too much of it might have a lot of negative effects, thus it should only be used under a doctor's supervision.

Among the numerous substances that have been isolated from this plant is vasicine, which has been investigated for its antibacterial, anti-ulcer, hepatoprotective, and anti-oxidant properties. Vascicinine, Luteolin, Tritriacontane, Carotene, Vasakin, Vasicinone, Vascicolone, Vasicolinone, and other compounds are also found in this herb.


This herbaceous plant is widely distributed over the Indian subcontinent. In addition to Panama, this herb is found in China, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Lamiales
  • Family - Acanthaceae


  • Sanskrit - Vasaka
  • Latin name - Adhatoda vasica
  • English - Malabar nut
  • Hindi - Adusa, Arusha, Bansa
  • Telugu - Addasaramu, Adamkabu, Vasa
  • Tamil name – Adhathodai
  • Marathi - Adulsa
  • Gujarati name - Araduso, Adulso
  • Kannada name - Adusogae, Adu muttada soppu
  • Bengali name - Bakash, Vasok, Adusa
  • Punjabi name - Vamsa, Bhekkar
  • Nepali name - Asuro, Kalo, Vasak
  • Oriya name - Arusa, Basanga, Basung 
  • Assamese name - Titabahak, Bahak
  • Konkani name - Adusoge
  • Persian name - Bansa

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Kashaya, Tikta

Astringent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Rooksha

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balances Pitta and Kapha doshas.

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

  • Tikta skanda - plants with a bitter taste.

Daruvadi gana

Practical Uses

  • Vasa is a pungent-tasting cooling plant that works wonders in reducing searing pain and elevated pitta in the body.
  • It has been proven to be quite successful in treating problems involving bleeding and blood disorders. The herb also works wonders for purifying blood.
  • This plant also has the unique ability to prevent vomiting. Vasa is also capable of managing fever, particularly pittaj fever and its related consequences (caused by an imbalance in the pitta dosha in the body).
  • It is also beneficial for general cardiac health and a heart tonic.
  • Vasa's main effect on the respiratory system is what gives it its fame. Vasa successfully manages conditions like common colds, coughs, and chronic bronchitis, among others.
  • The gall bladder and liver can also benefit from the herb. Its pitta-balancing qualities can have a good impact on bile production. The liver and gall bladder are the body's Pitta energy centers, according to Ayurveda.
  • Vasa has a variety of functions, including skin protection, antimicrobial activity, and a modest anti-inflammatory effect.
  • This expectorant herb clears the lungs of all accumulated mucus and aids in the treatment of asthma and cough. When tuberculosis is first developing, this herb can be quite helpful.
  • The herb is utilized to get rid of parasites that live between tissues. This herb's decoction is used to treat worm infestations.
  • Scabies and skin conditions are treated with a warm leaf decoction. This herb's leaves are used as an external poultice on the skin to treat rheumatic pain, heal wounds, and reduce inflammation.
  • It is used as a moderate sedative to reduce stress and quiet the mind.
  • This herb eases pain in the abdomen and helps to relax the muscles there.
  • Additionally, it works wonders for those with tonsillitis, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, and throat pain.
  • Vasaka decoction aids in lowering blood levels of urea and other nitrogenous waste products.
  • Pitta and Kapha doshas are calmed by it.

Part Used

  • Leaf
  • Root
  • Flower
  • Whole plant


  1. Flower Juice: 10-20 ml
  2. Liquid extract: 2-5 ml
  3. Leaf Extract: 10-20 ml
  4. Root Decoction: 40-80 ml


Its herbal extract has a lot of medicinal potential, but using too much of it might have a lot of negative effects, thus it should only be used under a doctor's supervision.

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