Adhatoda vasica (Vasaka): A Medicinal Boon for Mankind
Leaf of Adhatoda vasica (Vasaka) is an important drug of Ayurveda, prescribed as an expectorant. Quinazoline alkaloids present in the leaves are established as active principles. In Ayurveda, its leaf juice (Vasa swarasa) is incorporated in many formulations. Adhatoda vasica is a herb, also popularly known as Malabar nut in English, Adosa in Hindi and Vasaka in Sanskrit is used as botanicals against root knot nematodes. Parts of this plant used as medicinal value are leaves, roots, flower and stem bark. The leaves of Adhatoda vasica contain phytochemicals such as alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenolics and flavonoides. Several alkaloids are present in the leaves. The most important is vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid responsible for the medicinal activity of the plant. It has been used in preparation of herbal medicines for the past 2000 years. Adhatoda vasica is also used to relieve respiratory disorders and cough. The herb is often grown as a hedge and its leaves and twigs are utilized as green- manure. Inspite of its use in medicinal value it has a good nematicidal properties.