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TRADITIONAL USES OF ADHATODA VASICA, ARADUSO

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TRADITIONAL USES OF ADHATODA VASICA, ARADUSO

About Authors
Manish Kumar1, Vikram S. Chauhan2, Raaz K Maheshwari3*
1 Department of Zoology, Narain College, Shikohabad, UP
2 Department of Botany, Bangur Govt PG College, Pali, Rajasthan
3 Department of Chemistry, SBRM Govt PG College, Nagaur, Rajasthan
*gcacs60@gmail.com

Adhatoda vasica is popularly known as Basak in Bangla, Malabar Nut in English, Adosa (ARADUSO) in Hindi and Vasaka in Sanskrit. It has been used in preparation of herbal medicines for the past 2000 years.

This evergreen perennial shrub has leathery leaves. The flowers are dense and large having large bracts and whitish pink/purple colored. The herb is often grown as a hedge and its leaves and twigs are utilized as green-manure. The whole plant or its roots, leaves, bark and flowers are used in various herbal preparations.

It is a primary medicinal plant for the respiratory tract ailments in the treatment of cough, bronchitis, asthma and symptoms of common cold. The medicinal uses of Adulsa leaves are attributed to its antitussive, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its leaf juice is the most common home remedy for cough, respiratory diseases and bleeding disorders. It is also a highly effective natural medicine for respiratory infections. In ayurveda, Adulsa juice is also called Adusa Swarasa, Adulsa Swarasa and Vasa Svarasa.


Constituents of the plant have been exposed to have anti stress effects, which might be occasioned partly by an endocrine and partly by an immunomodulatory mechanism of action. This plant has medicinal uses, mainly antispasmodic, fever reducer, anti-inflammatory, anti-bleeding, bronchodilator, anti-diabetic, disinfectant, anti-jaundice and oxytocic. It is antiperiodic, astringent, diuretic, purgative and is also used as an expectorant in addition to liquefy sputum. The leaves, flowers and roots of this plant used in herbal drugs against tubercular activities cancer and possessed anti-helminthic properties.

A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been isolated from this plant having activities like antitussive, abortifacient, antimicrobial, insecticidal, hepatic protection, cardiovascular protection, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other important activities. Some important bioactive compounds have been reported in various part of Adhatoda vasica are essential oils and quinazoline alkaloids. So this plant can form one of the best options for developing novel compounds having medicinal value.


The chemical compounds found in Adhatoda vasica plant includes essential oils, fats, resins,  sugar,  gum,  amino  acids,  proteins  and  vitamins  ‘C’  etc.  The  phytochemical analysis  show  that  phenols,  tannins,  alkaloids,  anthraquinone,  saponins,  flavonoids  and reducing sugars were found in the leaves of plant. But the pharmacologically most studied chemical  component  in  plant  is  vasicine,  a  bitter  quinazoline  alkaloid,  the novel  alkaloid isolated leaves and characterized as 1, 2, 3, 9-tetrahydro- 5-methoxypyrrol [2, 1-b] quinazolin-3-ol. It is present in the leaves, roots  and  flowers. Besides vasicine, the leaves contain several  alkaloids  (Vasicinone,  Vasicinol,  Adhatodine,  Adhatonine,  Adhvasinone,  Anisotine and  Hydroxypeganine),  betaine,  steroids  and  alkanes .  The  leaves  contain  two  major alkaloids called vasicine and vasicinone.

Glycodin Terp,  which  is  a famous product used for the cure of bronchitis has been a product extracted from the leaves of Adhatoda  vasica.   Further, the extracts have been found to be quite effective against tuberculosis. Various parts of the plant have been used in Indian traditional medicine for the treatment of asthma, joint pain, lumber  pain,  sprains,  cold,  cough,  eczema,  malaria,  rheumatism,  swelling  and  venereal diseases.

In  India  paste  of  the  fresh  root  applied  on  abdomen  and  vagina  minutes  before childbirth  facilitates  easy  delivery.  The extract of roots  of  Adhatoda  vasica  has commonly been used by rural population against diabetes, cough and certain liver disorders .  whereas  its  paste  has  been  used  for  curing  tuberculosis,  diphtheria,  malarial  fever, leucorrhoea, eye diseases,  acute nightfall [(paste mixed with sugar) in Sitapur  district, Uttar Pradesh, India. Further, the root’s decoction has been used for gonorrhoea  and as an expectorant, antispasmodial / anthelmintic agent.

The various preparations  of  leaves has been used for  curing  bleeding, hemorrhage, skin diseases,  wounds, headache  and leprosy (chronic  infection) while  their infusion  or the solvent extract has been observed to be an excellent agent for the destruction of white ants, flies, and mosquitoes.

The fresh juice of leaves mixed with honey and ginger juice cures all types of acute cough, chronic bronchitis, breathlessness and liquefies sputum and asthma . The extract obtained by decoction of its leaves along with fruit of Phyllanthus emblica, mixed with honey has been effective against asthma.

The crushed fresh leaves of the plant have been used to treat snake bites (India and Sri lanka).  Macerated extract from leaves/ Yellow leaves/smoke  from  dry leaves  acts against  cough and  phlegm blockage during  cold (Bangladesh) and an infusion protects from headache (Myanmar and Pakistan). 

The leaf powder boiled in sesame oil stops bleeding, earaches as well as pus from ears and jaundice. Leaf juice has been used as the best medicine to enhance platelet count during dengue like viral fevers, postpartum hemorrhage, urinary trouble, acidity and belching and its mixture with jaggery reduces excessive menstrual flow get cured. Externally warmed leaves have been used for rheumatic pains and dislocation of joint, stomach catarrh with constipation, rheumatism, gout, fever and urinary stone. Juice made from the bark and leaves help against vomiting.

The flowers have been known  to  possess  expectorant and antiasthmatic, antiseptic properties  and have  been used  against of  ophthalmic, cold,  phthisis, asthma,  bronchitis, cough, antispasmodic, high fever and gonorrhoea. Also the flowers improve blood circulation and hectic heet of blood .  Fruits: Fruits of the Adhatoda vasica are four seeded capsules. In Pakistan, fruits of the plant are used for cold, antispasmodic and bronchitis. The fruit of the plant are also used for Diarrhea, Dysentery, Fever and as laxative.

A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been isolated from this plant having activities like antitussive, abortifacient, antimicrobial, insecticidal, hepatic protection, cardiovascular protection, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other important activities. A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been isolated from this plant having activities like antitussive, abortifacient, antimicrobial, insecticidal, hepatic protection, cardiovascular protection, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other important activities A. vasica has emerged as imperative medicinal herb well known for its applications in different traditional medicinal system such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani etc.

References
• Ayyanar M, Ignacimuthu S 2008. Medicinal uses and pharmacological Actions of five commonly used Indian Medicinal plants: A mini-review. Iranian J. Pharm. Therapeut., 7: 107-114.
• Bhaduri B, Ghose CR, Bose AN, Moza BK, Basu UP, 1968. Antifertility activity of some medicinal plants. Indian J. Exp. Biol., 6: 252-253.
• Karthikeyan A, Shanthi V, Nagasathya A, 2009. Preliminary Phytochemical and antibacterial screening of crude extract of the leaf of Adhatoda vasica (L). Int. J. Green Pharm., 3: 78-80.
• Kumar M., Dandapat S., Kumar A. and Sinha M.P. 2013. Antityphoid activity of Adhatoda vasica and Vitexnegund. Persian Gulf Crop Protection, 2(3): 64-75.
• Lahiri PK, Prahdan SN 1964. Pharmacological investigation of Vasicinol- an alkaloid from Adhatoda vasica Nees. Indian J. Exp. Biol., 2: 219-223.
• Atal, C.K. 1980. Chemistry and Pharmacology of Vasicine - A new oxytocic and abortifacient, Indian Drugs, 15(2), 15-18.
• Sayeed, A., Madhukar, G., Maksood, A., Mhaveer, S., Md. Tanwir, A. and Shahid, H.A. 2009. A Phyto- pharmacological overview on Adhatoda zeylanica Medic. Syn. A. vasica(Linn.) Nees. Natural Product Radiance, 8(5): 549-554.

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