Botanical Name: Adhatoda vasica, Adhatoda zeylanica, Justicia adhatoda
Other Common Names of Adhatoda: Adathodai, Adusoge, Vasaka, Adalodakam, Malabar Nut, Arusa Adulsa, Bakash, Addasaramu.
Description: Called Simha Mukhi in Sanskrit because the shape of its flowers resembles a lion’s head, Adhatoda vasica is found growing in abundance in plain areas. The bitter taste of this herb is source of its name, a goat (Adu) will not eat it (Thoda/not touch). There are distinct differences in male (Nar) and female (Mada) varieties of this plant, it can be found as either a tree with spines (male) or a small bush with spineless leaves (female). In maturity, this herb has dark green leaves with yellow undersides 10 to 16 cm in length. The fruit which holds the most potency of the herb is a small capsule usually with four seeds. The pendulant flowers of this herb are found in white, red and black, with the white flowered variety the most commonly found. Typically found throughout India, and particularly in the Himalayan mountain area, it flourishes at altitudes up to 1.000 meters above sea level.
Plant Parts Used: Leaves, roots, fruit, stem bark and flowers.
Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of Adhatoda
Potential Side Effects of Adhatoda Vasica
The use of the leaf extract, is considered safe. However, the uterine tonic and abortifacient activity prevents its use during pregnancy, except during childbirth. Due to the potency of this herb it should be taken under medical supervision.
Therapeutic Dosages of Adhatoda Vasica
As a decoction, 1-3 grams of dried leaves. Liquid extract; 20 to 60 minims. The freshly expressed juice; 1 to 4 fluid drams. Tincture; 1/2 to 1 fluid dram.