Adhatoda zeylanica Medic
: Malabarnut, Vasaka
Sanskrit: Shwetavasa, Vasa, Vasaka;
Hindi: Arusa, Bansa;
Bahekar, Baikar, Basuth, Bhenkar;
Kumaun: Arus, Basinga;
Punjab: Bansa, Basuti, Bhekar, Vasaka;
Tam: Adhatodai, Pavettai;
Distributed throughout India, up to an altitude of 1,300
evergreen, gregarious, stiff, perennial, shrub, 1.2-6.0 m in
height. Leaves elliptic-lanceolate or ovate lanceolate, entire,
5-30 cm long, hairy, light green above, dark below, leathery;
flowers large, white with red- or yellow-barred throats, in
spikes with large bracts; capsules clavate, longitudinally channelled,
1.9-2.2 cm x 0.8 cm; seeds globular.
used as crude drug
drug comprises fresh or dried leaves, often mixed with stems
or other aerial parts.
characteristics of drug
powdered drug is greyish brown and tastes bitter, with characteristic
odour. The drug is official in IP. Foreign organic matter
should not be more than two per cent.
(including improved Varieties)
A lot of intra-specific variability
is seen in this species. However, no improved cultivar / strain
has been reported to be developed.
shrub grows on waste lands and in a variety of habitats and
soil. It is sometimes cultivated as a hedge, but no systematic
cultivation has been undertaken. It can be grown from seeds
or by cuttings.
aerial portions with maximum leaves along with tender stem
Knowledge (Ethnobotanical / Folk-lores / House hold remedies
/ Self help mode)
dried leaf is smoked as a cigarette. The leaf-juice is stated
to cure diarrhoea, dysentery and glandular tumour, and is given
as emmenagogue. The powder is reported to be used as poultice
on rheumatic joints, as counter-irritant on inflammatory swellings,
on fresh wounds, urticaria and in neuralgia.
Four new quinazoline alkaloids
- vasicoline, adhatodine, vasicolinone and anisotine from leaves
and one each i.e. vasicinone and vasicol have been isolated
from inflorescence and leaves respectively. A new alkaloid -
9-acetamido-3,4-dihydropyrido[3,4-b] indole and a new glucoside
- O-ethyl-a -D-galactoside - along with sitosterol-b -D-glucoside,
galactose and deoxyvasicinone were isolated from roots. 2’-hydroxy-4-glucosyloxychalcone
have been identified in flowers. Another alkaloid vasicinolone,
have been isolated from roots. A new quinazoline alkaloid have
been isolated from leaves and characterised as 1,2,3,9-tetrahydro5-methoxypyrrolo[2,1-b]quinazolin-3-ol(I-form).Adhavasinone
have been isolated and characterised . (+)vasicinone have been
isolated from leaves. Synthesis of vasicoline and vasicolinone
have been attempted.
vasicinone, deoxyvasicinone, deoxyvasicine (minor alkaloids)
and vasicine isolated from leaves showed seasonal variation
in the percentage of minor alkaloids and total alkaloids. Leaves
collected in Mar.-Apr. showed a higher percentage of minor alkaloids,
whereas those collected in June-Sept. had higher content of
along with b -sitosterol, and two new aliphatic hydroxyketones
have been isolated from aerial parts and characterised as 37-hydroxy,
hexatetracont-1-en-15-one and 37hydroxy,hentetracontan-19-one.
alkaloids are present in the drug and the chief principle
is a quinazoline alkaloid, vasicine; the yield of the alkaloid
from different samples in India ranged from 0.541 to 1.105 per
cent on dry basis. Yield as high as 2.18 per cent on dry basis
has been reported from a foreign sample of which more than half
was the l -form and the remainder the dl-form
of the alkaloid. Vasicine is accompanied by l- vasicinone.
Markers (Protein, DNA)
Adhatoda vasica (Justicia adhatoda) trnF-trnL
intergenic spacer, partial sequence; and tRNA-Leu (trnL) gene,
partial sequence; chloroplast genes for chloroplast products
have been reported along with18S ribosomal RNA gene, partial
sequence; internal transcribed spacer 1, 5.8S ribosomal RNA
gene, and internal transcribed spacer 2, complete sequence;
and 26S ribosomal RNA gene, partial sequence have also been
pharmacological activities of vasicine and vasicinone are well
known. The /-forms of vasicine and vasicinone are more active
than their racemic forms. Recent investigations on vasicine
showed bronchodilatory activity (comparable to theophylline)
both in vitro and in vivo. Vasicinone showed bronchodilatory
activity in vitro but bronchoconstrictory activity in
vivo; it is probably biotransformed in vivo, causing
bronchoconstriction. Both the alkaloids in combination (1:1)
showed pronounced bronchodilatory activity in vivo and in
vitro. Vasicine also exhibited strong respiratory stimulant
activity, moderate hypotensive activity and cardiac-depressant
effect; vasicinone was devoid of these activities. The cardiac-depressant
effect was significantly reduced when a mixture of vasicine
and vasicinone was used. Vasicinone (dl-form) showed
no effect on the isolated heart, but probably the l-form
is a weak cardiac stimulant.
trials of a commercial drug containing vasicinone and vasicinone
have not revealed any side effects while treating bronchial
asthma. The drug is known to possess abortifacient activity
and hence should not be used during pregnancy.
generation of teratogenic studies in rat & rabbits did not
any toxicity or teratogenic effects.
drug is employed in different forms, such as fresh juice, decoction,
infusion and powder; also given as alcoholic extract and liquid
extract or syrup. It is also given along with other expectorants,
and forms a part of several proprietary, compounds.
shrub is the source of the drug - vasaka, well known
in the indigenous systems of medicine for its beneficial effects,
particularly in bronchitis. The leaves, flowers, fruits and
roots are extensively used for treating cold. cough, whooping-cough
and chronic bronchitis and asthma as sedative-expectorant, antispasmodic
and as anthelmintic.
1 -2g of the drug is prescribed as an expectorant
either in the form of liquid extract (1-2 ml) or syrup (2-4
is collected from wild sources only.
the total demand is 500 tons per year
leaves alone as well as dry leaves along with stem portions
are two different statuses of the crude drugs available in the
market. The current year price have been quoted at Rs.2000/-
to Rs.2500/- and Rs.600/- to Rs.800/- per quintal., respectively.
Drug Dealers at Amritsar and Delhi are the major supply center
of vasaca as crude drug.
drug manufacturers and Pharmaceutical cough syrup manufacturers
are the major users of this drug.
are only two Japanese patents on the use of Adhathoda vasica
"Cosmetic " Mikimoto Pharmaceutics. Co. Ltd. JP
7157420 ; 1993
The aim of the patent is to obtain a cosmetic having improved
whitening, anti oxidization and hyaluronidase inhibiting activities
and improved moisture-holding capacity by cholestieric liquid
" Cosmatic " Nanba Tsuneo and Mikimoto Pharmaceutics.
Co. Ltd. JP
7118135 ; 1993.
of the patent is to obtain a cosmetic containing solvent extracts
of A.vasica used for food for many years being safe to
human body. It also helps in whitening action and inhibiting
the activity of hyaluronidase.
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