Vasa - for respiratory health and other medicinal uses

Vasa (Adhatoda vasica Linn.) is a well known and easily available drug in almost all the seasons. Easy availability of any drug gains popularity among physicians as well as pharmaceuticals. It is a well-known herb in indigenous systems of medicine for its beneficial effects, particularly in bronchitis.

Herb - Vasa (adusa)

Ayurvedic Action

Rasa (Taste)Kashaya,Tikta
Virya (Energy)Cooling
Vipak (Post-digestive effect)Katu
Guna (Quality)Light ,Unctuous
Doshic EffectV- increasing, K-P decreasing

Health benefits

Anti-asthmatic and bronchodilator activity 

Adhatoda has been used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory disorders. Both vasicine and vasicinone, the primary alkaloid constituents of Adhatoda are well established as therapeutic respiratory agents .

Extracts  of Adhatoda‟s leaves and roots are useful in treating bronchitis, and other lung and bronchial disorders, as well as common coughs and colds. A decoction of the leaves of  Adhatoda  has a soothing  effect  on irritation  in the  throat, and acts as an expectorant to  loosen phlegm in the respiratory passages. 

Anti-inflammatory activity

Vasicine, the main alkaloid of Adhatoda vasica showed anti-inflammatory activity.

Anti-tubercular activity

The anti-tubercular activity of  Adhatoda vasica was studied by Barry (Barry et al., 1955).  Adhatoda vasica  has a growth inhibitory effect on Mycobacterium tuberculosi (Grange et al., 1996). A chemical constituent of Adhatoda alkaloids, vasicine, produces bromhexine and ambroxol two widely-used mucolytics.  Both  of  these  chemicals  have  a  pH-dependent  growth  inhibitory effect on Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

Indirect effects of Adhatoda on tuberculosis include increased lysozyme and rifampicin levels in bronchial secretions, lung tissue and sputum, suggesting that it may play an important adjunctive role in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Anti - ulcer activity

Leaves of Adhatoda vasica  possessed anti-ulcer properties

Dosage and side effects (only after consultation with an ayurvedic doctor).

Vasaka leaf powder: 1 - 3 gm

Vasaka flower powder: 250 - 1000 mg

Vasaka root powder: 250 – 500 mg

Vasaka leaf juice: 5 - 10 ml

Although there are no reported side effects of this ayurvedic herb, it is strictly advised to consult a doctor before taking it during pregnancy, lactation or if you have any chronic disease.


  1. Barry VC, ML Conalty, HJ Rylance and FR Smith,1955. Antitubercular effect of an extract of Adhatoda vasica. Nature, 176: 119-120.
  2. Grange JM and NJC Snell, 1996. Activity of bromhexine and ambroxol, semi-synthetic derivatives of vasicine from the Indian shrub Adhatoda vasica, against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro. J. Ethnopharmacol., 50: 49-53

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