Adhatoda Vasica

Origin & Types

Adhatoda Vasica or Bhavaprakasha Nighantu has two varieties namely Krishna or Asthiparni that is of black variety and Shweta which is white.

Adhatoda Vasica – Fact Sheet
Scientific Name Adhatoda Vasica, Justicia adhatoda
Other Names
  1. Adulsa arusa
  2. Bakash
  3. Adalodakam
  4. Stallion’s tooth
  5. Lion’s muzzle
  6. Malabar nut
  7. Adusoge
Plant Family  Acanthaceae
Country of Origin India
Plant Height 1300 to 4000 ft.
Length of Leaves 10 to 16 cms in length and five cms wide.
Years Nurtured before Harvesting
Years of Mature
Parts of the Plant Used Roots, flowers, leaves and the stem bark.
Color Evergreen
Best Time to Grow March to April


We can find Bakash plant in Nepal, Panama, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka. In India, it grows in the lower part of Himalayas and plains. In the northern part of India, we can find it in Bengal, Punjab, Manipur in the northeastern region and Kerala in the southern part. Mostly these types of plants are found in various habitats and wasteland.

Adhatoda Vasica1


Malabar nut is a small evergreen plant belonging to the Acanthaceae family. The leaves are broad, sharp and pointed like a lance and measures 10 to 16 cms in length with width up to 5 cms. When we dry the leaves, the color turns into greenish brown and tastes bitter. Their smell is similar to strong tea. The wood of this stem is like pulp and soft in nature and is used as excellent charcoal for gunpowder. The flower has beautiful, large and white petals and also has a purple streak on the lower lip. The fruit contains four seeds with a small capsule.

Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits

  1. The flowers, roots, and leaves of this plant have been used extensively in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years for treating respiratory disorders such as asthma.
  2. Lion’s muzzle also cures tuberculosis, lung and bronchiole disorders and bronchitis.
  3. The extract of the leaves acts as a herbal remedy for curing a cold and cough.
  4. The expectorant nutrient present in this plant help to loosen phlegm deposits in the airway and provides relief from irritation in the throat.
  5. A decoction of neem with honey is beneficial to treat constipation.
  6. It maintains the blood sugar level and lowers down the high blood pressure.
  7. Vasa leaves are helpful in killing flies, white ants and mosquitoes.
  8. The leaves are an excellent remedy to kill intestinal worms and treat urinary tract infection.
  9. The leaf extract cure vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and dysentery.
  10. The leaves are helpful for treating malaria and also provides comfort during a headache.
  11. Bakash tree cures various liver diseases like jaundice, etc. and also multiple infections, skin diseases and eczema.
  12. It enhances the delivery rate at the time of childbirth and cures gonorrhea.
  13. Lion’s muzzle cures blood disorders, leprosy and leucodermia.
  14. It is instrumental in increasing the memory power and lowers the body temperature at the time of malarial fever.
  15. Justicia adhatoda treats pyorrhea symptoms and provides relief from excessive thirst.
  16. Other benefits like treatment of dengue, heart disorder, burning sensation in feet and hand and stops the bleeding due to piles.

Possible Side Effects

  1. Children should intake Adhatoda herb after getting a prescription from a physician.
  2. At the time of pregnancy, one should avoid this medicine.
  3. The herb should be taken with caution along with other supplements and drugs as there may be antispasmodic or expectorant effects.

Cultivation & Propagation

Adhatoda Vasica

Plant the rooted cuttings of Adhatoda on ridges or mounds. Plow and level the main ground thoroughly and prepare mounds or ridges with a spacing of 60 cm from each plant. We can cultivate this plant as an intercrop or a pure crop with rubber and coconut plantations in the first 3 to 4 years. When there is rainfall, plant the rooted cuttings on the ridges with a spacing of 30 cm. If grown on mounds, there will be up to 5 cuttings and plant it on a single mound. In the sloppy zones, plant the cuttings by making pits with a sharp pole. There should also be a well-drained system otherwise the crop will rot.

One can propagate by cutting the tender stem. It is advised to reduce the stems up to 15 to 20 cm long and 3 to 4 nodes to best plant this crop. The best method is to minimize the rootings in the nursery and then plant them in the field. Nursery preparation is done during the time of March and April. For nursery preparation, we will plant the cuttings of the tender stem in poly bags and fill with farmyard manure, sand, as well as topsoil in the ratio of 1:1:1. After two months, shift the plants in the fields.


For best growth, alluvial soil is the ultimate choice although the crop is also grown in different soil and climatic conditions. Adhatoda can tolerate shade but is prone to waterlogging, so there has to be a well-drained soil.

Health & Security

For keeping the field free of weeds and various insects, apply organic manure in the form of FYM, green or compost leaf at the rate of 10 t/ha as basal dressing. One should use the mixtures of N, P and K each at the rate of 50 kg per hectare. We will give the whole Phosphorus as basal dressing and N, P are provided in two equal splitting.

Harvesting & Storage

Harvest the leaves of this plant from the very first year whereas the roots will be ready to harvest after two years of planting. The ideal time to harvest Adhatoda is during December and January. During the second year, collect the whole plant and carefully dig out the entire roots without damaging the soil. After harvesting, clean the roots. From an area of 1 hectare, expect a total yield of 10 to 11 tonnes of stem, leaves, and roots.

Marketing Adhatoda Vasica

The extract of Adhatoda is beneficial to treat congestion and spasm. Therefore, it is of immense value in the pharmaceutical industries. It is available in the form of tablets, oils, and syrup which is the primary cause of getting a global market.

There are various distribution channels like specialized stores, retail stores, online stores, supermarket, and hypermarket. India is the leading global exporter of this plant. The tagline of this plant for marketing is “With Vasaka effect.”

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