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Botanical Name of Malabar Nut: Justicia adhatoda, Adhatoda vasica.
Habitat: This shrub grows on the plains of India and in the lower Himalayas, up to a range of 1000 meters above sea level.
This plant is also cultivated in other tropical areas. It grows well in low moisture areas and dry soils.
Plant Description: Adhatoda vasica is a small evergreen plant, of the Acanthaceae family, with broad, lanceolate (sharp and pointed like a lance) leaves measuring 10 to 16 centimeters in length and 5 centimeters wide. They become greenish-brown when dried and have a bitter taste. They have a smell similar to strong tea.
The wood of the stem is soft and makes a great charcoal for gunpowder. The flower has large, attractive, white petals, streaked with purple on the lower lip. The fruit is a small capsule with four seeds.
Plant Parts Used: Medicinal applications use the leaves, roots, flowers and stem bark of this plant.
Adhatoda vasica is considered useful in treating bronchitis, tuberculosis and other lung and bronchiole disorders.
A decoction of the leaves may be used as an herbal treatment for cough and other symptoms of colds.
The soothing action helps irritation in the throat and the expectorant will help loosen phlegm deposits in the airway which makes adhatoda a good remedy for a sore throat.
A poultice of the leaves may be applied to wounds for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some believe the poultice is also helpful in relieving rheumatic symptoms when applied to joints.
It has been used to control both internal and external bleeding such as peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, and bleeding gums.
In Ayurvedic medicine, adhatoda vasica is used for a multitude of disorders including; leprosy, blood disorders, heart troubles, fever, vomiting, loss of memory, leucoderma, jaundice, tumors, mouth troubles, sore-eye, and gonorrhea.
This herb is known for its antispasmodic, expectorant and blood-purifying qualities.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosing schedules if the herb is intended as an herbal medicine.
Herbalists often recommend one to three grams of the dried leaves (or equivalent).
Possible Side Effects and Interactions of Adhatoda VasicaAdhatoda is considered safe in recommended usage and dosing. The safety of this herb has not been tested in children and should be avoided, unless directed by a medical professional.
Use of this plant is not recommended during pregnancy (except at birth, and then only under the direction of a medical practitioner.)
Exercise care when taking this herb with other drugs or supplements that exhibit expectorant or antispasmodic effects.
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