Vasaka also known as ‘Malabar Nut’ in English, ‘Adhathodai’ in Tamil, ‘Vasa’ in Telugu and ‘Arusha’ in Hindi, is a potent ayurvedic plant that enhances the respiratory system. The plant has manifold curative properties and is an ultimate remedial measure for a lot of health anomalies like breathing trouble, cough, and cold, nasal congestion, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, other upper respiratory tract infections, bleeding disorders, etc.
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Vasaka which goes by the botanical name Adathoda vasica is a tall, evergreen, herbaceous shrub that is not only native to the Indian subcontinent but also distributed throughout Nepal, Srilanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. The plant features yellow coloured bark, lance-shaped leaves, white and purple flowers, and pubescent club-shaped capsular fruits.
Effect On Doshas:
Vasaka exemplifies 2 distinct tastes mainly Tikta (i.e. bitter) and Kashaya (i.e. astringent) Rasa. It has Laghu (i.e. light) and Rukhsha Guna (i.e. dry quality) and Shita Virya (i.e. cold potency). It characterizes Katu Vipaka (i.e. pungent taste after digestion) and mainly portrays rejuvenating property. The host of bioactive components in Vasaka helps to pacify the Pitta (i.e. fire and air) and Kapha (i.e. earth and water) doshas and effectively removes the AMA doshas from the body.
Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas
Nutritional Content Of Vasaka
Famed as a natural expectorant, Vasa has a rich concentration of bioactive components like Vasicine, Luteolin, Carotene, Vasakin, other quinazoline alkaloids, and essential oils. The leaves are abundant in phytochemical constituents like tannins, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolics. Imbued with powerful properties like antitussive, a bronchodilator, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, etc, the plant is useful for a host of therapeutic indications like upper respiratory infections, tuberculosis, heart problems, constipation, nosebleed, dengue, etc.
Health Benefits of Vasaka
Remedies Cough And Cold
Recurrent coughs and congested throat can cause a lot of discomfort and prevent a peaceful good night’s sleep while making you feel tired and exhausted. Being rich in anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and expectorant properties, Vasaka holds high significance in treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also reduces chest and nasal congestion gets rid of excess sputum and stops nasal discharge. It is also highly effective in treating asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and other respiratory illnesses.
Prepare a decoction of Vasaka leaves by boiling it in water. Add a spoon of honey and drink this concoction daily to prevent respiratory infections.
Promotes Gut Health
Vasaka is a powerful digestive stimulant. The carminative and appetite-stimulant properties of the herb help in breaking down food particles in the stomach and intestine, promote the secretion of the digestive juices and thereby increase the absorption of essential nutrients through the intestines. It also helps to eliminate abdominal gas and in turn reduces abdominal distension, bloating and gaseous cramps. It offers an amazing cure for a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders like esophagitis, dyspepsia, heartburn, diarrhoea, flatulence, peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease (i.e. GERD).
Being a potent cardiac tonic, the herb is extremely essential in purifying the blood. It effectively improves blood count, manages blood pressure and hence prevents a host of heart rhythm disorders. The presence of anti-coagulant and anti-fibrinolytic properties also prevents blockage and formation of clots in the arteries causing heart block.
The abundance of antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties, make Vasaka the ultimate solution to ward off the various infections. The bio-active components in the Malabar nut tree bolster immunity and prevent bacterial infestation. It not only helps reduce the risk of various bacterial and fungal infections like fever, tuberculosis, dengue, etc but also prevents allergic conditions on the skin.
Vasaka leaves are famed for their anti-ulcer properties. It plays a pivotal role in reducing ulcers and sores in various parts of the body. It also helps in treating bleeding disorders and offers a potent remedy for peptic and duodenal ulcers.
Relieves Pain And Inflammation
Thanks to the strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties of the bio-active components, Vasaka offers extensive relief from pain and inflammation in case of arthritis and joint pain. Joint pain usually arises due to a raised level of uric acid in the blood. Powdered vasaka extensively helps reduce the uric acid levels and also works well to diminish the pain and tenderness that happens due to gout. Being a natural vasodilator, it is also used to treat painful muscle spasms, sore muscles, arthritic conditions, and other inflammatory situations.
Uremia is a chronic condition that arises due to a raised level of urea and other nitrogenous waste compounds in the blood that are normally excreted by the kidneys. This condition chiefly occurs due to malfunctioning of the kidneys or renal failure. The horde of bioactive constituents in vasaka helps in eliminating the toxic wastes from the body through urine and uplifts the urinary functions.
Augments Skin Health
The host of anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties of the essential alkaloids in vasaka plays a crucial role in treating skin infections like acne, warts, boils, eczema, blisters, itching etc. Beauty essentials imbued with vasaka extract or malabar nut oil also improves complexion by evening out the skin tone, clearing blocked pores, and also reducing various signs of ageing. Owing to the antiseptic nature, the juice obtained from vasaka also prevents wounds and injuries and facilitates healing.
Vasaka leaf powder: 1 - 3 gm
Vasaka flower powder: 250 - 1000 mg
Vasaka root powder: 250 – 500 mg
Vasaka leaf juice: 5 - 10 ml
Leaf Decoction: 5 gms powder in a glass of warm water
Although there are no reported counter-indications or adverse effects of the amazing ayurvedic herb, it is strictly advised to consult a doctor before taking it during pregnancy, lactation or if you have any chronic disease.
This amazing rejuvenating herb enriched with nutrients has umpteen health benefits including treating cough and cold, asthma, managing high blood pressure, promoting digestion, boosting immunity and providing relief from sore throat and sinusitis. Consume this powerful ayurvedic herb during the flu season to shield your body from various infectious diseases.