Scientific Name : Adathoda vasica, Adathoda beddomei
Adathoda is a medicinal plant of common occurrence in Kerala. Botanically, the plant is a profusely branching shrub growing up to a height of 1.5 metres.
It is one of the main ingredients of many ayurvedic preparations. The whole plant, Leaves and roots of the plant are medicinal. Leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine, which is effective against cough, chronic bronchitis, asthma etc.
Leaves, roots and stem of adhatoda are of medicinal value. Leaves can be harvested from the first year of planting itself; but roots will be ready to harvest only two years after planting. December-January is the ideal time for harvesting adhatoda. In the second year, the entire plant is harvested and roots are carefully dug out wholly without damage by carefully removing soil. Harvested roots are cleaned and marketed either in fresh form or after drying. Total yield of root, stem and leaves from one hectare of area will be 10-11 tonnes.
Action and uses
Adathoda of commerce consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Adathoda. Dried leaves are of a dull brownish-green colour, characteristic odour and bitter taste. The leaf extracts of adathoda is used as an expectorant especially in chronic bronchitis and asthma. It relieves cough and breathlessness. It is also prescribed commonly for local bleeding due to peptic ulcer, piles etc. Its local use gives relief in pyorrhoea and in bleeding gums. The leaves of the plant contain two major alkaloids called vasicine, and vasicinone, which are shown to be having bronchodilator and antihistaminic effects. These alkaloids are said to exist in combination with an acid that has been named adathodic acid.