Malabar Nut Plant:
Malabar Nut Plant or Vasaka is a small evergreen, subherbacious bush.
The average height of the plant ranges from 50cm to 90cm. The Leaves are 10 to 16 cms
in large and lance-shaped. The leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine besides an essential oil. The inflorescence is dense, short
pedunculate, bractate and spike terminal. The corolla is large and white with lower lip streaked purple. The fruit is a 4-seeded small capsule.
The green leaves become greenish brown in form and bitter in taste when dried. The stem wood is soft Flowers are large,
fragrant, and attractive with white petals. The filaments are usually free and project beyond the corolla tube.
The gynoecium consists of two carpels, syncarpous.Ovary is superior, bilocular with axile placentation.
Fruit is usually bilocular capsule dehiscing loculicidally. Seeds are exalbuminous and usually four in
number per fruit. Pollination is mostly brought about through the agency of insects.
The chemical ingredients in the Malabar Nut plant, The chief alkaloid present in the leaves of Malabar nut is a quinazoline
alkaloid, vasicine; Vasicine (C11H12N2O) is accompanied by l- vasicinone, deoxyvasicine and
maiontone. The roots of the plant contain vasicinolone, vasicol, peganine, hydroxy
oxychalcone and glucosyl oxychalcone. The flowers of the plant contain b-sitosterol-D-glucoside, kaempferol, glycosides of kaempferoland and queretin.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires
well-drained soil. Black, well drained and fertile soil is good for cultivation. It can be cultivated in loose and medium black soil.
Climate- crop responses well to tropical and hot climate..
Irrigation: The tamarind is adapted to semiarid regions of
the tropics and can withstand drought conditions quite well. They require minimum irrigation so avoid over-watering..
Malabar Nut as Medicinal Plant
The leaves, flowers, fruits and roots of Malabar Nut are extensively used for treating cold, cough, whooping cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma. The leaves
are used as sedative, expectorant and antispasmodic. It is used in diarrhea, dysentery and glandular tumour scabies and other skin
complaints. The powder is reported to be used as poultice on rheumatic joints, as counter-irritant on inflammatory swellings, on fresh wounds and urticaria
Bronchitis :: In acute stages of bronchitis it gives unfailing relief, especially
where the sputum is thick and sticky. It liquefies the sputum so that it is brought up more easily.
Asthma: Vasa is effective in relief of asthma helps to support the bronchial function with
broncho-dilatory, expectorant and mucolytic properties. It normalizes lung function.
Cough:: For the treatment of cough, leaves of the plant are boiled in water, strained and mixed
with honey and can be taken. This decoction gives relief within a few minutes. Similarly a confection of Vasaka flowers eaten twice daily give relieves from cough.
Tuberculosis : In Ayurveda a preparation made from Vasaka flowers is used to treat
tuberculosis. A few fresh petals of Vasaka flowers should be bruised and put in a pot of clay. Some sugar crystals are added and the jar kept in
the sun .It should be stirred every morning and evening. The preserve is ready for use in about a month.
Intestinal worms: Malabar Nut plant leaves, the root bark, the fruit and flowers are useful for the
removal of intestinal parasites. The decoction of its root and bark twice or thrice daily for 3 days can be given for this purpose
The juice of its fresh leaves can also be used in doses of a teaspoon thrice a day for 3 days.
Skin Diseases: A poultice of Vasaka leaves can be applied with beneficial results over
fresh wounds, rheumatic joints and inflammatory swellings. A warm decoction of its leaves is useful in treating scabies and other skin
Tonic for heart: The leaf-extract is considered as a tonic for heart in some traditional
Anti-ulcer: The extract of
Malabar Nut whole plant is found to have anti-ulcer activity against ulcers.
Malabar Nut other uses
* The leaves of Malabar nut are rich in vitamin C and carotene and yield an essential oil.
* The shrub is the source of a drug well known in indigenous systems of medicine for its beneficial effects, particularly in bronchitis.
* Its leaves, flowers, fruits and roots are extensively used for treating cold, cough, whooping cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
* The leaves are known to moderate the hypotensive activity, by lowering the blood pressure.
* They assist in conditions like uterine involution, menorrhagia (excessive menstural bleeding), post-childbirth hemorrhage and uterine stimulant activity.
* The fresh juice obtained from leaves of Malabar nut has been used to treat tuberculosis. Its local use gives relief from pyorrhea
and bleeding gums.
* The leaves of this plant are, sometimes, also used as insecticides.
* Antispasmodic properties are also associated with the plant. It helps in easing pain.
* The stem wood is soft and used for making charcoal for gunpowder.
* The powder is reported to be used as poultice on rheumatic joints, as counter-irritant on inflammatory swellings.
Malabar Nut Side effects
1.Consumption of Malabar nut has been contraindicated during pregnancy, except at the time of the birthing process, due to its anti-implantation properties.
2 The herb possesses oxytocic properties, which stimulate contractions of the uterus and also have abortifacient effects.
3 Larger doses of this plant material can cause diarrhea, irritation of the alimentary canal and vomiting.
Malabar Nut leaves, roots and stem powder is mainly used in Cough syrups. Its demand in market
is increasing rapidly. Its cost of cultivations is very low so there is a huge profit margin.
The extract of Adhatoda is found to have anti-ulcer activity against ulcers induced by the consumption of ethanol, pylorus and aspirin. The
leaf powder of adhatoda showed a considerable degree of anti-ulcer activity in experimental rats when compared with control. Research has
shown that syrup of adhatoda improves the symptoms of dyspepsia. These results suggest that in addition to its classically established
pharmacological activities, Adhatoda has immense potential as an anti-ulcer agent. Further research showed that a syrup of Adhatoda
improved symptoms of dyspepsia (Chaturvedi et al, 1983).
According to an important research by Kokate CK, D’Cruz JL, Kumar RA,
ApteSS (1985), Adhatoda has been used for centuries in India as an insecticide. Its leaves have been shown to control insect pests in oil
seeds, in both laboratory and warehouse conditions. Research has shown Adhatoda alkaloid, vasicinol, to have an ant fertility effect against
several insect species by causing blockage of the oviduct. The same study showed that essential oils taken from Adhatoda reduced feeding
activity in specific granary pests. Research has also proven Adhatoda effectiveness as an insect repellent.
M.K.Jha (1992) has reported that Adhatoda has been used successfully in
veterinary medicine for thousands of years in India. It is effective for a variety of animal conditions including coughs, colds, and diseases
such as abscesses, anthrax, throat diseases, asthma, tuberculosis, jaundice, scabies, urticaria, rheumatism, pneumonia, hematuria and contagious abortion.
1. Dr.Rajpal, Standardization of Botanicals, vol-2, Eastern publishers, New Delhi
2. Dhuley JN., Antitussive effect of Adhatoda vasica extract on mechanical or chemical stimulation
3. Chakraborty A, et al, "Study of alkaloids from Adhatoda vasica Nees on their anti-inflammatory activity."
4. Sharma P.C et al., Database on medicinal plants used in
Ayurveda, Central council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, New Delhi
5. Kokate CK, D’Cruz JL, Kumar RA, ApteSS (1985)
6 Chaturvedi GN, Rai NP, Dhani R, Tiwari SK, 1983 - Clinical trial
ofAdhatoda vasica syrup (vasa) in the patients of non-ulcer dyspepsia (Amlapitta).