AYURVEDIC HERBSVASA: Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, and Dosages

VASA: Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, and Dosages

Vasa- Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More.jpg
Adhatoda vasica
Family : Acanthaceae

Habitat / place of origin

Plant’s native range is Afghanistan, the Indian subcontinent (Assam, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It has been introduced elsewhere.

Biological classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
  • Division: Tracheophyta 
  • Subdivision: Spermatophytina 
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Acanthaceae 
  • Genus: Justicia L.
  • Species: Justicia adhatoda L.

Introduction To Vasa

Justicia adhatoda commonly known in English as Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, vasaka. It reduces kapha Dosha by Laghu, Ruksha, and tikta-kashaya . It also reduces pitta Dosha by tikta-kashaya and shitta virya. It may be indicated in fever dysuria inflammation in urine diabetes skin disorders asthma attacks. 

Vasa- Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More.jpg

Synonyms of Vasa

Sanskrit:  Vasa, Vasika Vasak, Sihasaya, Vajidant, Vrish, Aatrushak,

Assamese:  Tibabahak , Bahak , Vachaka

Bengali: Vasak

English: Malabar Nut

Gujarati: Ardusi

Hindi: Adusa , Vasak

Kannada: Atarusha , Adsale , Adsole , Adasale,  Adusoge ,

Kashmiri: Vasa

Malyalam: Attalataka , Atalotakam

Marathi: Adulasa 

Oriya:  Basabga

Punjabi: Vansa

Tamil :  Aidhadad

Telugu : Adasara

Unani:  Azusa , Basa

Morphology of Vasa

Stem : A dense glabrous  shrub up to 0.5 to 1 m.

Leaves :Simple ,opposite and alternate leaves pattern elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, acuminate.

Flower: White, dense spikes ; bracts ovate or obovate; calyx deeply five-lobed; stamens are glabrous.

Fruit :  Four seeded capsules with a solid base. Seeds— glabrous

Flowering time: February- march 

Fruiting time : February- march

Medicinal Parts of Vasa

Root , Leaves , and Flowers

Plant variety of Vasa

  • Justicia gendarussa
  • Adhatoda beddomei

Chemical Composition of Vasa

  • It is widely used as a natural expectorant.

Vasa has a rich concentration of bioactive components :

  • Vasicine
  • Luteolin
  • Carotene
  • Vasakin
  • Other quinazoline alkaloids,
  • And essential oils.
  • The leaves are abundant in phytochemical constituents like alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and phenolics etc.

Ayurvedic Properties of Vasa

Rasa (Taste) :   Tikta , Kashaya

Guna (Quality) : Ruksha , Laghu

Virya (Potency) : Shitta

Vipak (Post Digestive Effect):  Katu

Karma (Pharmacological Actions)

Dosha Karma: It is Kaph -Pitta Shamak.

Sansthsanik Karma (General Indications ): Shoth Har , Vednasathapan , Jantughan , Kushthghan

Nadisansthan (Cns ): Avsadan Kriya

Pachnasansthan (Digestive System ): Stambhan

Raktvahsansthan (Cvs): Hridya , Raktshodhak , Rakt Stambhan ,

Sawasansthan (Reproductive System ): Kapha-Har , Shleshm har , Kanthaya , Swashar

Mutravahsansthan (Urinary System ): Mutrajanana

Tavcha (Skin): Sawedjanan, Kusthghan

Tapkarma (Thermoregulations ): Jwarghan


Qualities/Effects on Tridosha of Vasa

It reduces kapha Dosha by Laghu, Ruksha, and tikta-kshaya . It also reduces pitta Dosha by tikta-kshaya and shitta virya.

Formulations of Vasa

  • Vasa-Avaleha
  • Vasarishtha
  • Vasa-panak
  • Vasa Chandan Aadi tail

Therapeutic Uses of Vasa

  • It is indicated in fever
  • It is indicated in dysuria
  • It is indicated in inflammation in urine
  • It is indicated in diabetes
  • It is indicated in skin disorders
  • It is indicated in asthma attacks
  • It is indicated in cough and blood mixed cough
  • It is indicated in TB
  • It is indicated in cardiac disorders
  • It is indicated in hemorrhoids
  • It is indicated in blood disorders
  • It is indicated in diarrhea and dysentery
  • It is indicated in worm infestations
  • It is indicated in epilepsy , seizures
  • It is indicated in kapha-pittaj diseases
  • It is indicated in  inflammation around wounds


  • Vasaka leaf powder: 1 – 3 gm
  • Flower powder: 250 – 1000 mg
  • Root powder: 250 – 500 mg
  • Leaf juice: 5 – 10 ml
  • Leaf Decoction: 5gm powder in a glass of warm water

How can you consume Vasa?

It is administered in the form of lepa (paste ) , in the form of swarasa , kwath and juices . It is used in different formulations . A decoction of Vasa leaves by boiling the leaves in water. Add a spoon of honey and drink it.

Benefits of Vasa

  • Recurrent coughs and congested throat , also used in treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. Tuberculosis
  • It also help to reduces chest and nasal congestion and eliminates excess sputum and stops nasal discharge.
  • It is Used in treatment of sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases.
  • It helps to eliminate abdominal gas and reduces bloating, abdominal distension, and gaseous cramps.
  • It is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders like esophagitis, dyspepsia, heartburn, diarrhea, flatulence, peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • It used to purifying the blood.
  • It improves blood count, manages blood pressure.
  • It protects from blockage and formation of clots in the arteries causing heart block.
  • It boosts the immunity
  • It prevent bacterial infestation.
  • It used in fever like  dengue fever ,
  • It prevents allergic conditions on the skin.
  • It helps in reducing ulcers (peptic and duodenal ulcers )
  • It helps in treatment of  bleeding disorders
  • It relief from pain and inflammation of arthritis and joint pain.
  • It helps in eliminating the toxic wastes from the body through urine and it improves the urinary functions.
  • It is Used in skin infections like boils, blisters, acne, warts, eczema, itching etc
  • It clears the skin tone, clears blocked pores, and also reducing various signs of ageing.
  • It prevents wounds and injuries and facilitates healing.
  • Used in Sunburn.

Side Effects of Vasa

Use under prescription  while talking with it during pregnancy, lactation or if you have any chronic disease

Safety Precautions of Vasa

  • Avoid Adoosa during breastfeeding.
  • Avoid Adoosa during pregnancy. It has abortifacient property. It stimulates the uterine contractions.

Substitutes & Adulterants


  • Ailanthus excelsa -[ad]
  • A. beddomei

References & Further Reading

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