Justicia adhatoda, Adhatoda vasica, Malabar nut, Adhatoda, Vasa

Justicia adhatoda, Adhatoda vasica

Malabar nut, Adhatoda, Vasa
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Sri Lanka
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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The plant has been recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for the management of various types of respiratory disorders. The shrub is a good source of nectar. Honey produced from this plant has been reported to be a powerful expectorant and antispasmodic. It is also very useful for treatment of cold, cough, chronic bronchitis, hectic fever, gonorrhoea and opthalmia. The boiled leave give a durable yellow color to dye coarse cloth and animal skins. The leaves are also applied as green manure because of their potassium nitrate contents. The leaves of the shrub are used in packing and storing fruit because these help immature fruits to hasten the process of ripening and to develop the natural color. These also inhibit fungi and repel insects from stored fruits. An infusion of the leaves is used for destroying termites, flies, mosquitoes and other noxious insects. These contain the alkaloid vasicine, which is toxic to cold blooded animals (including fish) but not to mammals. The leaves inhibit and check the development of parasitic vegetation. The shrub can grow on such places where other vegetation cannot survive. It can be propagated by seeds or vegetative cuttings. It requires a tropical or sub-tropical climate and is damaged to some extent by frost in winter and recovers rapidly in spring. It is useful for soil erosion control.

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