Justicia adhatoda L. (= Adhatoda vasica Nees)

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 3

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Justicia adhatoda L. (= Adhatoda vasica Nees)


Justicia adhatoda L. (= Adhatoda vasica Nees) 


Myanmar: my-yar-gyi, ye-magyi, htingra-hpraw (Kachin), hla brairot (Mon). English: adulsa, Malabar nut tree.


India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar. Cultivated in the tropics. Widely distributed in Myanmar.


Whole plant: Used in medicine to remove phlegm, and for excessive menses. Leaf: Astringent and bitter, the leaves have cooling properties that regulate phlegm and bile, ease diarrhea, alleviate coughing and coughing up blood, and relieve chronic asthma. They also alleviate coughing with fever, bad breath, and swellings in the lower extremities. To relieve pain and urinary infections, three tablespoons of liquid from boiling leaves, reduced to one-third starting volume, are ingested. Leaves dried in the shade, converted to ash, and ground to a fine powder can be pressed onto gums and teeth for toothaches, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Leaves are also used to make medicines for eye ailments. Stewing the leaves and taking the liquid used to treat dysentery; also, for dysentery, male-related weaknesses, and excessive menstruation, liquid from boiling a handful of leaves in water reduced to one-third the starting volume is taken three times a day. The juice of crushed young leaves with either wine or honey is used to treat whooping cough. Leaf extract is antiseptic. Flower: About one tablespoon of the juice squeezed from the flowers and leaves can be taken with a moderate amount of rock sugar to for bile problems and for vomiting and otherwise passing blood. Fruit: For vomiting and otherwise passing blood, three tablespoons of liquid from kyazu ( Terminalia citirina  ) fruit soaked in leaf juice can be taken. Root (or Leaf): To treat asthma and coughs, one tablespoon of juice from the crushed roots or leaves mixed with moderate amounts of rock sugar and rock salt can be taken. Black mu yargyi (probably Adhatoda vasica  = Justicia adhatoda  ) root can be made into a paste with cold water and rubbed onto scorpion sting to neutralize the venom. The root is also a component in insecticides.


In India the species is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a blood purifier and antispasmodic, as well as a treatment for bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, coughing, and intestinal worms ( Jain and DeFilipps 1991).

"Reported constituents of the leaves are a very small amount of essential oil, vasicine (an alkaloid), and adhatodic acid. The first two have therapeutic properties. The alkaloid produces a slight fall in blood pressure followed by a rise to the original level, an increase persistent broncho-dilator effect." Antiseptic and insecticidal properties are attributed to it ( Perry 1980).


Nordal (1963), Agricultural Corporation (1980), Perry (1980), Forest Department (1999).