Folk Vasaakaa

Action ► Expectorant (used in bronchial, asthmatic and pulmonary affections), antispasmodic, febrifuge.

Key application ► As bronchodilatory, expectorant. (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates its use in dyspnoea.

The chief quinazoline alkaloid vas-icine is reported in all parts of the plant, the highest being in inflorescence. It is a bitter bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant, hypotensive, cardiac depressant, uterotonic and aborti-facient. An aqueous solution of va-sicinone hydrochloride, when studied in mice and dogs, was found to potentiate the bronchodilatory activity of aminophylline, also that of isopre-naline. Vasicinone exhibited smooth-muscle-relaxant properties of airways.

Alkaloids present in the plant showed significant protection against allergin-induced bronchial obstruction in guinea pigs.

The leaves are found to activate the digestive enzyme trypsin.

An extract of the leaves showed significant antifungal activity against ringworm.

Adhatoda beddomei C.B. Clarke, found in Kerala, is considered to be more powerful and active than A. vasi-ca. Fresh leaf juice is used in haemoptysis and menorrhagia, also as an anti-asthmatic.

Jacobinia tinctoria Henl. is equated with the red-flowered var. of Vaasaa.

Dosage ► Leaf—10-20 ml juice. Dried leaves—10-20 g for deoction. Root—3-6 g powder. (API Vols. I, IV)

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