Malabar Nuts Facts

Justicia adhatoda commonly known as Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, or vasaka, is a medicinal plant native to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic, homeopathy and Unani systems of medicine. It is a small evergreen plant, of the Acanthaceae family. It has been used in preparation of herbal medicines for the past 2000 years. Yogic practitioners often use this herb to clear their respiratory tracts during the course of breathing exercises. The plant’s range includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China, as well as Panama where it is thought to have been introduced. The whole plant or its roots, leaves, bark and flowers are used in various herbal preparations.

Name Malabar nut
Scientific Name Justicia adhatoda
Native Native to Asia
Common/English Name Malabar nut, adulsa, arusha, vasaka, justicia adhatoda, adulsa arusa, adathodai, bakash, adathoda, adalodakam, adusoge, addasaramu, lion’s muzzle, stallion’s tooth.
Name in Other Languages Chinese: Dà huánhún (大还魂), Yě diàn yè (野靛叶), Yā zuǐ huā (鸭嘴花),Yāzi huā (鸭子花)
Danish: Malabarnød
English: Adhatoda, Bhaikar, Malabar nut, Malabar-nut-tree, Pavettia, Vasa, Vasaka
Finnish: Valkopantterinkita
French: Carmantine de Ceylan, Noix de Malabar.
German: Malabarnuß

  • Hindi: Arusha, vasala, Arśā (अर्शा), Vāsālā (वासाला), Adosa, Rus, Bansa, Adusa
  • Sanskrit:  Adulsa, Adusa (अडुसा), Aruha, Arusa, Arusak, Arusha (अरुष), Arus, Arusak, Atrusha (अटरुष), Basak, Bhishangamata (भिशाङगमाता ), Bhishangmata,  Kaphahari (कफाहारी), Shwetavasa, Simhamukhi (सिंहमुखी), Simhi (सिंही), Simhika (सिंहिका), Sinhaparni (सिंहपर्णी), Vaidya mata,  Vajeedantaka, Vajidantakahaatarusha, Vansa, Vasa (वासा), Vasaka (वासक), Vasika
  • Assamese name: Titabahak, Bahak,
  • Konkani name: Adusoge
  • Bengali: Adulsa, Bakash,Vasok, বাসক পাতা
  • Gujarati: Aradusī, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa (અરડૂસી), Araduso
  • Kannada: Adusogae, Adu muttada soppu (the green veg that a goat never eats)
  • Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa (अडुळसा), Adoolsa, Adoosa, Baksa, Vasuka.
  • Manipuri: Nongmangkha angouba
  • Oriya: Basanga, Arusa, Basung
  • Punjabi: Bhekkar, Vamsa, Bansa, Basuti, Bhekar, Vasaka.
  • Tamil: Adathodai, Eidhadad, Adatodai, Adhatodai, Adotodai, Pavatai, Pavettai, Pavettia
  • Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram (అడ్డసరం), Addasaramu, Addasarapaku, Atarushamu, Kaatumurungai, Vachai
  • Urdu: Adusa (Arusa)

Indonesian: Adotodai, Basak, Vasaka
Malayalam: Aadalodakam, Pothadalotakam, Vasica, Adalodakam, Adel-odagam (as A. zeylanica), Atalotakam (as A. zeylanica), Peradalotakam, Valiya adalotakam, āṭalēāṭakaṁ (ആടലോടകം)
Newari: Aarya ha (आरय ह)
Nepali: Aleha, Asuro, Kalo vasak (नेपाली)
Mizo: Kawldai
Persian: Bansa
Rongmei: Thimpui
Swedish: Malabarnöt
Sinhala: pawatta(පාවට්ටා), agaladara (අගලදාර), adathoda (ආඩතෝඩා).
Sinhalese: Adatoda

Plant Growth Habit Erect much branched, gregarious, evergreen shrub
Growing Climate Grows best in shaded or semi-shaded areas. It requires dry, moistures and tropical forest for better growth
Soil Moist, well-drained soil with reasonable fertility are preferred , though it can withstand some drought. It will not however tolerate water-logging which can cause root-rot which can kill it very quickly.
Plant Size Up to 4 m.
Root Hard, woody, almost cylindrical, tap root having lateral branches, rough due to longitudinal cracks or fissures; greyish-brown to dark brown externally; creamish-white internally; fracture, hard; taste, bitter.
Bark Bark is yellowish in color
Stem Quadrangular to nearly terete, young shoots greyish-pubescent
Leaf Leaves, 10-30 cm long and 3-10 cm broad, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, slightly acuminate, base tapering, petiolate, petioles 2-8 cm long, exstipulite, glabrescent, 8-10 pairs of lateral vein bearing few hairs, dried leaves dull brown above, light greyish brown below, odour, characteristic, taste, bitter.
Flower The flowers are hermahrodite. The corolla are large and white with a funnel shaped lower portion, the lower lip of corolla is streaked purple.
Fruit Fruit is a small capsule stipitate, broadly clavate, c. 2.5 cm long, 4-seeded, pubescent
Taste Bitter
Seed Orbicular, 2-3 mm across, glabrous.
Health Benefits
  • For Removing Phlegm in Adults
  • Gout or Raised Uric Acid Level
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastritis or Acidity
  • For Excessive Bleeding
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Cough Syrup for Kids
  • Excessive Uterine Bleeding
  • For Inflammation
  • Ulcer
  • For Hemorrhoids
  • Sinusitis & Sinus Infection
  • For Skin Diseases
  • For Indigestion
  • Sore Throat, Throat Pain, Tonsillitis & Postnasal Drip
  • For Bleeding Gums
  • Asthma
  • Uremia (Uraemia)
  • For Cough in Adults
  • Upper Respiratory Infections


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