Scientific name: Justicia adhatoda. Name in different languages:- English: Adhatoda, Malabar nut, Vasaka. French: Carmantine de Ceylan. Nepali: Asuro, Kalo vasak. Sinhala: pawatta, agaladara. Sanskrit: Sinhapuri, Vasaka. Gujarati: Aradusī, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa. Kannada: Adusogae. Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa. Oriya: Basanga. Punjabi: Bhekkar. Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram. Tamil: Adathodai, pavettai. Malayalam: Adalodakam.
Kerala is a land of medicinal plants. One among them is Adhatoda known as Malabar nut or Aadalodakam, belonging to the acanthaceae family. Ayurvedic books refer it as medicine to cure asthma, cough, etc. It is of two types: Adhatoda beddomei and Adhatoda vasica. Of these Adhatoda beddomei is the one with more medicinal value and is found in plenty only in Kerala. People come to Kerala to collect Adhatoda beddomei . The next species is Adhatoda vasica, which is found all over India but has lesser medicinal value. It is very difficult to differentiate the two species as they have similar leaves the difference is distinguished looking at the veins of the leaves. Beddomei has only up to 16 veins while vasica has up to 30 veins. Also the roots of Adhatoda beddomei has glands which also helps in distinguishing them.
It is shrub that grows up to a height of 1.5 meters. Commonly known as Malabar nut, this medicinal plant is an excellent cure for, vomiting, chest congestion, biliousness etc. The medicine extracted from it called Vaseline is found to cure blood hemorrhage. This plant is a medicine for respiratory diseases. The juice extracted from the leaves of adhatoda beddomei mixed with honey is used to cure cough & rheumatism of blood. The leaves of this plant are wrapped in the lower part of the plantain leaf and heated and then the juice is extracted and mixed with ayurvedic swasanandam tablet to cure asthma. The decoction made from it is cure for tuberculosis, cough, & hemorrhage. To make the decoction, take 450 gm of adhatoda beddomei leaf along with 50 gm long pepper in 2 litres of water, boil and bring to half . This decoction is the cure for above said diseases like tuberculosis. The extract of beddomei mixed with sandal paste and taken twice daily cures situation where the patient coughs and spits blood with sputum. The root of this plant is grinded in water left after washing rice and applied below the naval of pregnant women and this is believed to help in easy delivery. To cure the excess blood flow during menstrual periods in women, in 15ml of the juice of adhatoda (Malabar nut or Aadalodakam), add 10 gm of jaggery and consumed .
This exceptional medicinal plant can be grown in our house itself. It can also be cultivated as it has good demand in Ayurveda, and can earn us good income. As a medicine, the whole adhatoda (Malabar nut or Aadalodakam) plant can be used along with its leaves and roots. The leaves can be used when he plant grows up to 1 year, but the roots are used only after the plant attains 2 year growth. In fact it is our duty to plant in our household and preserve this excellent medicinal plant, which we have got as a heritage.