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.
Malabar nut (Adhatoda or Adalodakam), is a medicinal plant that grows nicely in all types of soil, especially in red soil compared to other soil types. This plant needs a lot of sunlight. Malabar nut (Adhatoda or Adalodakam) has to be planted in places where it can get at least 4 hours of sunlight daily. There should not be any water logging as it hampers the growth of the plant.
Malabar nut (Adhatoda or Adalodakam) can be reproduced either by germinating seeds or by planting the stem also. First let us consider how to reproduce the plant by germinating seeds. The flowers of the malabar nut plant turns into seeds after pollination. The seeds are one and half centimeters long and have a husk color. The fruits have to dry first and then the seeds are taken from the fruit and once again kept in sunlight and then kept in polythene bags for germination. The mix in the bag should be a mixture of soil and animal manure. The mix should be filled up to 3/4th of the cover. In one cover 2 seeds can be sown. Dig a small hole up to 2 cm deep and sow seeds in it. Until the seed germinates, give only adequate amount of water.
The healthy malabar nut (Adhatoda or Adalodakam) plant can be kept in the cover itself and the other plant can be transferred in to another place. This same method is used while planting the stem and the planting mixture is also the same. In one polythene cover, two plants can be kept for growing. The stem used for planting should not contain any inflorescence. After three months the plants can be replanted in any other place.
While cultivating malabar nut (Adhatoda or Adalodakam) plants commercially, the soil has to be heaped and the plants are planted. The distance between plants must be at least 30 cm. The malabar nut plants are planted before the rainy season. In large scale cultivation of Malabar nut, for every hectare, add 10 tones of organic manure and NPK mixture (Nitrogen, Potash, Phosphorus) 50:50:50 kg each. Bone meal, Neem cake, etc. are also ideal fertilizers for cultivating it. Avoid usage of chemical fertilizers.
In the first and second year, for each plant add 100 gm bone meal with 3kg dried animal manure, and from the 3rd year add with 100 gm of bone meal, add 4kg of compost. During summer, the plants the base of the plant can be covered with dry leaves and organic matter (process called mulching), to prevent drying. If mulching is done regularly, then during summer there is less need to water plants. Watering can be avoided by this and only done when there is excessive heat. While plucking leaves for medicinal purposes, water and manure should be given accordingly.