Adhatoda Vasica or Adhatoda Vasica is a plant that is part of the Acantaceae family.
It is an extremely small evergreen shrub that is notably widespread in various areas of India, especially in the countries located at the foot of the Himalayan mountain range, reaching up to a thousand meters above sea level.
Among the main characteristics of adhatoda we find the presence of leaves with a typical lanceolate shape, which can count on a length of between ten and sixteen centimeters, slightly pubescent.
Adhatoda produces flowers characterized by a white color, with the presence of purple streaks: in most cases, these flowers grow together in spikes.
The fruit of adhatoda, on the other hand, resembles a particularly small capsule, which has four seeds inside.
The flowering period of Adhatoda Vasica corresponds to the warm season, therefore spring-summer.
This plant must be placed in a semi-shaded place, where it can still enjoy the sun's rays during the coolest hours of the day.
The advice is to grow adhatoda plants in sheltered places, such as apartments or greenhouses, especially due to the fact that they suffer greatly from the cold, as they fear temperatures below fifteen degrees centigrade.
During late spring, however, they can easily be placed in an open space.
It is a plant that must be watered sporadically, paying attention to the fact that the soil has completely dried before proceeding with a new watering.
If you want to grow potted adhatoda plants, watering must more or less correspond to the traditional one, while the substrate inside the pot must be changed every 2-3 years.
In medicine, adhatoda leaves are usefully exploited, which contain vasicine, or an active alkaline, and an essential oil.
These are two components that essentially serve to defeat diseases of the respiratory system, such as sore throat and cough.
Vasicine is able to dilate the bronchi, that is, it allows the respiratory flow to be released even in the event that allergic phenomena occur (therefore it behaves more or less like an antihistamine).
In this way, bronchoconstriction is avoided, that is the annoying sensation due to which it seems to be unable to breathe.
The essential oil extracted from adhatoda leaves, on the other hand, is useful since it is able to thin the mucus, in such a way as to promote elimination activity.
We must also not forget how essential oil can count on a good antiseptic effect, preventing the growth of a large number of bacteria that mainly affect the respiratory system.
Adhatoda is able to perform an excellent bronchodilator and antihistamine effect.
In fact, numerous scientific studies have shown how vasicine and vasicinone (or its auto-oxidation product) are able to achieve a dilation of the bronchi that closely resembles that allowed by theophylline, considerably reducing resistance to respiratory flow.
The second beneficial effect is the expectorant - mucolytic one, since adhatoda is able to perform an effective action due to the synergy between the essential oil and the alkaloid principles.
Precisely these last principles are able to perform a function of depolymerizing the mucoproteins (in practice it dissolves the mucus) and stimulates the ciliary activity of the respiratory system (allowing a faster and simpler elimination of mucus).
The essential oil, on the other hand, has a stimulating expectoration function.
Finally, we must not forget an important antiseptic effect, since the essential oil is able to inhibit the growth of Mycobacierium tuberculosis and a large number of agents that are responsible for numerous diseases that affect the bronchi.
The products based on adhatoda are essentially infusions of leaves or dry extracts: they must be taken two or three times every day, preferably after meals. In addition, we can find, especially in herbal medicine, syrups or even capsule products based on adhatoda: we always take into consideration, however, to ask for advice from your doctor, before starting to take them.
This plant and its extracts are considered safe and, therefore, free of any type of toxicity, although it must be emphasized that it is contraindicated in those situations of pregnancy, especially due to their uterotonic action.
Finally, it is always a good idea to pay considerable attention to respecting the daily doses set with the doctor, which must never exceed the 2-3 times that have been previously recommended.