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Schwabe News Volume 3| Issue 1 | February 2012

Justicia adhatoda

It is also known as Adhatoda vasica Nees.  It belongs to the family Acanthaceae.  It is native to India, growing in the low-lying regions upto Himalayas.  A dense evergreen shrub, 1-2.5 m high stem with yellowish bark with many branches, leaves 12-20 cm long elliptic-lanceolate, acuminate, puberrulus dark green above and pale beneath.  It is a proved drug and is covered by the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (s) and Materia Medica (s).  The homoeopathic tincture is made from the leaf (1).

In homoeopathy, it is remembered for profuse coryza, fluent, with constant sneezing, coryza with cough and tenacious mucus, parozysmal cough, with suffocative obstruction of respiration and tightness across the chest, to counter asthmatic attacks in cases that cannot endure a close, warm room (2).  It is used in wide range of bronchial disease (3). 

It contains vasicine, vasicinone, desxy-vasicinone and the essential oil, β-Sitosterol, alk-adhavasinone, 1-peganine (1-vasicine) (4).  Efficacious in coughs, drugs is useful as expect and mild bronchial antiseptic, but is of no value in tuberculosis (5).  However, an Ayurvedic preparation includes its flowers and is used to treat tuberculosis (6).  Various other workers have isolated many other active phytochemicals improving the importance of this medicine.

Recent research supplements its homoeopathic proving data.  A work at the Institute of Pharmacognosy, Universitactsplatz 4/1, A-8010 Graz, Austria has established wide spectrum of medicinal properties including anti-inflammatory diseases.  A work at the Dett., of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., at Pune has shown good antitussive activity.  On animal experiments at Cancer Biology Laboratory, J. N. U. New Delhi, the leaf extract has shown modulatory influence and enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism (it is the set of metabolic pathways that modify the chemical structure of xenobiotics, which are compounds foreign to an organism's normal biochemistry, such as drugs and poisons), antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in mice suggestion its chemopreventive role.

Recommended dose: Mother tincture up to 30 drops, thrice daily.

Caution: It is toxic in material doses and is advised not to be taken during pregnancy.  The mother tincture as well as 3x are used, but in some cases aggravation have been reported.

 

References:
  • Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia by Varma & Vaid
    Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory by William Boericke
    Drugs of Hindoosthan by S. C. Ghose.
    Glossory of Indian Medicinal Plants - CSIR
    Indian Journal of Pharmacy 1940, 141.
    Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicines by Andrew Chevallier