What is Justicia Adhatoda? Benefits, Uses and Side Effects of Malabar Nut - User Guide

Table of Contents

1. What is Justicia Adhatoda? 
2. Morphology 
3. Ayurvedic properties of Operculina Turpethum Root
4. What are the Benefits of Malabar Nut?
5. How to use Adulsa?
6. Side Effects of Justicia Adhatoda
7. Malabar Nut Green Tea
8. Frequently Asked Question

1. What is Justicia Adhatoda?

Adusa botanical name is Justicia Adhatoda and some common names are Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, vasaka, it is a well-known tree throughout India. It is indigenous to India and grows in the plains of India and in the lower Himalayan region. It is a tall, evergreen shrub that has a dense appearance due to its multiple branches growing in an ascending manner on opposite sides. It is a medicinal plant widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is native to Asia and is known for its various health benefits. 

Malabar Nut

2. Morphology

Justicia Adhatoda Leaves

Justicia Adhatoda – Leaves

These are large and lance-shaped and oppositely arranged, they become greenish-brown when dried, smell like strong tea, and have a bitter taste. Adhatoda vasica leaves have been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for over 2000 years to treat respiratory disorders. The leaves contain vitamin C, carotene, and alkaloid vasicine an essential oil.

Justicia Adhatoda Flower

Justicia Adhatoda – Flowers

These are either white or purple, the attractive white petals, streaked with purple on the lower lips. The leaves, roots, and flowers are extensively used in indigenous medicine as a remedy for cold, cough, bronchitis, and asthma.

3. Ayurvedic properties of Operculina Turpethum Root

Vasaka or Malabar Nut, is a medicinal plant highly valued in Ayurveda for its various therapeutic properties. Both its leaves and roots are utilized for their medicinal benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of Justicia adhatoda:

1. Rasa (Taste): The leaves of Justicia adhatoda are believed to have a combination of bitter (Tikta) and pungent (Katu) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): They are cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Justicia adhatoda leaves primarily balance Kapha dosha and, to a lesser extent, Pitta dosha. However, in excess, they may increase Vata dosha.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Respiratory Health: Justicia adhatoda is one of the most valuable herbs for respiratory health. It is used to manage various respiratory conditions like cough, bronchitis, asthma, and chronic respiratory disorders due to its bronchodilator, expectorant, and antitussive properties.

  2. Antimicrobial: The leaves have antimicrobial effects and are used to manage infections, especially in the respiratory system.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: Justicia adhatoda leaves possess anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.

  4. Fever Management: They are used in certain Ayurvedic formulations to manage fever and reduce body temperature.

4. What are the Health Benefits of Malabar Nut?

Malabar Nut has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, expectorant, and anti-ulcer properties, it is beneficial in the treatment of cough and cold, congestion, reducing ulcers, and enhancing the respiratory system. It is beneficial to boost immunity and prevent bacterial infestation.

It is bitter and astringent in taste and it has cold potency, it effectively works on Kapha and Pitta dosahs. The leaves contain phytochemical constituents like tannins, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolics.

Let’s check out some major health benefits of Adulsa 

Bronchitis and Asthma

In acute stages of bronchitis, it gives unfailing relief, especially when the sputum is thick and sticky. It liquifies the sputum so that it becomes easy to expel.

Cough and Cold

It is highly beneficial for cough and cold, it has antibiotic properties which help to treat chronic cough and cold. It also reduces chest and nasal congestion gets rid of excess sputum and stops nasal discharge.

Diarrhea and Dysentery

Due to its anti-inflammatory property, the juice of leaves is beneficial in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.

Intestinal Worms

Malabar Nut roots, bark, leaves, fruits, and flowers are useful in the removal of intestinal parasites. The decoction of root bark and leaves gives relief from intestinal worms.

Skin Disorders

Due to Malabar Nut leaves strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties of the bio-active components they are beneficial to healing wounds, rheumatic pain, and inflammatory swellings. It is also used to treat painful muscle spasms, sore muscles, and arthritic conditions.


Malabar Nut flower preparations are used to treat tuberculosis, it helps to give relief from irritable cough and have a soothing action on the nerve and liquefying the sputum, thus making expectoration easier.

Blood Purifier

Because it is a cardiac tonic, it is extremely beneficial in purifying the blood. It improves the blood count and maintains the blood pressure. It is also beneficial to increase the immunity of the body which reduces the risk of various bacterial and fungal infections.


Malabar Nut leaves have anti-ulcers property, which are beneficial in reducing ulcers and sores in various parts of the body.


Malabar Nut has laxative and appetite-stimulant properties which are beneficial in eliminating abdominal gas and in turn reducing abdominal distension, bloating, and gaseous cramps. And it gives relief from dyspepsia, heartburn, diarrhea, flatulence, and peptic ulcer.


This herb is blessed with antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties, which are beneficial in the treatment of various infections. It also helps to reduce the risk of various bacterial and fungal infections like fever, tuberculosis, and dengue.

5. How to use Adulsa / Malabar Nut?

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as an Ayurvedic doctor recommends. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Adulsa / Malabar Nut daily once a day.


Here are some home remedies for Adulsa / Malabar Nut

  • Inhale the smoke of Malabar nut dried leaves, which gives relief from asthma.
  • Take 7 leaves of Malabar nut and boiled in water, strain them, and mixed with 24 grams of honey, giving relief from cough.
  • Take 12 grams of Malabar nut flowers powder with water daily, help to cure cough.
  • Take 60 grams of Malabar nut flowers powder and mix with 180 grams of jaggery, helps to cure cough.
  • Take 2-4 grams of fresh Malabar nut leaves juice, gives relief from Diarrhoea and Dysentery.
  • The decoction of root and bark in doses of 30 grams twice or thrice a day, for 3 days, gives relief from intestinal worms.
  • The fresh juice of leaves can also be used in a dose of one tsp thrice a day for 3 days.
  • Take Malabar nut leaves juice and mixed with ginger and honey, take 30 grams of this mixture daily, helps to treat skin problems.
  • Take 30 ml Malabar nut leaves juice with honey thrice a day, gives relief from irritable cough.

6. Side Effects of Adulsa / Malabar Nut

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.

Some side effects are mentioned below

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming.
  • If you are suffering from kidney disease, consult the doctor first before consuming Adulsa / Malabar Nut
  • Do not take Adulsa / Malabar Nut with liquor, it may interact with it and cause drowsiness.
  • Do not take Adulsa / Malabar Nut if you are suffering from diarrhea, bleeding per rectum, rectal prolapse, or fecal incontinence.
  • It is not suggested for children below 12 years of age, the elderly, or physically or mentally weaker persons.

7. Malabar Nut Green Tea

Here is a simple and easy recipe for Malabar Nut Green Tea, you can make it at home.

malabar nut green tea


  • Malabar Nut leaves Powder or fresh leaves – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Green Tea – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Green Cardamom – 1 clove


  • Take a tea pan and add water to boil.
  • Add all the items and boil them for 2 minutes.
  • Strain the tea in a cup, and add lemon and honey as per your preferences.
Buy Malabar Nut leaves Powder

8. Frequently Asked Question

Q - What is Malabar Nut used for?

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