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Adhatoda Vasica

The Filipinos are but slightly familiar with this plant and it has no place in their therapeutical armamentarium

USES.—The Filipinos are but slightly familiar with this plant and it has no place in their therapeutical armamentarium. In India, however, it is very common and enjoys much reputation in the treatment of catarrhs, the grip, asthma and nonfebrile, especially chronic, bronchial affections. The flowers, leaves and roots, but especially the flowers, possess antispasmodic properties and are prescribed in certain forms of asthma; they are bitter and slightly aromatic, and are given in infusion or electuary.

Drs. Jackson and Dott have testified from their own experience to the usefulness of the drug in chronic bronchitis, asthma and afebrile catarrh. Dr. Watt states that the natives of Bengal find relief for asthma in smoking the leaves. In Bombay its expectorant action is commonly known and its juice is used, mixed with borax and honey.

The dose of the aqueous extract made by evaporating the juice of the leaves, is .25–1 gram. The tincture is preferable, made by dissolving this extract in alcohol; dose 2–4 grams. Its efficiency is increased by the addition of pepper seeds (Waring). The Sanscrit writers recommend for cough, 3.80 grams of the leaf juice with honey. “It is very desirable that further trials be made to test the value of this remedy.”—Pharmacopoeia of India.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A shrub with straight, smooth, ashy-gray trunk.

Branches of same color but smoother. Leaves opposite, lanceolate, acute, smooth on both faces, 12–15 cm. long by 3–4 broad, petioles short. Flowers irregular and hermaphrodite in axillary spikes with long peduncles, opposite, large, white, covered with rusty spots, the lower part of the 2 lips purple. Calyx gamosepalous, regular, five deep clefts. Corolla gamopetalous, irregular, short tube, limb 2-lipped, the lower lip ending in a spur. Ovary free, 2-celled, each cell containing 2 ovules. Style filiform, long, inserted in a sort of canal formed by the upper lip of the corolla. Stigma bilobulate. Seed vessel depressed, 4 flattened, lenticular seeds.

HABITAT.—Luzon and Panay.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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