Vasaca: Biological Source, Medicinal Uses, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants and MCQ

Vasaca: Biological Source, Medicinal Uses, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants and MCQ


1. Biological sources :
• Also known as Adhatoda vasica or Malabar nut.
• It belongs to the Acanthaceae family.
• The biological source of vasaca is dried and fresh leaves of this plant.

2. Morphological features :
• It is a dense shrub having height of 1.2-2.4 m.
• The bark is yellowish in color .
• Leaves are 10-13 cm long.
• Leaves are of ovate lanceolate-shaped and light- green in colour.
• It have characteristic odour.
• The taste is bitter.
• The apex of leaf is acuminate , margin slightly crenate to entire.
• The base of leaf is symmetric and venation is pinnate.
• The transverse section of leaf show palisade, epidermis, spongy mesophyll, trichomes phloem, xylem, collenchymaand cytolith.
• Leaves are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged and borne on short petioles.
• On drying they have dull brownish –green colour.
• The trunk of this plant is long ,opposite, having ascending branches.
• The flowers are of white in colour.
• Inflorescence represent large ,dense, axillary spikes,
• Fruits are pubescent and have club- shaped capsules.
• This plant is perennial, evergreen and highly branched.

3. Chemical constituents/Phytochemicals :
• The chemical constituents of vasaca are alkaloids, tannins, flavinoids, terpenes, sugar and glucosides.
• The major chemical constituents of vasaca are its several alkaloids, and the chief one is vasicine.
• Leaves composed of major constituents which are vasicine and vasicinone.
• Also the leaves of vasaca contain vitamin C in large amount.
• They also have carotene and essential oil in large amount.
• The roots of this plant contain vasicinolone, vasicol, peganine, sitosterol.
• They have beta – glucoside glalctose and deoxyvasicine and 2- hydroxyl – 4 –glucosyl-oxychalcone in roots.
• The flowers of this plant contain b-sitosterol-D- glucoside, kaempferol.
• Its glycosides and quercetin minor alkaloids include adhatinine and vasinol.

4. Adulterants :
vasaca show adulteration with the leaf of araluka which is Ailanthus excels.

5. Medicinal Uses :

• It is used in the treatment of various disease because of its ability of formation of secondary metabolites such as tannins, alkaloid, saponins, flvanoids ,reducing sugarand anthraquinones which have ability to restore health and heal many disease.
• The leaves of vasaca are used to treat cough, asthma, fever, tuberculosis, piles, jaundice, bleeding gum.
• It is also used as an expectorant.
• It has ability of bronchodilator.
• Its decoction has ability to treat cold and rheumatism.
• The extract of leaves, bark and flower is used to treat bronchial, asthmatic and pulmonary affection.
• It has property of speed delivery during childbirth.
• It has various pharmacological activity such as antimicrobial, haepatoprotective and antioxidant activity.
• It is used to treat leprosy, blood disorders, heart troubles, thirst, vomiting.
• It has property to treat loss of memory, leucoderma, tumors, sore-eye and gonorrhea.
• It has property of sedative, antispasmodic, anti- inflammatory, antidiabetic.
• It has anthelmintic property.
• It is used to treat infertility.
• It also have anti-ulcer activity.
• It have antihistaminic activity.
• It have moderate hypotensive activity.


1. Vasaca also known as
(a) Malabar nut
(b) Adhatoda vasica
(c) Black pepper
(d) Both a and b

2. The height of vasaca shrub
(a) 2-3 cm
(b) 2.4-3 cm
(c) 1.2 -2.4 cm
(d) 1-2 cm

3. Shape of leaves of vasaca
(a) Needle shape
(b) Palm shape
(c) Lobe shape
(d) Ovate lanceolate shape

4. Colour of flowers of vasaca
(a) Pink
(b) Red
(c) White
(d) Blue

5. Chemical constituents of vasaca
(a) Flavinoid
(b) Alkaloid
(c) Tannins
(d) All of the above

6. Not a Chemical constituent of vasaca
(a) Reducing sugar
(b) Vasicine
(c) Vitamin C
(d) Phenol

7. Vasaca have properties of
(a) Antioxidant
(b) Antidiabetic
(c) Anti- ulcer
(d) All of the above

8. Vasaca used as
(a) Expectorant
(b) Analgesic
(c) Haepatoprotactive
(d) All of the above

9. Vasaca used to treat
(a) Infertility
(b) Loss of memory
(c) Heart troubles
(d) All of the above

10. Vasaca show alduteration with
(a) Leaf of araluka
(b) Arimeda
(c) Ashoka
(d) Vidhara

1. both a and b
2. 1.2- 2.4 cm
3. Ovate laceolate shape
4. White
5. All of the above
6. Phenol
7. All of the above
8. All of the above
9. All of the above
10. Leaf of araluka

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Atal CK, 1980. Chemistry and Pharmacology of Vasicine-A New Oxytocic and Abotifacient , Regional Research Laboratory , 131.

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