Vasaka, also called Malabar nut tree, is well known all over India. It is enormous in size, with numerous branches, thick and an evergreen shrub. The leaves are huge and lance-shaped. The vasaka herb bears capsular four-seeded fruits. The flowers are both white and purple in colour. Its trade name vasaka is based on its Sanskrit name.
Vasaka is native to India. It grows all around the plains of India and in the lower Himalayan ranges.
The leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine besides a volatile oil.
Methods of usage
Vasaka has modest usability in cases pertaining to bronchitis, asthma, cold, tuberculosis, intestinal contagion or diarrhoea and dysentery.
Healing Power and Medicinal Properties of vasaka
The leaves, roots and flowers are widely used in aboriginal medicines as a medication for cold, cough, bronchitis and asthma.
Bronchitis and Asthma cured by vasaka
In severe stages of bronchitis, it gives unceasing relief, particularly where the sputum is thick and viscous. It liquidises the sputum so that it is lifted without difficulty. The dried leaves should be smoked to obtain relief in asthma.
Tuberculosis cured by vasaka
In Ayurveda, a concoction made from vasaka flowers, known as gulkand is used to treat tuberculosis. A few fresh petals of vasaka flowers should be ground and put in a pot of china clay. Some sugar crystals should also be added and the jar needs to be kept in the sun. It needs to be shaken every morning and evening. In this process, the preserve is ready for use in almost a month.
Even the juice from its leaves is functional in treating tuberculosis. Approximately 30 ml of the juice is taken thrice daily with honey. It alleviates the annoying cough by its comforting action on the nerve and by liquidising the sputum, which makes expectoration easier. U.C. Dutt says, "the medicine was considered so serviceable in phthisis (severe tuberculosis of the lungs) that it was said no man suffering from this disease need despair as long as the vasaka plant exists".
Coughs healed by vasaka
For healing coughs, 7 leaves of the plant are boiled in water, sieved and blended with 24 grams of honey. This decoction provides immense respite. Similarly a concoction of vasaka flowers eaten in dosages of 12 grams twice everyday assuages cough. Around 60 grams of flowers and 180 grams of jaggery should be coalesced to make this concoction.
Intestinal Worms healed by vasaka
Its leaves, bark, the root-bark, fruits and flowers are all helpful in disposing off intestinal parasites. The decoction of its root and bark in dosages of 30 grams twice or thrice daily for 3 days can be administered for this purpose. The juice of its fresh leaves can also be used in dosages of 1 teaspoon thrice everyday, for 3 days.
Diarrhoea and Dysentery cured by vasaka
The juice from its leaves should be administered in dosages of 2 to 4 grams for healing diarrhoea and dysentery.
Skin Diseases cured by vasaka
A poultice of its leaves can be administered with advantageous results over raw wounds, rheumatic joints and inflamatory swellings. A warm decoction of its leaves is helpful in treating scabies and other skin disorders.
Methods for Uses and Dosages
- The drug vasaka is frequently consumed in the form of juice distilled from its leaves, blended with ginger or honey, in dosages of 15 to 30. The leaves can be made into a decoction or the dried leaves can be given in pulverised form in dosages of 2 grams. Both the decoction and powder are components of various preparations used in Ayurvedic medicine for various infections of the respiratory tract. The root and bark possesses equivalent medicinal uses as the leaves. A decoction of the bark is administered in 30 to 60 ml dosages and the powderised root-bark in 0.75 to 2 gram dosages.