Vasa: Cures chronic cough & supports respiratory system


Hope you guys are benefiting from the articles and videos of our series #SacredIndianHerbs. TIll now you must have discovered that when it comes to versatility, Indian herbs are exclusive. With their help you can add wonderful fragrance, different flavors to your cuisines and stay healthy. So what are you waiting for? Go and plant these tremendous herbs and make a beautiful kitchen garden. We will assist and train you for maintenance of these herbs so that you can make the most of it. For now, we will focus on the fourteenth herb of the series i.e. Vasa, along with its immense properties. Stay in tune to learn more about them and utilize their culinary and healing properties.

Scientific name: Adhatoda vasica
English name: Malabar nut
Hindi name: Vasa, safed vasa, bansa

Vasa belongs to the family Acanthaceae, commonly known as Adosa. The plant grows on the plains of India and in the foothills of Himalayas. The entire parts of the plant from root to leaves are used to treat various ailments but the leaves holds much importance. The flowers blooms during the Holi festive season of India and are also worshipped at some places where Holi puja takes place.

Some healing benefits & home remedies

Vasa possesses a wide spectrum of medicinal properties. Various companies in the abroad are making extract of vasa and are using it to treat cough and respiratory disorders. However, freshly used vasa is unquestionably more beneficial.

1. Vasa for curing chronic cough

Vasa leaves has been used in ayurvedic medicines primarily to treat chronic cough and respiratory disorders. Even vasa was used much-in-quantity in glycodin, a syrup used to cure cough. Later, FDA disapproved this syrup on the grounds that no allopathic medicine can have a herb as an ingredient. Thus vasa is the potent herb that can cure chronic cough and can be easily used in homemade remedies.

An effective natural remedy for curing chronic cough - take 8-10 leaves of vasa and boil them in eight times water. When ¼ part of water is left, put the flame off and add one teaspoon of honey once it has come to lukewarm state. Consume this hot decoction two times daily. It loosens the phlegm and promotes its the discharge from the respiratory tract making the patient easier to breathe. If blood is present along with phlegm, then consuming this decoction two times a day will be highly favorable.

Another effective homemade remedy - Cut the roots of vasa in small pieces and boil them in water. Also add 2-4 black peppers and consume this decoction with honey. This is too a great home remedy to cure cold and cough.

2. Vasa: Tuberculosis perfect aid

Tuberculosis is one of the most contagious diseases in humans. It can be treated by consuming vasa in the form of its decoction, vasavaleha or in tablets form. Take 1-2g vasa daily with honey / lukewarm water / milk. It will help to checkout the cough and fever.

3. Vasa: An antipyretic agent

The leaves of vasa helps to cure fever too. When you are suffering with fever along with cough, an effective home made decoction can be prepared that will boost up your immunity as well. Take 10g of vasa leaves, 10g giloy and 2.5g long pepper and add all these ingredients to the boiling water. Heat them on a slight flame for sometime by covering with a lid and filter the decoction. This decoction will be beneficial during seasonal fevers, also aids in digestion and pacify all the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha).

4. Vasa for managing bleeding disorders (Raktapitta)

This plant is useful in stopping abnormal bleeding through the mouth, nose, genitals or the urinary system. It also reduces the heat of the blood. Take vasa leaves and wash them properly. Extract the juice out its leaves and consume it 2-3 times a day. It will help you in treating bleeding disorders like piles, hematuria, blood in vomitus, menorrhagia, etc. For bleeding gums, take the leaves and pound it into a paste form. Rub the paste gently in the gums daily till you get relieved.

5. Vasa for balancing doshas

Vata, pitta and kapha are collectively known as doshas with some specific set of functional roles to play in the body. When these doshas get out of balance, they can cause large amount of harm to our health. Vasa is believed to balance vata, pitta and kapha doshas. It is mainly indicated in conditions of high pitta and kapha.

6. Vasa for whooping cough

Vasa are of two types: black and white. Till now we have been talking about white vasa. Black vasa has got almost same properties as that of white Vasa. Generally, black vasa is used for treating whooping cough in children for its bronchodilatory and antitussive properties. Whooping cough can cause serious illness in children. The child might cough so hard that he/she vomits, becomes tired from the efforts of coughing or breathing may get difficult for him/her. For this, we burn the leaves of black vasa and give it to the child along with honey. It is considered to be a potent treatment without any side effects.

Vasavaleha: An ayurvedic formulation

As we have already mentioned, vasa is commonly used for treating cough, fever and other respiratory tract infections. Many ayurvedic formulations used vasa for this purpose and constitute it as a main ingredient. The most commonly used formulation is vasavaleha. Though there are many brands in the market that make vasavaleha formulation, but still it can be prepared at home with ease.

An easy way to make vasavaleha at home: Vasavaleha is made from five ingredients. It contains 100g of vasa kwath (leaf juice), 100g of sugar and 25g of trikatu powder (a herbal blend of pippali, dry ginger, and black pepper in equal quantities). Put vasa kwath on slight flame, add trikatu powder by regularly stirring it and sugar later. Keep stirring the decoction until it reaches a semi solid consistency and then store it in an airtight container. Vasavaleha is ready to use and is usually administered with milk / honey / warm water.

Vasa enjoys a prominent position for useful remedies for curing cough and other respiratory disorders, and is now cultivated throughout the world. You too should not be left out from the nutritive values and health promoting benefits of vasa. Please plant them !


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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri


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