Benefits of Vasaka
Herbs a to z
Vasaka, also called Malabar nut tree, is well known throughout India. It is tall, with several branches, dense, and an evergreen shrub. Leaves are large and lance-shaped. It has capsular four-seeded fruits. The flowers are either white or purple in colour. Its trade name vasaka is based on Sanskrit name.
Vasaka is indigenous to India. It grows all over the plains of India and in the lower Himalayan ranges.
The leaves contain an alkaloid vasicine besides an essential oil.
The leaves, roots and the flowers are extensively used in indigenous medicine as a remedy for cold, cough, bronchitis and asthma.
Bronchitis and Asthma
In acute stages of bronchitis it gives unfailing relief, especially where the sputum is thick and sticky. It liquefies the sputum so that it is brought up more easily. For relief in asthma, the dried leaves should be smoked.
In Ayurveda., a preparation made from vasaka flowers, known as gulkand is used to treat tuberculosis. A few fresh petals of vasaka flowers should be bruised and put in a pot of china day. Some sugar crystals are added and the jar kept in the sun. It should be stirred every morning and evening. The preserve is ready for use in about a month.
Even the juice from its leaves is useful in treating tuberculosis. About 30 ml of the juice is taken thrice a day with honey. It relieves the irritable cough by its soothing action on the nerve and by liquefying 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".'
For coughs, 7 leaves of the plant are boiled in water, strained and mixed with 24 grams of honey. This decoction provides relief. Similarly a confection of vasaka flowers eaten in doses of 12 grams twice daily relieves cough. About 60 grams of flowers and 180 grams of jiggery should be mixed for preparing this confection.
Its leaves, bark, the root-bark, the fruit and flowers are useful in the removal of intestinal parasites. The decoction of its root and bark in doses of 30 grams twice or thrice a day for 3 days can be given for this purpose. The juice of its fresh leaves can .also be used in doses of a teaspoon thrice a day for 3 days.
Diarrhoea and Dysentery
The juice from its leaves should be given in doses of 2 to 4 grams in treating diarrhoea and dysentery
A poultice of its leaves can be applied with beneficial results over fresh wounds, rheumatic joints and inflammatory swellings. A warm decoction of its leaves is useful in treating scabies and other skin diseases.
The drug vasaka is often taken in the form of juice extracted from its leaves, mixed with ginger or honey, in doses of 15 to 30. The leaves can be made into a decoction or the dried leaves can be given in powder form in doses of 2 grams. Both the decoction and powder are constituents of many preparations used in the Ayurvedic medicine for various affections of the respiratory tract. The root and the bark have the same medicinal uses as the leaves. A decoction of the bark is given in 30 to 60 ml doses and the powdered root-bark in 0.75 to 2 grams doses.