The primary benefit of Shankhpushpi is that it is a brain tonic and improves memory and intellect. Besides that it can be used to treat epilepsy and headache. It also controls vomiting and helps to cure diabetes.
Vasaka is a tall, herbaceous evergreen shrub that has a dense appearance due to its multiple branches growing in an ascending manner in opposite sides. The flowers of this plant are white and purple in colour and have inflorescence. The scientific name of vasaka is Adhatoda vasica and it is also known as Malabar Nuts.
All the parts of the vasaka tree are important for its medicinal properties. Its leaves are rich in phyto-chemicals like alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids and phenolics. Vasicine, quinazoline alkaloid and essential oils are also present in the leaves of this plant. Apart from these a long list of chemicals too are present that are responsible for making vasaka medicinally useful.
Vasaka is an extremely important component of ayurvedic medication for the treatment and prevention of cough. Coughing causes a lot of discomfort and can be a real obstacle for getting a good sleep at night. It leaves you tired and exhausted. Vasaka is used to supress coughing and especially when a person coughs up yellow sputum or is unable to expel the sputum or has wheezing. It also helps eases breathing.
One of the properties of vasaka is that it is anti-inflammatory. This helps in reducing the inflammation in the air passage and lungs and promotes healthy and easy breathing preventing the adversities of asthma. Also, the vasicine found in this plant works as a bronchodilator which widens the air passages and eases breathing.
Infections are a huge problem of tropical countries which is an extremely suitable habitat for the growth of various microbes and their carriers. The word ‘viral fever’ is extremely common. Vasaka is extremely useful in treating this problem. It helps to lower the temperature and also for expelling yellow and thick nasal discharges that might get accumulated and cause trouble while breathing.
Sinusitis can be a recurring painful and irritating condition where the sinuses get blocked with nasal discharge and it becomes infected and inflamed. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties work simultaneously for the treatment of such conditions. The pus or fluid accumulated in the sinuses are released which reduce the blockage and the infection too is terminated.
Vasaka helps in treating bronchitis due to its multifarious properties. In bronchitis the bronchial tubes get blocked due to its inflammation as well as deposition of mucus on its walls narrowing the air passage. Vasaka clears these clogged passages, reduces cough, chest discomfort and breathlessness that is caused by this condition.
Sore throat, throat pain and tonsillitis are common problems faced by many and the frequency for such instances increase during changing seasons. The antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory attributes present in vasaka are the key factors that helps provide relief. Redness, pain and swelling of the soft palate is also taken care of by this herb.
Vasaka leaves have Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs’ properties. These help reduce swellings without causing much side effects which is always a hazard faced while using steroids. Peptic and duodenal ulcers can be treated with this herb. Ayurveda, apart from allopathic science also approves the use of vasaka for ulcers and bleeding disorders.
Vasaka helps reduce acid formation in our stomach. This makes it an amazing cure to dyspepsia, gastritis and acidity. It can be consumed to reduce acidity which can have many harmful effects on our body.
Joint pain is a major lifestyle altering problem that many face. A raised level of uric acid is one of the major reasons for such pain. Vasaka helps by reducing the level of uric acid. It also works well to reduce the pain and tenderness that is caused by gout. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce inflammation of the joints as well.
When the kidney fails to filter the blood properly and get rid of the toxic materials and wastes, it gets accumulated in the blood. Compounds of nitrogen and urea form a large part of these toxic wastes. Vasaka helps by eliminating these harmful materials through urine. Such malfunctioning of the kidney happens mostly due to severe injury to the kidney or its related parts or during renal failure.
Apart from being used for medicinal purposes vasaka is used in manure and fencing. It is an evergreen shrub and is often grown as potted ornamental plants in houses.
The biggest drawback of vasaka is that it is cancerogenic. For this reason vasaka has been declared a banned product by the FDA. Apart from this, as vasaka helps reduce blood sugar levels, it should be consumed judiciously. If taken in excess the person might go into hypoglycaemia.