Adhatoda consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Adhatoda Vasica, Nees (N.O. Acanthaceae), a shrub growing in India. The leaves vary from 10 to 15 centimetres in length, and are about 4 centimetres broad; they are opposite, entire, lanceolate, and shortly petiolate, tapering towards both apex and base. When dry they are of a dull brownish-green colour; odour, characteristic; taste, bitter. They possess well-marked histological features, which can easily be seen in fragments of the leaf cleared by chloral hydrate. The stomata are elongated-oval in shape and surrounded by two crescent-shaped cells, the long axes of which are at right angles to the ostiole. The epidermis bears simple one- to three-celled warty hairs, and small glandular hairs with a quadricellular secreting gland. Cystoliths occur beneath the epidermis of the under surface. Both hairs and cystoliths vary in number in different specimens.
Constituents.—The chief constituent of the leaves is a bitter crystalline alkaloid, vasicine, which is said to exist in combination with an acid that has been named adhatodic acid. A second alkaloid has also been reported to be present, as well as an odorous volatile principle.
Action and Uses.—Adhatoda is used in India and the Eastern Colonies. It acts as an irritant to the alimentary canal, large doses causing vomiting and diarrhoea. It is used as an expectorant especially in chronic bronchitis, phthisis, and asthma, the liquid extract, juice, and tincture being employed; more rarely, in asthmatic conditions, the leaves are dried and smoked in the form of cigarettes. The drug is said to be non-poisonous to mammals, but to kill fish, insects, and lower organisms.
- Extractum Adhatodae Liquidum, I.C.A.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF ADHATODA.
- Adhatoda, dried, and in No. 40 powder, 100; alcohol (60 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Liquid extract of adhatoda is official in India and the Eastern Colonies. It is used in pulmonary affections, and as an internal antiseptic in phthisis. Dose.—1 1/2 to 4 mils (20 to 60 minims).
- Succus Adhatodae, I.C.A.—JUICE OF ADHATODA.
- Adhatoda juice is obtained by subjecting the bruised fresh leaves to pressure, the expressed juice being subsequently strained. The fresh juice is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as an expectorant in bronchitis and asthma. Dose.—4 to 15 mils (1 to 4 fluid drachms).
- Syrupus Adhatodae, B.P.C.—SYRUP OF ADHATODA. 1 (liquid extract) in 8.
- May be used in a similar manner, and under the same conditions as the liquid extract. Dose.—12 to 30 mils (3 to 8 fluid drachms).
- Tinctura Adhatodae, I.C.A.—TINCTURE OF ADHATODA.
- Adhatoda, dried and in No. 40 powder, 12.5; alcohol (60 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Tincture of adhatoda is official in India and the Eastern Colonies for use as an expectorant. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.