Adhatoda. Br. Add. 1900. (Fam. Acanthaceae.)—The fresh and dried leaves of Adhatoda Vasica Nees. (Justicia Adhatoda, L.) "The fresh leaves are four or six inches (about ten to fifteen centimeters) long and about an inch and a half (nearly four centimeters) broad, they are opposite lanceolate, entire short petiolate, taper-pointed, smooth on both sides. The dried leaves are of a dull brownish-green color which becomes much lighter when the leaves are powdered. They have a strong characteristic tea-like odor and a bitter taste." Br. Add., 1900.
The leaves are stated to contain an alkaloid, vasicine, and an organic acid, adhatodic acid (see Pharmacog. Indica, vol. iii). Vasicine, isolated by Hooper, is soluble in water, sparingly in benzin and carbon disulphide, readily soluble in ether and chloroform. The claim is made for it that it exerts a powerful toxic influence upon lower forms of vegetable and animal life, and is not poisonous to the higher animals. The leaves are stated to be actively poisonous to frogs and are considerably used in India as an expectorant and antispasmodic, especially in the treatment of asthma. The Br. Add. recognized the liquid extract (Extractum Adhatodae Liquidum, Br. Add., 1900), made with alcohol and given, in doses of from twenty to sixty minims (1.3-3.75 mils); the freshly expressed juice (Succus Adhatodae, Br. Add., 1900), dose, from one to four fluidrachms (3.75-15.0 mils); the tincture (Tinctura Adhatodae, Br. Add., 1900), dose, from one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils).