Justicia adhatoda, commonly known in English as Malabar nut, adulsa, adhatoda, vasa, or vasaka, is a medicinal plantnative to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.
The plant's range includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China, as well as Panama where it is thought to have been introduced.
The tree is best known as the source of annatto, a natural orange-red condiment (also called "achiote" or "bijol") obtained from the waxy arils that cover its seeds. The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico; such as cochinita pibil, chicken in achiote and caldo de olla. Annatto and its extracts are also used as an industrial food coloring to add yellow or orange color to many products such as butter, cheese, sausages, cakes, and popcorn.
The species name was given by Linnaeus after the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana, an early explorer of theAmazon River. The name achiote derives from the Nahuatl word for the shrub, ??chiotl [a????t????iot????]. It may also be referred to asaploppas, or by its original Tupi name uruku, urucu or urucum ("red color"), which is also used for the body paint prepared from its seeds.
More effective than pure fresh gel and has no laxative properties.
Rich in polymannose, an antioxidant that promotes healthy immune and gastrointestinal function, response to inflammation and blood sugar and blood lipid levels.
When taken with nutrients, it increases their bioavailability and blood levels dramatically for hours.
Used topically, it is a moisturizer, promotes synthesis of collagen and elastin, speeds healing and increases immune response in the skin.
According to scientists of Banaras Hindu University, it can be used for lowering blood glucose and blood lipid level in diabetic and cardiac patients.