Bashok or Malabar nut, justicia adhatoda

Bashok or Malabar nut (justicia adhatoda) is a large leafy shrub with glabrous branches, attaining a height of about 2 m. In many places it can grow up to 6 meters. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh, specially in medicine gardens of the country.


Leaves are dark green, smooth, elliptic-lanceolate, 12-13 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, acute at the apex. Shiny leaves are bitter-flavored.


About Bashok, there are two words are recorded in the Ayurvedic scriptures: ‍As long as there are Bashoks in the world, the patients of cough and tuberculosis will not be disappointed.


Flowers are white with purplish shade in inner petals. Calyx is 5-lobed, 75 cm long, oblong-lanceolate. Flowering occurs in the summer. Fruit is a capsule, almost 2 cm long. Seeds are round-shaped.


Propagation of the plant is caused by cuttings. Semi-shady place is good for its growth. It has many names in herbal literature, e.g. Shinghamukhi, Pitaparna, Panchamukhi and Mrigendrani.


Bashok is widely known herbal plant. It leaves are used in cough and cold. It is also effective in bronchial diseases. Dried leaves are used as cigarette to get rid of asthma. Leaf preparation is a deodorant. Gunpowder can be made from its wood-coal.