[Year:2019] [Month:October-December] [Volume:4] [Number:4] [Pages:7] [Pages No:168 - 174]
Aim: Vasa (Justicia adhatoda L.) is a well-known plant for its medicinal properties, e.g., ailments of asthma, bronchitis, cough, dyspnea, external bleeding, etc. Different preparations of vasa are described in the Ayurvedic texts to pacify these disorders. In Ayurveda, the season of collection of its useful parts, i.e., leaves are not mentioned anywhere in the ancient texts. Since some research claim higher concentration of its active metabolite in winter and rainy season, therefore, it has been planned to evaluate the suitable time of collection of plant parts. Materials and methods: The leaves of vasa (Justicia adhatoda L.) were collected from the same habitat in all six seasons described in Ayurveda, i.e., shishir (Jan to Feb), vasant (Mar to Apr), grishm (May to June), varsha (Jul to Aug), sharad (Sept to Oct), and hemant (Nov to Dec). The source of the collected plant materials was authenticated at Regional Ayurveda Research Institute, RARI Jhansi, India, through the herbarium (accession no. 23595). Identification, comparative macroscopic, and microscopic along with powder microscopy of the leaves of the plant in each season were carried out besides extraction of various solvents such as alcohol, hydroalcohol, and methanol though Soxhlet and its comparative quantitative analysis for the extracted material in all six seasons through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the different seasons. Results: Pharmacognostical characteristics remain the same in all seasons, while the selected marker compound vasicine varied in quantity in each season. Extractive value was found maximum, i.e., 1.3456 g in vasant ritu sample and also evident in the quantitative HPLC estimation for the abundant vasicine in vasant ritu sample, i.e., 0.7330 to 1.0744 which is the clear indication for the best time to collect leaves in vasant ritu. Conclusion: In vasant ritu, vasa (Justicia adhatoda L.) is in flowering stage, and at this stage the abundance of the secondary metabolites and the extractive values clearly indicate to conclude that the suitable procurement time of collection of vasa leaves (Justicia adhatoda L.) is vasant ritu (Mar to Apr).