This compound is an alkaloid, which has a qunazoline skeleton, and is contained in Justicia adhatoda.   It has also been isolated from the seed of Peganum harmala L. belonging to Zygophyllaceae, and therefore has the other name peganine.

        CAS number        : 6159-55-3
        molecular formula: C11H12N2O
        molecular weight : 188.23

Vasicinone and deoxyvasicinone have also been isolated from P. harmala.
vasicinone deoxyvasicinone
vasicinone       deoxyvasicinone
The seed of P. harmala was used as an herbal medicine for cough or paralysis in the past, but it contains harmala alkaloids such as harmaline and harmalol, which are monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and are hallucinogenic so it is not used now.   P. harmala was one of the first illegal plants because of its action.
harmine harmaline
harmine                 harmaline
In 1963, Keck focused on vasicine, an active ingredient of Adhatoda vasica, which is an effective bronchodilator.   And he synthesized bromhexine hydrochloride, which is a derivative of vasicine.   He opened the way to expectorants without an emetic action.
bromhexine hydrochloride
In 1966, Boehringer Ingelheim launched it as an expectorant having the effect of reducing mucus viscosity and it is still widely used.   Bromhexine hydrochloride increases secretion in the bronchial tract area and decomposes acid glycoprotein which is closely related to the viscosity of sputum and reduces its molecular weight which results in the action of breaking down substances containing mucus.
Recently the effect of bromhexine hydrochloride for chronic pancreatitis is being studied.   The focus is on chronic pancreatitis and its relationship to the disorder of excretion of pancreatic juices.   The disorder of excretion is developed by an increase of the concentration of glycoprotein in the pancreatic juices and its viscosity.