Aconitum Heterophyllum

Botanical Name: Aconitum Heterophyllum

Sanskrit Name: Ativisa

Common Name: Indian Atees

Family Name: Ranunculaceae

Description

VERNACULAR NAME:
English: Indian Atees
Bengali: Ataich
Gujarati: Ativakhani Kali
Hindi: Atis
Kannada: Ativisa
Malayalam: Atividayam
Marathi: Ativish
Persian: Vajjeturki
Punjabi: Atis
Tamil: Aitividayam
Telugu: Ativisa
Bhoti: Ais
Canarese: Atibaje
Cutch: Ativista
Kashmiri: Hongisafed
Sanskirit : Aruna, Ardra, Upavisa, Kasaya, Krsna, Ghunavallabha, Candri, Visva, Visama, Sisubhaisajya, Sukakanda, Suklakanda, Sringika, Syamakanda, Svetakanda, Svedavaca, Laksha, Bhangura, Madri, Mrdvi, Mahausadha, Pithavallabha, Rakta, Madhya-Desastha.

SYNONYMS:
Aruna, Ardra, Upavisa, Kasaya, Krsna, Ghuna vallabha, Candri, Pita Vallabha, Prati Visa, Bhangura, Madhya-desastha, Mahausadha, Madri, Mrdvi, Rakta Visva, Visama, Visa, Shishu bhaishajya, Suka kanda, Shukla kanda, Shringee, Syama Kanda, Sveta, Sveta Kanda, Sveta Vaca, Ativisa and Laksa.

Word Meaning Of the Synonyms:

Aruna- A variety having reddish coloured stem
Krsna- Its black variety is called krsna due to its black colour
Ghuna Vallabha- Modified stems are relishing to insects
Prativisa- It is an antidote to many poisons
Bhangura- Roots or stems are brittle
Mahaushadha- It is an important drug in materia medica
Visva- It spreads to every part of the body due to its sukshma guna
Shishubhaishajya- Useful in paediatric diseases
Shukla kanda- Main stems having white colour
Shringee- Modified stems appear like horn
Suka Kanda- Due to the fragile nature the stem is easily breakable
Ativisa- Even though it occurs under visha varga it is non-poisonous
Kashmira- Grows mainly in the region of Kashmir

VARIETIES:
Vagbhata:
Ativisa, Visa

Sodhala: Sukla, Krsna, Aruna

Madanadi
Nighantu: Raktha, Swetha, Krisna, Pita

INDUKARA- In his context describes visa and ativisa as dvaya The herb “Visa” is delineated in sathapatha brhamana, Sayana considered this plant as “Vyapina”

Acharya P.V.SHARMA compared it to a variety of BANAPARANI however SAYANAS version on the synonyms of visa (ie) visakakiindicates that visa and ativisa are one and the same.

CHARAKA-denotes this plants only with the name “ativisa”, he also explains as “prativisa” twice in his text in Charaka Samhitha-Chikitsa Sthana.

SUSRUTHA-also quoted it as ‘ativisa” and “prativisa” term is used in the context of ativisa in Susruta Samhitha-Uttara Sthana.

VAGBHATA-There must be two varieties (ie) “Aitvisa and Prativisa”. It is clear from the fact that Vagbhata mention about Visadvaya in Ashtanga Hridaya-Uttara Sthana.
Vagbhata for the first time quoted the term Ghunesta in Ashtanga Hridaya-Chikitsa Sthana , Ghunapriya in Ashtanga Hridaya-Sutra Sthana to denote ativisa.

GANA:
Charka Samhita: Lekhaniya, Arshoghna, Titktaskandha, Sirovirecana

Susruta Samhita: Pippalyadi, Mustadi, Vacadi

Astanga Sangraha: Lekaniya, Arshoghna, Vacadi, Mustadi, Pippalyadi

Astanga Hridaya: Pippalyadi, Mustadi, Vacadi

Dhanvantari Nighantu: Guducyadi Varga

Sodhala Nighantu: Guducyadi Varga, Anekarthavarga

Kaiyadeva Nighantu: Oushadi Varga

Bhavaprakasha Nighantu: Haritakyadi Varga

Raja Nighantu: Pippalyadi Varga, Upavisa gana

FAMILY DESCRIPTION:
Generally plants of this family are annuals or perennials herbs or rarely shrubs

Leaves : Radical or alternate, rarely opposite

Flowers : Bisexual or unisexual, regular or irregular

Sepals : Five or more, rarely fewer or very rarely persistent, often petoloid, imbricate or rarely valvate.

Petals : Five or more or zero, rarely four or three, hypogynous, imbricate, often minute.

Stamens : Hypogynous usually numerous in many rows

Anthers : Adnate, opening laterally

Carpel’s : Numerous, rarely free

Stigma : Simple

Ovules: Numerous or solitary on ventral suture

Fruits: One seeded beaked or plumose, achenes or many seeded follicles or rarely capsules or berry

DISTRIBUTION:
Ativisa is a native of the Western Himalayas and it is found in Gurhwal, Kumaon and Kashmir. Also is Sub- Alphine and Alphine zone in the temperate zone of about 2500-3900 meters.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION:
An erect, perennial and tuberous herb, glabrous. Stem erect, simple or branched from 15- 19cm. High glabrous below, finely crispo-pubescent in the upper part, lowest 2-4 internodes short.

Leaves: Heteromorphous, glabrous, lowest on long petiole (13cms) blade-orbicular cordate or ovate in outline with usually narrow sinus 1-1.5cm deep, lobes usually five lobed to the middle. Lobes crenate or incisocrenate, crenate, rotundate, apiculate, intermediate leaves shortly petioled or sessile.

Inflorescence: Slender receme or a lax, leafy panicle, crispo pubescent, sepals bluish or violet rarely white, upper sepals almost navicular obiliquely erect shortly or obscurely beaked 18-20mm high, 8-9mm wide, carpels 5 elliptic, oblong.

Follicles: Contagious, linear-oblong, straight 16-18mm long

Seeds: Obpyrandial 3-4mm long blackish brown

Roots: Paired biennials, tuberous, whitish or grey 2.8cm long, and 0.4-1.5 cm thick grey brown outside with scattered pointed minute notches. Starchy white inside 4-9 xylem bundles near the periphery embedded in the secondary phloem tissue.

Flowering and Fruiting: Rainy autumn season onwards, July to September. Fruits have two sections one from previous year and one from the current year.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:

Roots contain non toxic amorphous alkaloids and it is one of the best bitter tonics for children

Alkaloid atisine, Aconitic acid, Tannic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid

Abundant starch, fat, vegetable mucilage, cane sugar, glycerides and Ash

Atisinol, Heterophyllisine, Entatisine dipterpenoid lactone, F-dishydroatisine, Benzylleteratisine, Hetisine, Hetratisine, Hetidine, Atinide, Hestinone, Carotene, Diterpene alkaloid

Four Diterpenes viz., Heterophyllisine, Hetidine, Atidine, Hetisinone, Atisine

PROPERTIES:
Rasa: Katu, Tikta
Guna: Laghu, Ruksha
Virya: Usna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Dipanam, Pacana, Grahi, Sotha Hara, Visaghna, Krimihara, Arshoghna, Jwarahara, Kasa hara
Dosakarma: Tri doshahara

PARTS USED: The tuberous root is medicinally used both alone and in combination

Dosage:
Root powder 1-3gm/day (divided dose)
Solid extract as tonic 65-195mg in terms of 2% alkaloid
Solid extract as anthelminthic 49-65mg in terms of 2% alkaloid
Solid extract as antiperiodic 260-390mg in terms of 2% alkaloid

TOXIC EFFECT:
Over dosage (more than 5-6gm) produces symptoms like dryness of mouth, tremors etc
Drugs which are vata hara in nature may be useful under these conditions

PURIFICATION:
Roots of Ativisa are cut into pieces and tied in a cloth. Then it is soaked in cow’s urine for three days by changing cow’s urine every day. Afterwards the pieces are shade dried.

EXTERNAL USES:
Antidote for poison:

The dasanga agada formulated by KASYAPA cures the poison of all kinds of insects

Ghee prepared with Ativisa and cow’s milk is orally administered or as a nasal drops in case of acute poisoning.

Ativisa is made into paste by grinding with honey and administered orally

INTERNAL USES:
Digestive System: It has appetizing, digestive, astringent, antihaemorrhoidal, and antihelmentic due to its bitter, pungent and ushna properties. Useful in diarrhea and dysentery.

Circulatory System: It is a blood purifier, haemostatic and anti-inflammatory because it alleviates pitta.

Respiratory System: It reduces phlegm and clears airways.

Reproductive System: Purifies milk secretion because of its katu property. Aphrodisiacs due to usna property.

Temperature: Febrifuge, useful as a prophylactic in intermittent fever

Satmikarana: Reduces body weight due to ruksha guna, bitter tonic and antidote for poisons, useful in scorpion bite.

INDICATIONS:
DOSA: Diseases induced by all three dhosas but mainly useful in diseases due to kapha and pitta.

Digestive System: Useful in dyspepsia, indigestion, amadosa, vomiting, fever associated with diarrhea, Haemorrhoids, helminthiasis.

Respiratory System: Useful in cold and cough

Reproductive System: Useful in impotency

Temperature: Effective in fever mainly periodical fever. It should be given in the dose of 2-3gm as prophylactic treatment for malaria and act faster if given along with any fragrant drug

Satmikaran: Useful in post pyrexia debility because it is a bitter tonic. It is an antidote for rat poison.

Specific Uses: No medicine is better than Aconitum heterophyllum for pediatric diseases.

Indicated diseases: Atisara, Jwara, Kasa, Bala roga, Visa roga, Ama dosa, Chardi, Krimi roga, Agnimandya, Raktha pitta, Yakrit roga, Trsna, Pinasa, Arsa, Pittodara.

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