Aconitum Palmatum

Botanical Name :Aconitum bisma
Family : Ranunculaceae
Common English Name : Crowfoot
Sanskrit Name: Prativisha
Hindi Name : Bakhma
Genus : Aconitum
Habitat: E. Asia – Himalayas in Nepal, Sikkim and south Tibet.   Alpine regions between 3,000 and 5,000 metres. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

Desciption:
It is biennial & Perennial herb with tuberous and paired roots. The mother root is often dry and cylindrical and the daughter root varies from shortly conical to long cylindrical. It’s external surface  is somewhat smooth and light brown.The leaves of the orbicular -cordate to reniform with a very wide shallow sinus. Flowers are greenish blue in few flower panicles. The follicles are 2.5-3.0 cm long. Thew seeds are blakish, obovoid, obscurely winged along the raphe and transversly lamellate. It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

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Roots, biennial, paired, tuberous; conical or cylindrical 4-10 cm long, 0.75-3 cm thick.

Stem erect. Leaves scattered, upto 10, the lowest usually withered at the time of flowering, glabrous, or the upper most finely pubescent on the nerves below; petiole slender 4-10 cm long; blade orbicular-cordate to reniform , 3-lobed. Inflorescence a very loose, leafy panicle or raceme, 10-20 cm long. Sepals bluish or variegated white and blue, uppermost helmet-shaped. Carpels 5, sub contagious in the flower. Follicles sub contagious or some what diverging in the upper part, oblong, obliquely truncate, 2.5-3 cm long and 5-6 mm broad. Seeds blackish, ovoid, about 3 mm long, round in Cross section…

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
Cultivation :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Chemical
Constituents: The root contains five diterpene alkoloids, viz Palmatisine (C34 H33 NO2).
(i) A. heterophyllum—

Atidine , hetisine, heteratisine ,Diterpene alkaloids , heterophylline, heterophylline ,heterophyllidine heterophyllisine, hetidine, atidine & ,Atisenol, a new entatisene diterpenoid lactone from roots.

F-dishydrçatisine, hetidine, hetisinone, heteratisine, hetisine, benzylleteratisine, beta —sitosterol, carotene and 3— isoatisine from rhizomes

Toxicology: One report says that this species has a non-poisonous root, though this should be treated with caution. The following notes are based on the general toxicity of the genus. The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people

Medicinal Actions &  Uses :-
Antiperiodic; Tonic.
The root of this species is said to be non-toxic, though some caution should be applied to this statement. The root is antiperiodic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and diarrhoea.

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aconitum+palmatum

http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/herbfinder/h_aconitum.htm

http://www.indianmedicinalplants.info/d2/index.htm

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