Botanical Name: Aconitum chasmanthum
Family Name: Ranunculaceae
Genus : Aconitum
Local Name: Beshmolo
Urdu Name: Mori
English name: Aconite
Part used: Roots
Habitat: E. Asia – Western Himalayas from Chitral to Kashmir at 2100 – 3500 metres. Mountains at elevations around 4600 metres. In Gilgit/ Baltistan this herb usually grow wild. It occurs in Rattu Cant, Kalapani, Kamri, Ghuraz, Tarshing, Rupal and almost in all Nullahs of Astore. It is also found in Kargh Nullah, Nalter, and Chaprote Nagar.
Description:Perennial growing to 0.5m.
It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
Stem 30 to 80 cm tall leafy. The upper leaves only slightly smaller than the lower ones. Inflorescence racemes up to 30 cm long. Sepals blue or white with blue veins, rarely pale purple, crisp pubescent to glabrous, lateral ones sub orbicular to nearly square, not contiguous with helmet. Claw of petals 5 to 7 mm. Filaments often almost glabrous, winged. Wings not ending in tiny teeth.
Caudex carrot-shaped, ca. 7 cm, ca. 8 mm in diam. Stem ca. 50 cm, glabrous. Leaf petiole 3–5.5 cm, glabrous; leaf blade pentagonal-orbicular, 4.2–4.8 × 4–5.6 cm, both surfaces glabrous or nearly so; central segment rhombic, base narrowly cuneate, 3-parted nearly to base; lobes ± dissected; lateral segments obliquely flabellate, unequally 2-parted. Inflorescence ca. 15 cm, densely ca. 25-flowered; rachis and pedicels spreading pubescent; proximal bracts leaflike, distal ones linear. Proximal pedicels 4–7 mm, distally with 2 bracteoles; bracteoles linear, ca. 3 mm. Sepals blue-violet, abaxially sparsely pubescent; lower sepals oblong; lateral sepals broadly obovate or orbicular-obovate, ca. 1.3 cm; upper sepal navicular-falcate or navicular, ca. 5 mm wide, narrowly beaked, ca. 1.8 cm from base to beak, lower margin slightly concave. Petals ca. 1.5 cm; claw rarely pubescent; limb glabrous, ca. 5 mm; lip ca. 2.5 mm; spur ca. 0.7 mm, semiglobose. Stamens glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent; filaments entire. Carpels 5, sparsely pubescent.
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.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. 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. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. Grows well in open woodlands. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.
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
The dried root is analgesic, anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative. The root is a rich source of active alkaloids, containing around 3%. It is best harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Antirheumatic, useful in heart diseases, neurasthenic and fever, diaphoretic, diuretic, anodyne, anti diabetic.
Locally , the dried pulverized roots are mixed butter and given as ointment on abscess and boils also mixed with tobacco and uses as “Naswar”.
Known Hazards : The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.
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.