Aconitum heterophyllum

Botanical Name : Aconitum heterophyllum
Family: Ranunculaceae
Tribe: Delphinieae
Genus: Aconitum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
Aruna, Ardra, Upavisa, Kasaya Krsna, Ghuna Vallabha, Candri, Pita Vallabha, Prati Visa, Bhangura, Madhya-deastha, Mahausadha, Madri, Mrdvi, Rakta, Visva, Visama, Visa,sisubhaisajya, Suka Kanda, Sukla Kanda, Srngika, Syama Kanda, sveta, Sveta Kanda, sveta vaca

Common Names:
Names in different languages:

Marathi……..Ati Vish
Persian………Vajjcturki
Punjabi……..Atis
Tamil…………Ati Vidayam
Telugu……….Ati Vasa
Bengali……..Ataich
English……….Indian Atees
Gujarati………Ativakhani Kali.
Hindi…………..Atis, Atvika
Kannada………Ati Visha
Malayalam…….Ati Vidayam

Habitat : Aconitum heterophyllum is native to E. Asia – W. Himalayas. Usually found on humus-rich soils in the alpine and subalpine zones, and in forests, 2300 – 2900 metres.
Description:
Aconitum heterophyllum is a perennial plant growing to 1.5 m (5ft). Roots, biennial, paired, tuberous; conical or cylindrical 4-10 cm long, 0.75-3 cm thick.Stem erect.Roots biennial, paired, tuberous; whitish or grey. Stem erect, simple or branched, from 15-20 cm high. glabrous below, finely crispo-pubescent in the upper part.

Leaves heteromorphous, glabrous: lowest on long petioles (13cm); blade orbicular- cordate or ovate-cordate in outline with a usually narrow sinus (1-1.5 cm deep); usually 5- lobed to the middle, amplexicaul.

Inflorescence slender raceme or a lax, leafy panicle, crispo-pubescent; Sepals bluish or violet (rarely whitish); navicular obliquely erect, shortly or obscurely beaked, 18-20 mm high, 8-9 mm wide. Carpels 5, elliptic-oblong. Follicles contagious, linear-oblong, straight, 16-18 mm long.

Seeds pyramidal, 3-4 mm long, blackish brown.

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It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
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. The roots of this plant are extensively collected from the wild for medicinal use and the species is becoming much rarer in many areas of its range. 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

Edible Uses: Leaves and root – cooked. This report should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus, but see the notes  below on known hazards.

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

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

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antiperiodic; Aphrodisiac; Astringent; Cholagogue; Febrifuge; Tonic.

The dried root is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cholagogue, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in India in the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea and coughs. It is also used in Tibetan medicine, where it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used to treat poisoning from scorpion or snake bites, the fevers of contagious diseases and inflammation of the intestines. The root is best harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant dies down and is dried for later use. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

External uses:

The crushed eaves, mixed with saindhav are applied focally. The seeds crushed in honey are applied locally on throat, in tonsillitis. Nasal insufflations of roots is beneficial in headache (especially migraine).

Internal uses:

Respiratory system : The juice of roots along with milk is an expectorant Root powder is given orally in cervical lymphadenitis.

Digestive system : Seed and root are used in ascites. Seeds are laxative.

Urinary system : The seeds are diuretic, the root decoction reduces burning of urinary tract. It increases volume of urine,

Reproductive system : Root is used in sperrnatorrhoea. The decoction of roots is also used in burning of vagina.

Circulatory system : The juice of leaves along with juice of zingier reduce perspiration.

Known Hazards:  The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. One report says that this plant does not contain the toxic alkaloid aconitine, and so is not poisonous. It does, however, still contain an intensely bitter alkaloid.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aconitum+heterophyllum
http://www.indianmedicinalplants.info/d2/Aconitum-heterophyllum(Ativisa%20).html

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