Aconitum palmatum Medicinal uses, Morphology, Images,Side effects, Pharmacology

Botanical Name: Aconitum palmatum D. Don.

Family: Ranunculaceae



 Carak considered this drug as prativisa, but Susruta considers A.palmatum as prativisa. it described under Lekhaniya, Arsoghna Vargas, Tikta skandha, sirovirecana dravyas


Names in different Indian languages

























Shyaamkandaa, Patis


  1. bisma (Buch.-Ham.) Rapaics. 

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata












Varieties & adulterants - (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) 




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.

Distribution & Habitat

commonly found in sub-alpine and alpine zones Himalayas from Indus to Kumaon at 2000-5000 m (6000-16000 ft.).


Chemical constituents:

vakognavine, palmatisine, vakatisine, vakatisinine and vakatidine



Rasa - Katu, Tikta

Guna -Laghu, Ruksha

Virya -Ushna

Vipaka -Katu


Karma - Dipana, Päcana, Grãhi, Tridosahara, sotha hara, Visaghna, Krmihara, Arsoghna, Jvara hara, Kãsa hara

Prabhãva- Visa hara

nonpoisosnous, antiperiodic, antiinflammatory, astringent, antispasmodic, immunostimulant


Toxic effects—

Over dosage (More than 5-6g) produces symptoms like dryness of mouth, tremors etc.


Pretreatment of A. palmatum root in cow’s milk and urine reduced the cardio-toxicity (Singh L.B. et al., 1985).



 Dosha : Tridoshaghna. 
Dhatu : Majja (brain tonic), rakta. shukra. meda: 
Mala : Mutra (diuretic). purisha (laxative). sweda



Atisãra, Jwara, Kãsa, Bãla röga. Visa röga, Ama dosa, Chardi, Krimi roga, Agnimãndya, Rakta pitta, Yakrd roga, Trsnã, Pinasa, Arsa, Pittodara etc

Diarrhea, piles, low immunity, fever

Part used:

  The tuberous root is medicinally used both alone and in combination. Yogaratnakara mentioned that Haritaki may be used as the substitute for Ativisã.



Root powder 1-3g per day (divided doses)

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.









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