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


Botanical Name: Aconitum chasmanthum Stapf ex Holmes.

Family: Ranunculaceae.

 

 Introduction:

Aconite, common name for certain perennial herbs and for a preparation derived from them that was formerly used in medicine. More than 100 species belong to the aconite genus and are native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Vatsanabhi is known to the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia since very early times. The herb Visa is delineated in Atharvaveda and Brãhmana granthas. The utility of Vatsanãbhi definitely increased after the development of Rasa sãstra.

                    Aconite is a Greek word meaning arrow (Acron). The arrows were coated with this poison and used. Hence the name aconite. it was used as an arrow poison early in Chinese history’. Aconite is one of the oldest known drugs and is of two different kinds viz., poisonous and non-poisonous. Among the poisonous varieties both A. ferox and A. Chasmanthum are used as Vatsanãbhi/Visa in India

 

Names in different Indian languages

 

English

Indian Napellus,

Hindi

 

Kannada

 

Malayalam

 

Sanskrit

 

Tamil

 

Telugu

 

Unani

 

Folk

 

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Visha, Shringika-Visha, Vatsanaabha (related sp.).

 

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata

 

Charaka

 

Susrutha

 

Vagbhata

 

 

          
        

  

 

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

 

 Aconitum carmichaelii

 

 


Morphology

Biennial herb

Stem— erect, simple inclusive of the inflorescence, 60-120 cm high, and crisp pubescent above, glabrous below.

Leaves— numerous, petioles in the lower part of stem upto 7.5 cm long, the upper petioles shortly petioled or sub sessile.

 

Inflorescence— long, narrows, stiff, dense or loose raceme, 30 cm long, often leafy below; rachis stout; pedicles slender.

 

Flowers blue or whitish and variegated with blue, crispo-pubescent or almost glabrous; uppermost helmet- shaped, 15-20 mm high, 12-18 mm long from the tip to base, 5- 7 mm wide, lateral margin conspicuously concave.

Fruits— carpels 5; follicles oblong, truncate 10-16 mm long; seeds brown, ovoid to obpyramidal, 3-5 mm long, unequally winged.

roots paired, tuberous 2.5-3.5 cm, 12-18 mm. thick, bearing more or

less numerous root-fibres leaving behind the indurated bases when breaking off, dark brown to blackish brown, smooth or wrinkled when dry, fracture cartilaginous, hard, white with in the cambium ring.

 


Distribution & Habitat

Sub-alpine and alpine zones of western Himalayas at an altitude of 7000-12000 ft.

 

Chemical constituents:

 The roots of A. chasmanthum (10 times) and A. ferox (2 
times) are richer in alkaloids than those of A. napellus. The alkaloids of A. chasmenthum are less potent (0.7 times) and of A. ferox more potent (1.5 times) than those of A. napellus, A. ferox is specially recommended for wider use on account of its more common occurance, easier identification, and the higher crystallising power of its alkaloid (about 80% being crystallisable).

Indaconitine,A & B; chasmaconitine and chasmanthinine ,chasmanine

 

Properties:

Rasa -             Madhura

 

Guna -             Laghu, RUksa, Tiksna, Vyavãyi, Vikãsi

Virya -             Usna

Vipaka -               Katu

Karma              - Vatakaphahara, Jvarahara, Jangama visahara,

                               Madakãri, Kuhaghna

Sedative, antirheumatic, analgesic, antitussive, antidiarrhoeal.

Prabhãva        – Rasãyana

 

Srotogamitva:

 Dosha ; Kapha, vatavaha

organ : liver, spleen. medya, rasayan.

Mala Urine, sweat, saliva.

 

 Indication:

Diabetes, gout, paralysis, cephalgia, asthma, colic, hypotension

 

Jvara (Sannpãta Javara mainly). Jangama Visa, Kustha, Madhumeha, Svãsa-kãsa, otha, Plihodara, Agnimändya, Vãta rogas etc.

 

(i) 3 months administration - cures all the eight major types of Kustha.

(ii) 6 months administration - improves complexion etc. (cosmetic purpose)

(iii)12 months administration - cures all diseases

 

Part used:

  The tuberous root is medicinally used in various preparations. Both the ancient and modern descriptions indicate that the collection of root is preferred during winter

 

Dosage: 


In Rasa Ratna Samuccaya—

1st day


2-4 days


5-7 days


9th day onwards

 

-0          1Sarapa

-1          
- 2 Sarsapa

-2          
- 3 Sarapa

-3          
1 Sarapa quantity days till it reaches Ratti (120 mg). increased for every a maximum dose of

 

 

 

In Ayurveda Prakãa—

 

 

1st daya            I Sarapa

2-7 days -         I Sarsapa quantity increased per day

8-14 days -      I Sarsapa quantity tappering per day

3rd week -       I Sarapa quantity increase per day

4th week -       I Sarsapa quantity reduced per day

 

 

The maximum dose of Vatsanãbhi may be 8 Yavas only.

Toxic effects and Anti-dotes.

 

 

Susruta , father of surgery clearly documented the toxic effects of Vatsanãbhi viz., Grivasthambha (torticollis) and Pita VitMütra-Netratva (deep yellowish discoloration of stools, urine & conjunctiva)’. Rasa Vagbhata enumerated the eight stages (Asta- vegas) of aconite poisoning and described the symptoms as well.

 

They are—

 

1st stage (Prathama- vega) - Tvak vikãra (skin changes)

2nd stage (Dvitiya- vega) - Vepathu (tremers)

3rd stage (Trtiya- vega) - Dãha (burning allover the body)

4th stage (Caturtha- vega) - Vikrtãvastha

5th stage (Pañcama- vega) - Phenodgama (bubbles from mouth)

6th stage (aama- vega) - Skandha bhanga (drooping of shoulders)

7th stage (Saptama- vega) - Jadatã (comatose)

8th stage (Asama- vega) - Marana (death)

Anti-dotes—

 

 Accidental poisoning or over dosage with aconite may produce the above symptoms. Different anti-dosage been mentioned for the management. It is very specifically mentioned by Rasa Vagbhata that the treatment is possible upto 5-7 Vegas only3. First Vamana (Vomiting) shall be induced followed by Lepa or Kvãtha or Añjana of Viaghna gaa (Ra.Ra.Sa.)4 Cow’s ghee is considered as one of the best anti-dotes for visa.

Marked general fatigueless is experienced in the muscles and oppression in the chest. Death finally occurs due to paralysis of heart or respiratory centers or even both.

 

Fatal Dose— 1-2 gm of root or 4-6 mg of aconitine Fatal Period— 3-6 hours

Treatment—

 

  1. Gastric lavage with warm water and weak solution of potassiun permanganate or with a solution of iodine in potassium iodide or with tannic acid or strong coffee or strong tea to precipitate the alkaloid.

 

  1. Powdered charcoal to diminish solubility.

 

  1. Atropine 0.5-1 mg is useful

 

  1. Strychnine, artificial respiration, application of heat etc. may also be useful.

 

  1. Symptomatic treatment.

 

 

 

Purification (Sodhana)

 

Though there is no reference about the purification of

Vatsanãbhi among the major classics, the tuberous roots of aconite are treated in several ways before oral administration. Probably, Rasa sãstra might have laid emphasis on its Sodhana in the ancient days. It is mentioned that impure form of Via (Vatsanãbhi) may produce Dãlha (burning), Moha (inebrient state), cardiac depressant and death (Maranna) eventually. Therefore purification is essential. There are several methods for purification’.

 

Some of them are—

 

  1. Aconite root is cut into pieces and tied in a cloth. Then it is soaked in cow’s urine for three days by changing cows urine every day .Afterwards the pieces are shade dried. Some people advocate application of mustard oil over the root pieces after purification.

 

 

  1. Purification may be done by means of boiling (Svedana) the aconite roots in cow’s urine for 3-6 hours in Dolã Yañtra.

 

 

  1. Aconite roots may also be boiled in the similar fashion either by using Triphalä Kvãtha (decoction prepared by using three myrobalans) or by using Ajja ksira (goat’s milk). If goat milk is not available then cow’s milk is acceptable.

 

 

  1. Aconite tubers may be kept in the buffalo exereta and boiled for 3 hours.

 

 

  1. Some consider that even boiling aconite in ordinary water for three hours may purify it.

 

External uses Application reduces pain and inflammation. It is applied after rubbing it with oil. On massaging, it stimulates the tip of sensory nerve fibres after which it produces tingling and numbness. It is absorbed faster through mucous membranes.

Internal uses 

Nervous system It has no special effect on the brain. As it is avayi and vikasi and stimulates the tip of the nerve fibres, it ads as a depressant. It acts on motor nervous system also as a vasoconstrictors and above alt on the vagus and respiratory system.

Digestive system When it comes in contact with tongue it produces a tingling sensation initially then numbness, nausea and excessive salivation. In therapeutic doses it acts as an appetizer, deepen, packers and reduces pain, parasthesia of stomach. It reduces gastric secretions and reduces kapha.. It is a hepatostimulant.

 Circulatory system Impure Vatsanabhi has a depressant effect on the. heart whereas purified Vatsanabhi acts as a cardio stimulant by its ‘ayavayi and vikasi properties. This cardio stimulant property is enhanced if it is purified in cows milk. Vatsanabhi is used to alleviate oedema of any type.

 

Respiratory system Kaphaghna. In small dose, it stimulates the respiratory system. ‘t is useful in the pleurisies and pneumonitis

Urinary system Diuretic and reduces urinary calculi.

Reproductive system it is shukra stambhak and is useful to amenorrhoea.

 Satmikaran In very small dose, it is balya and nutritious (madhur rasa and madhur vipak.

 
Skin Kushthaghna, diaphoretic.

 
Temperature In jwara, it is the best medicine. Excretion It is chiefly excreted through the urine, saliva, bile and sweat.

 

 


Important Yogas  or  Formations:

 Ananda Bhairava Rasa; Amrtã Rasãyana; Hingulesvara Rasa;

Aiñdri Rasayana; Jvara murari; Jayã Vati; Kaphaketu Rasa;

Mrityunjaya Rasa; Pañcãmrta Rasa; Pañcavaktra Rasa; Rãmabãna

Rasa; Saubhãgya Vatika; Siratandava Rasa; Tribhuvana Kirti Rasa;

Vãta Vidhvamsani Rasa; Visa Rasãyana; Visa Taila.             

              

 

Therapeutic Uses:

(1) Treatment of inflammatory oedema.

 

 

(2) Vriscika Visa (scorpion poison) — Vatsanãbhi root paste is applied at the site of scorpion sting

 

(3) Sukrameha— Its oral administration controls spermatorrhoea and incontinance of urine

(4) Lepa— The root in the form of lepa (liniment or paste) is spread upon the skin in cases of neuralgia and muscular rheumatism, acute and chronic itching as in erythema; in nasal catarrh, tonsillitis, sore-throat,  acute gout

 

  

 

 

 

 

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

01 September 2013

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