Aconitum ferox (Ranunculaceae)
Aconitum ferox - Vatsanabha
Sanskrit Names: Vatsanabha English Name: Monk's hood, Aconite Hindu Name: Vachhanaga, Bachhanaga, Mithavish, Mithateliya Botanical Name: Aconitum ferox Synonyms: Visa, Amrta Family: Solanaceae
A shrub up to 60 cm in height. Leaves – like the leaves of a water melon, short, stalk with hairy structure. Flower stalk – straight. External flower blue resembling a pea flower. Fruit – thorny. Seeds – black and winged. Root is 9 cm in length and 1.5 to 3 cm wide. Externally brown in colour but inside it is white oily and shiny. Shape is like umbilicus of a calf. No other plant grows near this plant.
Classical Categories (Gana)
- Rasa (taste): Madhura (sweet)
- Guna (quality): Ruksha (dry), Tikshna (sharp), Laghu (light), Vyavayu, Vikasi
- Virya (energy): Ushna (heating)
- Vipaka (post digestive effect): Madhura (sweet)
- Prabhava (Special quality): None
- Dosha Effect: VPK-
- Dhatus (tissues): Rakta
- Srotas (channels): Raktavaha, manovaha
- Aconitine (a toxin), picroeconine, benziol, econine and homonepelin.
- Arshighna - relieves piles
- Balya - strengthening tonic
- Jwaraghna - anti-pyretic
- Kustaghna - skin conditions
- Madakari - intoxicating
- Mutrajanana - diuretic
- Rasayana - rejuvenative
- Swedajana - promotes sweating
- Uttejaka - liver stimulant
- Vedanasthapana - removes pain
- Vikasi - separates ojas from dhatus
- Vyavayi - CNS stimulant + depression
- Yakrituttejaka - liver regulator
- Application reduces pain and inflammation. Applied after rubbing it with oil. When massaging, stimulates the tip of sensory nerve fibres after which it produces tingling and numbness. It is absorbed faster through mucous membranes.
- Circulatory system: Impure vatsanabha has a depressant effect on the heart, whereas purified vatsanabha acts as a cardiostimulant by its vyavayi and vikasi properties. The cardiostimulant property is enhanced if it is purified in cow's milk. Vatsanabha is used to alleviate oedema of any type.
- Digestive system: When it comes into contact with tongue it produces a tingling sensation initially then numbness, nausea and excessive salivation. In therapeutic doses it acts as an appetizer, deepana, pachana and reduces pain, parasthesia of stomach. It reduces gasteric secretions and reduces kapha. It is a hepatostimulant.
- Nervous System: It has a special effect on the brain. As it is vyavayi and vikasi and stimulates the tip of nerve fibres, it acts as a depressant. It acts on motor nervous system also as a vasoconstrictor and above all on the vagus and respiratory system.
- Respiratory system: Kaphaghna. In small dose, stimulates the respiratory system. Useful in pleuritis and pneumonitis.
- Reproductive system: It is shukra stambhaka and useful in amenorrhoea.
- Urinary system: Diuretic and reduces calculi.
- A highly toxic herb
- Parts used: Root
- Dosage: Powder 250 mg.
- Preparations: Mrutyunjay rasa, Hingulrdhesar rasa, Anad bhairav rasa, Panchavaktra, Laxim narayan, Tribhuvan kirti,