Aconitum ferox (Ranunculaceae)[edit]

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.

Principle Constituents[edit]

Classical Categories (Gana)[edit]

Caraka Ganas:
Susruta Ganas:


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

Chemical Constituents[edit]

Aconitine (a toxin), picroeconine, benziol, econine and homonepelin.

Ayurveda Actions[edit]

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Aconitum ferox


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

Important Actions[edit]



External use[edit]

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.

Internal use[edit]

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[edit]

Parts used: Root
Dosage: Powder 250 mg.

Important Combinations[edit]

Preparations: Mrutyunjay rasa, Hingulrdhesar rasa, Anad bhairav rasa, Panchavaktra, Laxim narayan, Tribhuvan kirti,