Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aconitum ferox Wall.

Family : Ranunculaceae

Synonym(s) : Aconitum vulgare, DC, Aconitum tauricum, Jacq., Aconitum angustifolium, Bernh., Aconitum multifidum Koch., Aconitum dissectum, Don., Aconitum napellus L.

English Name : Indian Aconite

Origin : East Asia, Himalayas


The plant is a hardy perennial, with a fleshy, spindle-shaped root, pale coloured when young, but acquirie a dark brown skin later. The stem is about 3 feet high, with dark green, glossy leaves, deeply divided in palmate manner and flowers in erect clusters of a dark blue colour. The shape of the flower attracts bee. The sepals are purple, one of them being in the form of a hood. The petals are only represented by the two very curious nectaries within the hood, the stamens are numerous and lie depressed in a bunch at the mouth of the flower.


In temperate alpine Himalayas (from Himachal Pradesh to Sikkim).

Parts Used

Leaves, stem, flowering tops and root.

Herb Effects

Initial depressant followed by stimulant effect, antiphlogistic, virulent poison (in high doses), alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, sedative, anodyne, diuretic, diaphoretic.

Active Ingredients

Pseudaconitine (relatively large amounts), aconitine (small amount), bikhaconitine, chasmaconitine, indaconitine, bikhaconine and acetylbikhaconine (root).

Medicinal Use

Rheumatism, neuralgia, leprosy, fever and chest discomfort. In India in the treatment of leprosy, fevers, cholera and rheumatism (Chopra et al., 1986)


Tincture: 1 to 3 drops.
Extract of aconite: 1 to 2 grains.
Fluid extract of aconite: 1/4 to 1 drop.
Specific aconite: 1/20 to 1/2 drop.

  1. Bentley and Trimen, Medicinal Plants.
  2. Chandel et al., Biodiversity in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India.
  3. Chopra RN, Nayar SL and Chopra IC. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New 1986.
  4. Klasek A. Simanek V. Santavy F. Alkaloids from Aconitum plants. I. Isolation of bikhaconitine
  5. Sharma, Classical Uses of Medicinal Plants.

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