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Aconitum ferox - Vatsanabha

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Vatsanabha, Aconitum ferox

Aconitum ferox is an herb found in the temperate to alpine regions of the Himalaya in the altitude of 3300-5000 m. All parts are highy toxic but has great use in ayurveda.


Respiratory diseases, Cardiac problem, Aphrodisiac, Urinary disorders, Inflammation, Enlarged spleen [1]

Parts Used


Chemical Composition

Air-dried roots contain 1.2% total alkaloids of which pseudoaconitine is 0.4%. Pseudoaconitine is biologically 1.5 times as active as aconitine. [2]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada vasanabhi, vatsanabhi
Hindi bachhnag, bachnak, bis, bish, mahoor, mitha-zahar
Malayalam valsanabhi, vatsanabhi
Tamil cirinkivisam, karunaabhi, karunapi, vashanavi, vatcanapi, visanapi
Telugu ativasa, nabhi, vasanabhi
Marathi bachnag, vachnag
Sanskrit ativisa, garala, kshveda, prativisa, vatsanabha
English Monk's hood, Indian aconite


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent), Kashaya (Astringent)


Laghu (Light), Teekshna (Sharp)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Vata, Pitta, Kapha






Kind Shape Feature
Simple Alternate scattered, distant, excepting the lowest 2 or 3 which are usually delayed at the time of the flowering, up to 7, glabrous, or the uppermost very sparingly hairy; petioles slender, the lower up to 25 cm. long and much dilated at the base, uppermost very short; blade orbicular-cordate to reniform in outline with a rather wide sinus (up to 8 cm. deep) up to 11 cm.



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Bisexual Terminal raceme Bluish purple a loose raceme 10-25 cm. long, often with slender, erect, few-flowered additional branches from the leafy base; rhachis slender, densely yellow-pubescent to sub-tomentose; floral leaves like the preceding leaves, but much reduced, passing upwards into trifid or entire and linear-lanceolate bracts; bracteoles at or below the middle, resembling reduced bracts, very often suppressed; pedicels slender, erect, the lowest at length up to 7 cm. long. Sepals: blue, hairy; uppermost helmet-shaped, helmet semi-orbicular in profile, shortly beaked 20—24 mm. high, 17—20 mm. from tip to base, 7—9 mm. wide; lateral sepals slightly contiguous with the helmet, oblique, orbicular-obovate, broadly clawed, 16 mm. long, 14 mm. broad; lower sepals deflexed, oblong subacute, 10 mm. long.


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Follicles oblong, obliquely subtruncate, 15—20 mm. long, 4-5 mm. broad, dorsally sub-convex, loosely tomentose or at length almost glabrous, conspicuously reticulate. obovoid or obpyramidal, 2.6—3 mm. long, winged along the raphe, transversely lamellate on the faces, lamellae undulate

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used


Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Divisions

How to plant/cultivate


Commonly seen growing in areas

Himalayas, Temperate area

Photo Gallery


External Links