AYURVEDIC HERBSVATSANABHA: Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, and Dosages

VATSANABHA: Morphology, Therapeutic Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, and Dosages

Aconitum ferox
Family : Ranunculaceae

Habitat / place of origin

Aconitum ferox distributed throughout India and other Asian countries.

Biological classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
  • Division: Tracheophyta
  • Subdivision: Spermatophytina 
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Ranunculales
  • Family: Ranunculaceae 
  • Genus: Aconitum L.
  • Species: Aconitum ferox Wall. ex Ser

Introduction To Vatsanabha

Aconitum ferox forms the principal source of the Indian poison known variously as bikh, bish, and nabee. It contains large quantities of the extremely toxic alkaloid pseudaconitine. It is considered to be the most poisonous plant found in the Himalaya and one of the most poisonous in the world. 


Synonyms of Vatsanabha

Sanskrit  :  Vatsnabh, Vish , Amrit 

Assamese: Mithavish , Bish

Bengali: Kathvisha , Mitha Visha

English:  Monk’s Hood , Aconite

Gujarati: Bachnaag

Hindi: Bachnaag , Mitha Visha , Mitha Teliya 

Kannada: Vatsanabhi

Kashmiri: Vachnaag

Malyalam: Vatsanabhi

Marathi:  Bachnaga

Oriya:  Tahara , Mahura , Mitha Visa

Punjabi:  Mitha Visha , Mithatelia

Tamil :  Vasanaavi, Vastanabhi , Nabhi , Vasanabhi 

Telugu:  Vatsanaabhi , Naabhi

Unani:  Bachnak , Mithalelia , Beesh , Atees

Morphology of Vatsanabha

It is a perennial plant , tuberous rooted and herbaceous shrub of 3 feet height

Leaves : Simple leaves alternate and oval shaped towards the bottom they are larger sized and on the top the leaves are small/shorter

Flower:  Bisexual , terminal raceme , bluish purple colour

Fruit : Follicular type fruit , oblong and oblique and seed are obovoid bipyramidal , 2.6-3mm long

Flowering time: July – November

Fruiting time : July – November

Medicinal Parts of Vatsanabha


Plant variety of Vatsanabha

According to colour there are two types :

  • White: natural type
  • Black: the white type is artificially coloured black

Chemical Composition of Vatsanabha

  • Aconite
  • Pseudo -aconite
  • Bikhaconitine
  • Chasmoaconitine
  • Indaconitine
  • Catecholamine
  • Isoquinolines

Ayurvedic Properties of Vatsanabha

Rasa (Taste) :   Madhur

Guna (Quality) : Ruksha , Tikshna , Laghu , Vayvay , Vikshi ,

Virya (Potency) : Ushna

Vipak (Post Digestive Effect):  Madhur   

Karma (Pharmacological Actions) of Vatsanabha

Dosha Karma: It is Tridosha Shamak .

Sansthanik Karma (General Indications ): Vednasathpan , Shoth Har ,

Nadisansthan (Cns): No Direct On Brain 

Pachnasansthan (Digestive System ): Hrilaas , Lala Shrav , Rochikar , Depan , Pachan , Shool Parshman , Yakrit Uttejak

Raktvahsansthan(Cvs): Hridya Avsadak In Impure Form And In Pure Form It Is Hridya Uttejak , If Purification Process Is Done With Cow Milk Then It Is Increases The BP , Shoth Har

Swasansasthan (Respiratory System ): Kaphghan , Swasan Kendra Uttejak

Mutravahsansthan (Urinary System ): Mutrajanana , Decreases The Sugar In Urine

Prajanansasthan (Reproductive System ): Shukra Stambhan , Aartavjanan

Tavcha (Skin ): Kusthghan , Swedjanana

Tapkarma (Thermoregulations): Jwarnashak

It Is Balaya In Small Quantity And Brihan

Qualities/Effects on Tridosha of Vatsanabha

It decrease the kapha dosha by ruksha , tikshan , laghu . it decrease the pitta dosha by madhur and vata by ushna.

Formulations of Vatsanabha

  • Higuleshvar rasa
  • Shrityunjay rasa
  • Anambra rasa
  • Jawarmurari
  • Panchvastra
  • Saubhagyavati
  • Ramband kaphketu

Therapeutic Uses of Vatsanabha

  • Indicated in Tridosha diseases
  • It is indicated in fever ,
  • Chronic fever
  • Inflammation induces fever
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Asthma
  • Poor digestion
  • Indigestion
  • Respiratory infections
  • Diabetes
  • Splenomegaly
  • Anorexia

Dosage of Vatsanabha

1/8 ratti

How can you consume Vatsanabha?

It is used in different variety of formulations . It is used as oil for massage, as lepa . It is used as tablets , sawras  

Benefits of Vatsanabha

  • Improves the digestion, relives the coldness
  • Improves the strength
  • It is used in anorexia , indigestion ,
  • Useful in snake bite , rodent bite m scorpion bite
  • Relives the back pain , hip pain
  • Useful in sciatica
  • Useful in headache
  • Useful in ear pain
  • Relives the ear swelling
  • Also the eye swellings
  • Useful in conjunctiva
  • Useful in night blindness
  • Used in treatment of paralysis , hemiplegia , neuropathy
  • Useful in rheumatoid arthritis
  • Useful in fever
  • Useful in anaemia
  • In first stage of liver disorder
  • Looses the stool
  • Used in IBS
  • Used in malabsorption syndrome
  • Used in piles fistula
  • Used in COPD and other respiratory diseases
  • Used in cough and cold
  • Used in splenomegaly
  • Improves the immunity
  • Used in chronic fever
  • Improves sperm quality and quantity

Side Effects of Vatsanabha

8 stages of toxic effect of Vatsanabha

  • Stage 1 – twak vikara (skin rashes)
  • Stage 2- vepathu (tremors )
  • Stage 3- daha ( burning sensations all over the body )
  • Stage 4 – vikranta (deformities )
  • Stage 5 – phenodgati  (frothing )
  • Stage 6 – Skandha bhang (drooping and wasting of shoulders )
  • Stage 7 – jadyta (wasting and comatose of all body )
  • Stage 8 – marana (death)

Other effects :-

  • Dilations of pupils
  • Vertigo
  • Blindness
  • Respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Paralysis of upper and lower limbs
  • Nervous damage
  • Comma
  • Death

Safety Precautions of Vatsanabha

  • Used only in small quantity
  • Contraindicated for pregnant and lactating mothers
  • Taken only in pure form and after purifications process



In summer and rainy seasons

natural aggravations of vata and pitta  

In chronic diseases

Requirement of prolonged medication

Pitta dominant people

Potential of pitta aggravating property  


Unpredictability and fast actions


Unpredictable and fast action


May harm the fetus


Poor vital status

Physical examination

Poor vital status

At vitals

Local irritation

Antidote of Vatsanabha

Antidote :

  • one should given ghee along tankan bhasma
  • Combination of ghee +honey + arjuna

Substitutes & Adulterants of Vatsanabha

Substitute : Jadwar (delphinium denudatum )


  • A.chasmanthum
  • A. balfourii
  • A. deniorrhizum
  • A. falconeri
  • A. nepallus

Purification of vatsanabha

  • For the purification roots are cut and tie in a cotton cloth.
  • Tied pieces are dipped in cow urine for three days.
  • After exposure to sunlight the cow’s urine is replace with water.
  • After third day purified root are dried and persevered.

References & Further Reading

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