Atis, Ativisha, Aconitum Heterophyllum

Ativisha grows in colder parts of India. It is abundant in the alpine regions growing up to a height of 2000 feet above sea level. The roots of the plant are the source of most of the alkaloids obtained from the plant such as aconitine, atisine, heterophyllin, heterophyllisin etc.

The roots of the plant are paired and tuberous. They may be white or grey in color. Stem is simple or branched, growing up to a height of about 15 to 20 cm. Leaves are heteromorophous and glabrous. The flowers usually occur as inflorescence which may be white or violet in color. Seeds may be pyramidal, blackish or brownish in color.

General Information

Ativisha is the ayurvedic name of a herb known as atis in Hindi. It is extensively discussed in the ancient ayurvedic texts written by Charaka and Sushruta.

It is one of the most befitting herb for digestive problems in children. It has a carminative action and is superb for the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Ativisha means one that is toxic but in spite of the toxic properties, Ativisha is considered as one of the best medicinal herbs in Ayurveda.

The latin name of the plant is Aconitum heterophyllum and it belongs to Aconitaceae family.

The list of alkaloids found in the plant is:-

Atidine, hetisine, heteratisine, Diterpene alkaloids, heterophylline, heterophylline, heterophyllidine heterophyllisine, hetidine, atidine & Atisenol, and a new entatisene diterpenoid lactone from roots.

F-dishydrçatisine, hetidine, hetisinone, heteratisine, hetisine, benzylleteratisine, beta —sitosterol, carotene and 3— isoatisine from the rhizomes

NAMES

  • English name – Indian Atees
  • Bengali name – Ataich
  • Kannada name – Ativisha, Atibage
  • Tamil and Malayalam name – Atividayam, Athividayam, Atividyam, Ativisam
  • Marathi name – Ativish
  • Persian name – Vajjeturki
  • Punjabi name – Atis
  • Telugu name – Ati Vasa
  • Hindi name – Atis, Atees
  • Gujarati name – Ativakhani Kali, Ativis
  • Konkani name – Atibaje
  • Sanskrit synonyms - Ativisha, Kashmeera, Shuklakanda, Bhangura, Vishva, Visha, Ghunapriya, Ghunavallabha, Peetavallabha, Shishubhaishajya, Shrungi, shophahaa, Mahaushadham, Shyamakanda etc.

SPECIAL ACTIVITY

Ativisha has an anti toxic effect on the body. It helps balance all three doshas in the body especially the kapha and pitta.

CLASSIFICATION

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Order – Ranunculales
  • Family – Ranunculaceae
  • Genus - Aconitum

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi  / Sanskrit English
Rasa Katu, Tikta Taste Pungent, Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent
Prabhava Vishahara Exclusive Action Anti - Toxic

Effects on Doshas

It balances all three doshas in the body. Mainly Kapha and Pitta doshas in the body.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita Ashtanga Sangraha Ashtanga Hrdya
Lekhaniya - Helps scrap off excess fat and medo dhatu in the body, clearing out blockages in all body spaces (srotas).
Arsöghna - Helps fight piles and hemorrhoids.
Tikta skandha - Grouped under bitter group of herbs as per Charaka.
Sirovirecana - Helps bring out doshas above the neck region. Pippalyadi, Mustadi, Vacadi Lekhaniya, Arsöghna, Pippalyadi, Mustadi, Vacadi

Ancient Verses about Atis

अतिविषा दीपनीय पाचनीय संग्राहक सर्वदोषहराणाम् ॥ चरक संहित सूत्रस्थान २५

As per Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana chapter - 25, Ativisha or Atis is the best herb for digestion, carminative action, absorbing and Tridosha balancing properties.

Other texts like "Kaidev Nighantu", "Bhavprakash" and "Yogratnakar" have Tridosha balancing properties.

PRACTICAL USES OF ATIS

Ativisha is a multipurpose herbal solution to all digestive problems such as dissolving and digesting undigested food which turns in to "Ama" in the body leading to many dreadful diseases.

Ativisha is also good as a carminative; it helps in diarrhea by absorbing excess water from the body.

It is also useful in cough and common cold. Vomiting is also an issue with people when it comes to digestive problems and Atis can also help in that.

It is also helpful in fever especially viral fevers, diarrhea, dysentery etc. It has been used as an ancient folklore medicine for this reason.

IBS, Piles, Haemorrhoids are also relieved with the use of Atis preparations.

Atis is a very good her for general detoxification of the body. It can be taken for clearing out worms as well which is a common problem in children. It can also help detoxify the blood and body tissues.

With a pungent flavor Ativisha is nourishing for the body. It helps improve consistency of the breast milk also.

Atis has aphrodisiac properties which make it very effective for the management of sexual health in both males and females.

Ativisha literally means one having excessive poison still we use it as a herbal medicine. The reason being, there are many herbs which are normally toxic in nature but if used in the right dosage they can show great medicinal effects on the body. This is why Ativisha is used to fight obesity, rat poisoning and any other kind of foreign invasion in the body in the form of viruses, bacteria or other similar microorganisms.

A WORD OF CAUTION

Atis can induce severe vomiting, tremors and dryness of mouth if overused. It is best to avoid its use during pregnancy and lactation.

PARTS USED

Root tubers are the most commonly used part of this plant for medicinal purpose.

DOSAGE

For adults : 1 – 3 grams per day.

For children : 1 gram per day, in divided doses.

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