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.
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.
Ativisha is the ayurvedic name of an herb known as "atis" in Hindi. It is extensively discussed in the ancient ayurvedic texts written by Charaka and Sushruta.
This herb is one of the most effective 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 this plant is Aconitum heterophyllum and it belongs to Ranunculaceae family.
The list of alkaloids found in the plant is:-
Atidine, hetisine, heteratisine, Diterpene alkaloids, 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
- 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, Ativish
- Konkani name - Atibaje
- Sanskrit synonyms - Ativisha, Kashmeera, Shuklakanda, Bhangura, Vishva, Visha, Ghunapriya, Ghunavallabha, Peetavallabha, Shishubhaishajya, Shrungi, Shophahaa, Mahaushadham, Shyamakanda etc.
Ativisha has an anti-toxic effect on the body. It helps to balance all three doshas in the body especially the kapha and pitta.
- Kingdom - Plantae
- Order - Ranunculales
- Family - Ranunculaceae
- Genus - Aconitum
|Hindi / Sanskrit||English|
|Rasa||Katu, Tikta||Taste||Pungent, Bitter|
|Guna||Laghu, Ruksha||Physical Property||Light, Dry|
|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|
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.
- The herb acts as a carminative that 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.
- This herb is also helpful in fever especially viral fever, diarrhea, and 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 herb for general detoxification of the body. It can be taken for clearing out worms that is a common problem in children. The herb can also detoxify the blood and body tissues.
- With a pungent flavor Ativisha is nourishing the body. It helps to 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 an 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.
Root tubers are the most commonly used part of this plant for medicinal purpose.
- For adults: 1-3 gram per day.
- For children: 1 gram per day, in divided doses.