Health Benefits of Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum – Indian Atis Root)

Health Benefits of Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum – Indian Atis Root)

Atis -aka- Ativisha (in Ayurveda), Atees (in Hindi), Indian Atis Root (in English) or Aconitum Heterophyllum botanically, is a herb plant that grows tall about 2000 feet above sea level and found in the Himalayan regions and colder parts of India, for example, Kashmir and identified as a characteristic species of Nepal, Sikkim, and Chumbi areas.

Atis contains carminative activities so that the herb can help indigestion and constipation problems. The antibacterial property of the plant is also helpful in treating diarrhea by preventing pathogenic microorganisms.

Atis roots can also be useful in healthy weight loss because the herb can reduce the triglycerides levels and increase the HDL-cholesterol levels. Apart from this, the plant also has antipyretic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, and antitussive properties.

According to Ayurveda, the herb can handle the symptoms of diabetes as it has Tikta (bitter) taste and Kapha balancing activities. Ativisha is one of the common herbs used in ayurvedic pediatric medicine also.

Ground Atis roots can be eaten with honey to relieve the cough and cold as the plant is Ushna (hot) in nature and prohibits the accumulated mucus.

Due to the same reason, the plant roots have been used as the best fever managing natural medicine in children and newborns.

Atis seeds with honey can be used for topical applications to provide instant relief from tonsillitis and throat infections. The Atis roots are recommended for reducing the migraines also.

General Plant Information of Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum)

Ativisha is an Ayurveda herb commonly known as Indian Atis Root. The herb has been widely used to treat digestion problems and fever conditions in children. The botanical name of the plant is Aconitum Heterophyllum that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family.

The aerial parts of the plant are annual, and the roots are biennial. The stem is erect and clasping that grows up to 15 – 20 cm. There are no branches or rarely one or two. The leaves of the plant are sessile, glabrous, and different in shape and size.

FLOWERING & FRUITING August to October (in the 3rd year of growth)
PARTS USED Dried tuberous roots
PLANT TYPE Herb
DURATION Biennial
DISTRIBUTION Himalayan regions ( 3000 m to 4200 m or below 2200 m altitude)
HABITAT Sub-alphine, Alphine climates
PROPAGATION Seeds, Young Leafy Stems or Tuber Segments

Plant Parts Used

Ativisha root and tubers are the most widely used part for medicinal use as they contain active constituents.

Roots

The plant roots are tuberous and paired. The shape of the roots is conical or cylindrical, about 2 – 7.5 cm long (maximum) and 0.4 – 1.6 cm thick (maximum). When the plant starts tapering to end, the thickness is gradually reduced. The color of the roots is yellowish and greyish white externally. The scars of fallen rootlets and with a rosette of rudimentary leaves form a wrinkle marks in the external surface.

The roots are starchy and white with a surface pointed to the center with 4 – 7 yellowish to brown dots arranged concentrically, towards the end of fibrovascular bundles. It is odorless, bitter and has no tingling sensation.

The plant has four different classifications such as White, Black, Red, and Yellow. The white variety is considered the best that grows faster and higher.

Flowers

The flowers of Atis are hooded, large, and in white to violet color. They are present in lax leafy panicles or slender racemes. It has hairy corolla and five carpels with 10 to 18 follicles.

Synonyms of Ativisha

Aconitum Heterophyllum, Indian Atees, Atibage, Ativish, Ati Vasa, Aruna, Ghunapriya, Visa, Aatich, Ataicha, Atis Root, Ativishni Kali, Ativikhani Kali, Ativisha, Athihage, Atividayam, Ativisha, Atushi, Atisa, Atees, Ativasa, Kashmeera, Shuklakanda, Bhangura, Vishva.

Ayurveda Names: Ativisha, Aruna, Shuklakanda, Bhangura, Ghunavallabha, Ghunapriya, Kaashmira, Vira, Visha, and Shishubhaishajya.

Sanskrit Names: Ativisha, Bhangura, Ghunapriya,Ghunavallabha, Kashmeera, Mahaushadham, Peetavallabha, Shishubhaishajya, Shuklakanda, Shphahaa, Shrungi, Shyamakanda, Vishva, and Visha.

Scientific Classification

All the plants in the world are classified as seven main levels scientifically. They are the Kingdom, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

A genus contains many species that are related and have similarities. The botanical name of the plant is formed Genus (in uppercase), followed by Species (in lowercase).

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Species is the bottom level that shows the group of the plant.

KINGDOM Plantae (Includes All extinct or living plants)
SUB KINGDOM Tracheobionta (Contain lignified tissues or xylen for holding minerals and water)
SUPER DIVISION Spermatophyta (Produce seeds)
DIVISION Magnoliophyta (Flowering plant)
CLASS Magnoliopsida (Flowering plants produce an embryo and paired cotyledons)
SUBCLASS Magnoliidae
ORDER Ranunculales
FAMILY Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
GENUS Aconitum
SPECIES Aconitum Heterophyllum

Common Names of Ativisha (Indian Atis Root)

  • Botanical Name: Aconitum Heterophyllum
  • English Name: Indian Atees
  • Unani Name: Atees
  • Siddha Name: Athividayam
  • Tamil Name: அதிவிடயம்/Athividayam
  • Malayalam Name: അതിവിടയം/Ativitayam, ஆட்திரணம்/Atthiranam
  • Telugu Name: అతివస్స/Ativasa
  • Kannada Name: ಅತಿವಿಷ/Ativisha, ಅಥಿಹಾಗೆ/Athihage
  • Hindi Name: अतीस/Atees, Atis
  • Marathi Name: आटविष/Ativish
  • Punjabi Name: ਤਿਸ/Atis
  • Gujarati Name: અતીવીષની કાલી /Ativishni Kali
  • Bengali Name: আতাইচা/Ataicha
  • Assamese Name: Aatich
  • Oriya Name: ଅଟୁଶି/Atushi
  • Persian Name: واججتورکی/Vajjeturki
  • Tibbi Name: Atees
  • Konkani Name: Atibaje
  • Urdu Name: اتیس/Atees

Medicinal Properties of Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum)

  • Antipyretic
  • Antiperiodic
  • Antidote
  • Digestive
  • Stomachic
  • Antiemetic
  • Amapachak – detoxifier
  • Anthelmintic
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Blood purifier
  • Antimalarial
  • Anti-dysenteric
  • Breastmilk detoxifier
  • Anti-obesity
  • Antitussive
  • Styptic
  • Anti-hemorrhoidal
  • Absorbent
  • Carminative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antihyperlipidemic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antihyperglycemic
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Hemostatic
  • Hepatoprotective

15 Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum)

Ativisha is a multipurpose herb that helps to reduce fever and prevent infections. It benefits the respiratory and digestive health. It improves appetite, metabolism, and can digest food. It can reduce fat accumulation, inflammation, and Aam toxins from the body. Ativisha tubers or roots are used in the treatments related to blood, stomach, skin, lungs and airways, intestines, and liver.

Various diseases like IBS, Piles, and Hemorrhoids can also be treated with Ativisha. The herb is the natural detoxifier that removes the toxins from blood and body tissues. Ativisha can also improve breast milk consistency.

1. Treats Ingestion

The decoctions of Atis, dry ginger, Cyperus Rotundus, and Tinospora cordifolium can be eaten together to digest all the undigested food you had, and it gives you better relief.

In Ayurveda, ingestion is called Agnimandya that causes when the pitta doshas are imbalanced. Sometimes the food we consumed would not digest because of low digestive fire (Mand Agni in Ayurveda) that develops the Ama formations, which means the toxic and it leads to ingestion.

Atis or Ativisha helps to digest the Ama (toxins) with its Pachana (digestion) and Deepana (appetizer) properties.

2. Prevents Vomiting

According to Ayurveda, vomiting occurs when the three doshas are imbalanced, especially Pitta and Kapha. The imbalance is caused by improper eating habits and eating excessive foods such as Amla (sour), Ati-Sheeta (cold diet), Apakwa Ahaara (raw or uncooked food), Guru (heavy diet), Kashaya (pungent), Teekshna (sharp), and Vidahi (causing burning sensation).

These habits lead to Ama (toxic due to improper digestion) formation in the body and cause indigestion. As Atis has digestive properties, it helps digest the foods that created Ama and caused Vomiting and give you complete relief from the conditions. The balancing properties of Atis such as Deepana (appetizer), Pachana (digestion), and Tridoshas called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the reasons for this effect.

3. Treats Diarrhea

Ativisha is an antidiarrheal and absorbent that helps reduce the liquid content in the stool and binds it. Also, it lowers the frequency of loose stools. For these activities, the herb is widely used with Sonth (dried ginger) and Nagarmotha powders.

In Ayurveda, diarrhea is called Atisara, which is a condition where the affected person experiences watery stools more than three times a day. The imbalance of Vata dosha affects digestive fire functions and causes Agnimandya (indigestion).

The improper eating habits, impure water, and toxins due to improper food are other reasons for diarrhea. With the Vata balancing, appetizer, digestive activities, this helps to treat diarrhea and manage the weak digestive fire.

4. Treats Piles

Because of the sedentary lifestyle we are living today, Piles become the most common issue developed due to chronic constipation. When Vata dosha becomes imbalanced in the body, constipation is created.

The damages Vata causes weak digestive fire and leads to decisive constipation; thus, you feel extreme pain and swelling around the anal region. It should be treated on time. These conditions lead to Pile mass formation when ignored or untreated. Atis helps manage constipation, thus preventing piles formation.

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5. Reduces Arthritis Pain

In rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, because of imbalance Vata dosha, the patients feel the pain, which is called Arthritic pain.

The topical application of Atis on affected areas helps reduce the pain with its Vata balancing activity.

6. Reduces Nervous Pain

It is a condition that occurs when there is a disturbance felt in the nerves like obstructed blood flow as a result of the Vata dosha imbalance.

The topical application of atis reduces pain by balancing the Vata dosha.

7. Fever Management

Atis, with its antipyretic property, has been used to treat and prevent fever. Ativisha is the most common ayurvedic medicine used to reduce fever in children and infants. The herb acts as diaphoretic and stimulates perspiration that helps reduce the fever.

Pulverized Atis (6 Ratis) can be consumed three to four times a day with a minimum of two to three hours to treat fever.

8. Treats Common Cold & Flu

Ativisha powder mixed with honey and basil leaf juice is given to treat common cold and flu. It is the best medicine for treating infections of the upper respiratory tract and cold in children.

The mixture also provides relief from running nose, fever, nasal blockage, nasal irritation, and sneezing, and it prevents secondary infections too.

9. Heals Constipation

Powder of Ativisha root (Aconitum heterophyllum), Haritaki (fruit rind of chebulic myrobalan), Vach (rhizome of the sweet flag), Chitrak (leadwort root/Plumbago zeylanica), Pippli fruit (Piper longum), Yavakshara (salt of sodium & potassium), and costus rhizome (Saussurea lappa) are mixed and consumed with warm water two times a day at 3 to 6 grams as dose.

10. Prevents Cough & Bronchitis

Ativisha powder mixed with Pistacia Integerrima and honey can be given to treat cough and bronchitis. The mixture clears the lungs, prevents inflammation, and regulates the mucus secretions.

11. Treats Malabsorption

Ativisha contains metabolism-enhancing properties, digestive, and stomachic actions that improve metabolism and digestion.

According to Ayurveda, Malabsorption is related to Ama (toxins). Ativisha has digestive properties that help digest and assimilate the foods that help give proper treatment for malabsorption syndrome. Ativisha with Cumin seeds powder (Jeera powder or Trikatu Churnam) must be taken for this treatment.

12. Treats Mumps & Parotitis

The decoction extracted from an equal amount of roots of Ativisha, Aswagandha, Musli, Guduchi (stem), and Atibala can be taken a day thrice as a dose of 14 – 28 ml for parotitis and mumps.

13. Treats Diabetes and Leucorrhoea

The half teaspoon of dried (in the shade) and powdered mixture of roots of Ativisha, leaves of Ajuga parviflora, and roots of Podophyllum hexandrum is given two times a day in early morning and night after food for three months as a carminative and to treat diabetes and leucorrhoea.

14. Treats Chronic Fever

The 5 to 10 ml of aqueous root extract of Ativisha can be taken twice a day in the early morning with an empty stomach and at night after food. It should be continued for 1 to 4 weeks in chronic fever and diarrhea. It can be given to treat cold also.

15. Cures Loose Motions with Mucus

An equal part mixture of Ativisha, Triphala, and Cyperus scariosus can be taken two times daily at a dose of 3 grams to treat loose motions.

Finely powdered 50 grams of Ativisha, Cyperus scariosus, Pippali, and Pistacia lentiscus gall can be taken 1 gram a day with honey to get rid of cold, cough, vomiting, gastroenteritis, and loose motion.

Chemical Constituents of Ativisha (Indian Atis Root)

  • Atidine
  • Atisenol
  • Atsine
  • Banzolheteratisine
  • Diterpene Alkaloids
  • F-Dihydroatisine
  • Heteratisine
  • Heterophyllidine
  • Heterophylline
  • Heterophyllisine
  • Hetidine
  • Hetisinone
  • Histisine

Ayurvedic Properties of Ativisha (Indian Atis Root)

SANSKRIT ENGLISH
RASA Tikta, Katu TASTE Bitter, Pungent
GUNA Laghu, Ruksha PHYSICAL QUALITY Light, Dry
VIRYA Ushna POTENCY Hot
VIPAKA Katu METABOLIC PROPERTY Pungent
DOSHA KARMA Tridoshas (Kapha Dosha) EFFECT ON HUMORS Balance Tridoshas
PRABHAVA Vishahara EXCLUSIVE ACTION Anti-toxic

Therapeutic Indications

  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Bronchitis & Cough
  • Common Cold & Rhinitis
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Fever & Infections
  • Glycosuria
  • Indigestion
  • Intermittent Fever
  • Intestinal Worms
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Malaria
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Piles
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Ayurvedic Actions of Ativisha (Indian Atis Root)

QUALITIES (GUNA) ACTIONS (KARMA)
AMA NASHAK Toxin Digester
ATISARGHNA Controls Diarrhea
DEEPANA Promotes Appetite
GRAHI Digestive, Inspissant, Dry the body fluids
JWARAHARA Reduces Burning Sensation
KASAHARA Treats Cough
KRIMIGHNA Destroys Worms
PACHANA Digest Ama Toxins
RAKTADOSHAHAR Purifies Blood
VISHAHARA Poison Destroyer

Ayurvedic Usage with Different Herbs

  • Pediatric Disorders: Ativisha, Karkatasrngi, and Long pepper.
  • Atisara: Powder of Ativisha, Bhanga, and Vacha (Acorus Calamus).
  • Fever With Diarrhea: Ativisha, Giloy, Ginger, Kutaja, and Musta as a decoction.
  • Dysuria: Ativisha, Amla Dravyas, Goksura, Kantakari, and Sunti as Peya with Phanita.
  • Visha Roga: Ghee prepared from cow milk and ativisha as nasal drops for acute poisoning.
  • Rat Bite: Grind Ativisha roots with honey. The paste is given orally.
  • Colic Pain: One part of Ativisha and three parts of Ankota with rice water.
  • Colitis: Ativisha, Guduchi, and Sunti.
  • Intestinal Worm Infestation: Ativisha and Vidanga.

How to use Ativisha (Indian Atis Root)

1. As Powder

Usage i:

  • Take one teaspoon of Ativisha powder and add honey to it.
  • Have it in the morning to get rid of indigestion.

Usage ii:

  • Take half to one teaspoon of Ativisha powder.
  • Add rose water to it and apply it on the affected area. Leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Wash it thoroughly with water.
  • Continue this for 2 to 3 times a week to treat ulcers and boils.

2. As Extract

  • Take 1 to 2 pinches of Ativisha extract and add honey to it.
  • Give it in the morning to children in fever, bloating, and loose motion.

3. As Kwatha

  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of Ativisha kwatha.
  • Add an equal amount of water and honey to it.
  • Drink two times a day after food to get relief from indigestion.

4. As Oil

  • Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of Ativisha oil.
  • Add sesame oil to it and apply gently to the affected area.
  • Continue this for 2 to 3 times a week for joint pain and inflammation.

Dosage of Ativisha (Aconitum Heterophyllum)

NEWBORNS (UNDER 28 DAYS) 100 to 125 mg
INFANTS (1 – 6 MONTHS) 125 to 200 mg
INFANTS (6 – 12 MONTHS) 200 to 300 mg
TODDLER (1 – 3 YEARS) 300 to 400 mg
PRESCHOOLER (3 – 5 YEARS) 400 to 600 mg
GRADE-SCHOOLER (5 – 12 YRS) 600 to 750 mg
TEENAGER (13 -19 YEARS) 750 to 1000 mg
ADULTS (19 TO 60 YEARS) 1000 to 2000 mg
GERIATRIC (ABOVE 60 YEARS) 500 to 1000 mg
PREGNANCY 250 to 500 mg
LACTATION 250 to 500 mg
MAXIMUM DOSAGE 6 g/day (in divided doses)
CONSUMPTION Two times a day with honey after food

Precaution and Side Effects of Ativisha

Aconitum, Aconitum heterophyllum (Ativisha) is the only non-toxic plant that has therapeutic and ayurvedic benefits.

The chemical constituents of Aconitum heterphyllum are ascribed with non-toxic properties, i.e., aconites, adding atisine comprise major alkaloid contents.

The hypotensive effect of atisine was evaluated and found in every test dose, but the whole plant boasts the hypertensive property. Ativisha does not have toxic aconitine alkaloids, and so it is safe for infants.

If ativisha purified and taken in the right dose advised by professionals, there is no worry about side effects. Overdose that is more than 2 grams in a single take causes constipation. The herb is naturally dry, so when you consume it in an improper dose, it causes dryness in the body and xerostomia.

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