Aconitum ferox Wall. ex Ser.

Aconitum ferox (Bikh in Nepali) also known as blue aconite is found in Nepal, northern India, and other parts of the Himalayas. It generally grows at altitudes of 4500 meters. Propagation is through seeds, which can simply be strewn about. Aconitum ferox prefers a stony or rocky soil, and thrives in the crevices between stones. Aconitum ferox is known as Himalayan monkshood from the Ranunculaceae family. It is considered the most poisonous plant in the world. Monkshood root paste is applied in joint pain. It contains large quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine. The symptoms of poisoning are usually seen within 45 minutes to an hour with numbness of the mouth and throat and vomiting after an hour that the sufficient dose was ingested. Respiration slows and blood pressure synchronously falls to within 30-40 beats per minute and the conscious mindedness stays until the end which is usually death by asphyxiation. This takes place before the arrest of the heart.

Binomial name: Aconitum ferox Wall. ex Ser.
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species: Aconitum ferox
English name: Himalayan monkshood
Nepali Name: Bikh
Parts used: roots
Medicinal and Ethnical Uses: Root paste is taken for joint pain.
Pharmacological properties: Alkaloid extract possess anti-inflammatory properties
Harvesting season: October – November
Plant type: most poisonous
Life form/Habit: A tall perennial showy herb with tubers.
Macroscopic characters: Inner parts of roots are white in color.
Common name: Monkshood, Vatsanabha
Other common names:  Bachnag (Persian), Bish (Arabic), Black Aconite, Blue Aconite, Himalayan Monkshood, Mithavis (Hindi), Monk’s Hood, Sman-chen (Tibetan, ‘great medicine), Valsanabhi (Malay), Vatsamabhah (Sanskrit), Wolfbane

Habitat: Alpine grassy meadows and among shrubs. Alpine and sub-alpine Himalayan zone from 1800-4500 m especially in central Nepal.
Flowering: July – September.

Aconitum ferox is a deciduous perennial that grows up to 1.0 metre tall by 0.5 metres wide and which favours many types of soil. It has tuberous roots that are dark brown on the outside and yellow on the inside. The leaves are larger towards the bottom, growing smaller and shorter towards the top of the plant. The flowers are purple-blue and located at the end of the stems. The fruit is a tube-like capsule that opens at the top.

Traditional Uses
Blue aconite or Bikh (Vatsanabha) is one of the most extremely poisonous plants, but is also a valuable medicine when prepared in a very specific, correct, and careful way. Nevertheless, just handling the plant can cause serious effects, so it is best to appreciate this teacher from a distance. 

Medicinal Uses
In Ayurvedic medicine, the roots of blue aconite are purified in cow’s milk or urine and used to treat nerve pain, inflammation, coughs, digestive problems, skin disease, and many other ailments.

Aconitum ferox (Himalayan Monkshood) root is used in Tibetan medicine to treat both excessive cold and excessive heat. The crushed roots may be blended with bezoar stones as a universal healer, particularly useful in treating cancerous tumours. Medicine made from blue aconite is also said to be a powerful remedy in cases of demon possession.

Domestic Preparation
Traditionally, when used in Ayurvedic medicine, the tubers of blue aconite are soaked in the milk or urine of sacred cows to purify them.  This removes the poisonous elements from the root.  Milk is said to be a better soaking medium than urine. Once the roots have been purified, they are ground to a paste and used as an external application for treating nerve disorders.

Precaution in Domestic Preparation
In dangerous Tantric rituals, the leaves and root may be dried, chopped, mixed with Cannabis, and smoked. Blue aconite is the most poisonous plant in all of the Himalayas, and can easily cause death if used incorrectly.  As little as a few grams of dried or fresh plant material, or 3-6 mg of aconitine, an incredibly toxic diterpenoid alkaloid, is enough to kill an adult.  Therefore, it is not recommended that blue aconite be consumed for any reason.

Aconite refox root contains the alkaloids aconitine and pseudoaconitine. The root contains the greatest concentrations of these constituents, and is therefore the most dangerous part of the plant. A. ferox is said to be calming, sedating, appetite stimulating, and a potent aphrodisiac. Smoking A. ferox in a Tantric blend can very easily be fatal, and leads to very challenging effects. Even the most advanced practitioners strongly warn against the use of this blend in any circumstances.

We provide the raw roots of Aconitum ferox in different size and shapes as per customers’ choice and requirements. We usually use jute bags, carton boxes etc. for packing.

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