Open main menu

Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/102

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

solution is decanted from a flask, the indaconitine crystallises on the sides, either in a characteristic fern-like form or in thin, circular layers of silky needles.

Indaconitine crystallises uncombined with its solvent.

The melting point of indaconitine, if immersed in the bath at 150° and the temperature slowly raised, is 202-203°. Crystallographically, indaconitine very closely resembles aconitine, and on further investigation may prove to be isomorphous.

Composition.—C34H47O10N, requires C=64·86; H=7·47, and N=2·22 per cent.

Physiological action.—This differs in degree only, and not in kind, from that of aconitine and pseudo-aconitine. As in the case of other "aconitines," the toxic action of indaconitine is virtually abolished by the removal of the acetyl group, which occurs in the formation of indbenzaconine, an alkaloid which is scarcely poisonous.

19. A. rotundifolium, Ver. and Kir.

Syn:—A. napellus, var. multifidum, Duthie.

A. napellus, var. rotundifolium. Hk. f. and Th.

Habitat:—Alpine zone of Turkistan to the North- Western Himalaya, and the Safed Koh of Indo-Afghan frontier.

Roots:—Biennial, paired, tuberous; daughter-tuber short, or long, conic or subcylindric, 1-2·5 cm. long. 6-8 mm. thick, bearing long fine root—fibres breaking off easily; bark very thin, whitish to brown, smooth, fracture pure white, farinaceous; taste slightly bitter, almost indifferent; cambium discontinuous, forming 4-5 isolated, very slender cylindric strands arranged in a ring; mother-tuber more or less shrunk, wrinkled, dark brown to almost black, brownish internally. Stem erect or ascending from a short (1·5 cm.) hypogæous base, simple, 15-40 cm. high, terete, slender, crispo-pubescent in upper part, glabrous below. Leaves mostly basal, 4-5 rarely 8, gathered in a loose rosette above the hypogæous part of the stem, coëtanous with the flowers, somewhat fleshy, glabrous or scantily pubescent on long (4-13 cm.) petioles which are dilated and more or less sheathing at the base; 1-2 or rarely more, higher up on the stem or very short petioles; lower blade, orbicular-cordate or almost reniform in outline, with a narrow sinus (0·7-2 cm. deep), 1-3·5 cm. high