Open main menu

Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/94

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
14
INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.

20-24 mm. high, 17-20 mm. from tip to base, 7-9 mm. wide; lateral sepals slightly contiguous with the helmet, oblique, orbicular-obovate, broadly clawed, 16 mm. long, 14 mm. broad; lower sepals deflexed, oblong subacute, 10 mm. long. Nectaries glabrous; claw erect; hood oblique to subhorizontal, oblong, gibbous on the back; lip deflexed, lanceolate, acute, entire. Filaments glabrous, about 7 mm. long, narrowly winged, wings gradually alternate. Carpels 5, conniving and contiguous, tomentose, gradually passing into the style. Follicles oblong, obliquely subtruncate, 15-20 mm. long, 4-5 mm. broad, dorsally sub-convex, loosely tomentose or at length almost glabrous, conspicuously reticulate. Seeds obovoid or obpyramidal, 2·6-3 mm. long, winged along the raphe, transversely lamellate on the faces, lamellæ undulate.

Habitat:—Alpine Himalaya of Nepal.

Part used:—The root.

Uses:—This drug is officinal in both the British and Indian Pharmacopœias.

Extremely poisonous as the name indicates. It is very probably, says Stapf, the source or one of the sources of the "Bish Bikh" or "Hodoya Bish" of Hamilton.

"A few years ago I took the white variety, Bachnâg, myself in small quantities, and found that its internal use is not attended with more danger than that of the European aconite root (Aconitum Napellus). Since that period, I have employed it very extensively in my practice, and do not hesitate in saying that it is one of the most useful medicines in India. Its beneficial influence over diabetes is very remarkable, the immoderate flow of urine beginning to diminish from the very day of its use, with a proportionate decrease in the saccharine matter. Its control over spermatorrhœa and incontinence of urine is equally great. It has lately been found useful in some cases of paralysis and leprosy. The advantages of this drug over all other varieties of the Indian aconite root are that it is not only much milder, but also more certain and uniform in its actions." (Mohideen Sheriff).