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Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/97

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17
N. O. RANUNCULACEÆ.

Kanda (black root); Sitashringi (white-horned); Bhangura (frail); Upavishanika (the horns or rootlets turned upwards).

Vern:—Atis (H.); Ati-vadayam (Tam.); Ati-vasa (Tel.); Mohand-i-gujsafed; hong-i-Safed (Kashmir) A'is (Bhotie) Sukhihari, Chitijari; Patris or Patis; bonga (Pb.); Atavishni-Kali; Ativish or Ativakh (Guz.); Ativish (Mar.).

Habitat:—Common in the Subalpine and Alpine Zone of the Himalaya, from the Indus to Kumaon, from 6,000 to 15,000 ft.

Stem:—Erect, leafy, 1-3 ft., simple or branched from the base, glabrous below, puberulous above. Leaves 2-4 in. broad ovate or orbicular. Cordate, acute or obtuse; cauline sharply toothed, the lowest long-petioled and not amplexicaul. Racemes often panicled, many-flowered. Bracts sharply toothed, upper 3-fid or entire. Flowers more than 1 in. long, bright blue, greenish blue, with purple veins. Helmet half as high as long, shortly beaked. Follicles 5, downy. Testa smooth.

The roots contain an alkaloid, atisine, C22H31NO2, {Alder Wright) or C46H74N2O5 (Broughton). (See Sohn., p. 4,) and Aconitic acid, C6H6O6.

In Dymock's Mat. Medica. of W. I., (2nd edition, p. 7), it is said:—"The English notices of this are to be found in Hindu works on Materia Medica, Shârangdhar and Chakradatt, where it is recommended as a remedy in fevers, diarrhœa, dyspepsia and cough, also as an alexipharmic." "The author of the Makhzan-ul-Adwiya says it is aphrodisiacal and tonic, checks diarrhœa and removes corrupt bile." Up to very recently, English physicians in India administered it as an antiperiodic in doses of about 30 grains, every 6 or 4 hours. Dr. M. Sheriff considers that the ordinary doses are only useful as a tonic, and that 2 drams or more should be given as an antiperiodic. Probably, says Dr. Dymock, the native estimate of the drug, as given above from the Makhzan, is not far from truth, viz., that it is tonic and digestive and often useful in dyspepsia with diarrhœa (Pharmacographia Indica, Vol. I., p. 16, 1890, Bombay). Dr. Tribhuvandas M. Shah of Junagadh says it is anthelmintic and antifebrile, in doses of 10-30 grains. It can be given to children in fevers.