Ativisha – Benefits, Dose, Uses, Ayurveda Details

Ativisha – Aconitum heterophyllum is an Ayurveda herb, especially used in diseases of children. Charaka has declared – Of all the herbs having digestive, carminative, absorbent and Tridosha balancing properties, Ativisha is the best.

Botanical name is Aconitum heterophyllum Wall. Cat.
Family – Ranunculaceae (Vatsanabha kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name – Indian Atees
Bengali name – Ataich
Kannada name – Ativisha, Atibage
Tamil and Malayalam name – Atividayam, Athividayam, Atividyam, Ativisam
Marathi name – Ativish
Persian name – Vajjeturki
Punjabi name – Atis
Telugu name – Ati Vasa
Hindi name – Atis, Atees,
Gujarati name – Ativakhani Kali, Ativish
Tibbi name – Atees
Persian Name  : Bazziturki
Konkani name – Atibaje

Qualities, Effect on Doshas

Aconitum heterophyllum – Medicinal qualities:
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (Dryness)
Vipaka – Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Prabhava – Vishahara – special health effect – relieves toxicity.

Effect on Tridosha –It balances Tridoshas, especially kapha and Pitta.

Ativisha uses:
Of all the herbs having digestive, carminative, absorbent and Tridosha balancing properties, Ativisha is the best.

Deepani – improves digestion strength
Pachani – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha|
Atisarahara – Relieves diarrhea
Amahara – Relieves ama – a product of indigestion and altered metabolism.
Vishahara – Anti toxic
Kasahara – useful in cough and cold
Vamihara – relieves vomiting
Krumihara – useful in worm infestation, infected wounds
Jwarahara  – useful in fever
Ama Atisara – diarrhea, dysentery associated with indigestion
It is widely used in treating Vishama Jwara (chronic, recurrent fever).
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea, IBS
Arshoghna – useful in piles, hemorrhoids
Raktashodhaka – cleanses and detoxifies blood tissue
Raktastambhana – styptic, useful in bleeding disorders
Shothahara – relieves swelling, edema, anti inflammatory
Kasahara – useful in cough and cold
Stanyashodhana – cleanses and detoxifies breast milk
Vajikarana – acts as aphrodisiac
Katupaushtika – pungent, nourishing

Sanskrit Verses

Ativisha benefits


Ativisha is indicated in –
Agnimandya – low digestion strength
Ajeerna – indigestion
Balaroga – pediatric disorders
Ama – A product of indigestion and altered metabolism
Atisara – diarrhea, dysentery, Ama stage of Atisara
Jwaratisara – fever with diarrhea
Arsha – hemorrhoids
Udara – ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
Krumi – worm infestation
Raktavikara – Blood vitiation disorders
Shotha – Swelling, inflammation
Pratishyaya – coryza, rhinitis
Kasa – cough, cold
Stanyavyapat – breast milk vitiation disorders
Klaibya – impotence
Jwara – fever
Vishamajwara – Intermittent fever
Medoroga – obesity
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Mushikavisha – rat poisoning
Chardi – Vomiting

External application:
In poisonous bites, lepa of ativisa tubers is beneficial.
In sotha the lepa gives good results.

Classical categorization

Charaka Samhita – Charaka has included this herb in the following group of herbs.
Lekhaneeya – scraping, fat reducing
Arshoghna – herbs used in piles treatment
Tikta Skanda – Group of bitter tasting herbs
Shirovirechana – group of herbs used in Nasya treatment.
Sushruta and Vagbhata have grouped this herb in Pippalyadi, Mustadi and Vachadi group of herbs.
Charaka used the terms Ativisa Prativisa twice in Charaka Samhita.
Susrutha quoted Prativisa, used in the context of Atisara.
Kaidev Nighantu – Aushadi verga
Bhavaprakasha – Hareetakyadi
Asthanga sangraha  – Arshoaghna (useful in piles) Lekhaniya (has scraping nature), Pipalyadi, Vacadi, Mustadi
Asthanga Hridaya – Pipalyadi, Vachadi, Mustadi
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi varga
Shodala nighantu – Guduchyadi varga & Anekhartha varga
Raj Nighantu – Pipalyadi & Upavisha Gana

Kaiyadeva Nighantu –
Trikarsha –
Ativisha, Shunti and Musta
Chaturbhadra – Ativisha, Shunti, Musta and Guduchi


Found in Himalayan region, about 6000 – 15000 ft.


Based on colour of root tubers
1. Rakta – Red tubers
2 Sweta – White Tubers
3. Krisna – Black Tubers
4. Pita – Yellow tubers

Botanically three arities of Ativisha

  1. Aconitum heterophyllum
    2. Aconitum palmatum
    3. Aconitum kashmiricum

Identification, chemical constitution

Identification: There are many herbs used in the name of Ativisa, out of which, Aconitum heterophyllum is most commonly used. Aconitum palmatum is also used in the name of Ativisha.

Chemical composition: Aconitum heterophyllum contains atidine, atisine, hetisine, heteratisine, Diterpene alkaloids like – heterophylline, heterophyllidine, heterophyllisine, hetidine.
Tuber contains aconitic acid, tannic acid, pectin, ample starch, flat, oleic, palmitic and stearic glycerin mixture, vegetable mucilaginous matter, sucrose and ash 2 percent.

Root – The roots yield 0.79 percent of total alkoloids. The following alkoloids are reported to have been isolated: Atisenol, Atsine, Heteratisine, Histisine, heterophyllisine, heterophylline, heterophyllidine, – atidine, Hetidine, Banzolheteratisine, F-dihydroatisine and Hetisinone.

Atisine is much less toxic than aconitine and pseudaconitine and consequently the species is often regarded as non- poisonous. Although the alkaloid atisine produces hypo-tension, the whole aqueous extract of the root induces marked hypertension apparently through an action on the sympathetic nervous system. The inert character of the plant is well known to people living in hilly areas who use it as a vegetable.

Substitute, part used, dosage

Musta (Cyperus rotundus) or Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is the substitute for Ativisha, in case of unavailability.

Part used: Tuberous root.
Dosage:  – for adults – 1 – 3 grams per day. For children – 1 gram per day, in divided doses.

Usage with different herbs

Usage with different herb combinations: 

  1. In pediatric disorders, ativisa alone or along with karkatasrngi and long pepper in case of cough and fever.
  2. Atisara- ativisa +bhanga+vacha (Acorus calamus) as powder.
  3. Jvaratisara – fever with diarrhea – Ginger, Kutaja, Musta, Giloy, Ativisha are given orally in the form of decoction.
  4. Grahani- IBS – decoction made of ativisa, ginger, and musta is administered orally to destroy the ama.
  5. Mutrakrcchra – dysuria –  Ativisa, amla dravyas, sunti, goksura, kantakari are made as peya and given along with Phanita.
  6. Visha roga- a ghee prepared with ativisa and cow’s milk is used orally or as nasal drops in case of acute poisoning. The ghee may also be processed with shveta Madyantika.
  7. Mushika visa- rat bite – ativisa root is made into paste by grinding with honey and administered orally.
  8. Vrana – Ulcerssyonaka, prativisa, kantakari moola are made into paste are applied over the wounds
  9. Kuksi roga – colic pain –1 part of ativisa + 3 parts of ankota administered orally with rice water.
  10. Pakvasaya gatha vata (colitis)- combination of ativisa, sunti, guduchi is the best.
  11. Sthaulya- Obesity – Ativisa gives beneficial results in obesity
  12. Krimi– Intestinal worm infestation – ativisa +vidanga is beneficial

Uses in Unani, folk medicine

  1. Useful in amraz-e-balghami(phlegmatic diseases )
  2. It alleviates diarrhea & vomiting of phlegmatic nature
  3. Used in ishal-e-atfal (infantile diarrhea)
  4. Zeheer(dysentery)
  5. Sual (cough)
  6. Other complications occurring during dentition
  7. it is good for  Istisqa-ziqq (ascites)
  8. Bawaseer (piles)
  9. Hummiyat (fevers) and is muqawwi(tonic)
  10. It is best dipana, pachana, grahi, vamaka, kapha hara & rakta sthambaka, pravahika

In Nepal, Folklore doctors use its powder along with honey for cough, fever with chills and diarrhea.
For stomach ache they give root decoction.
In Jammu & Kashmir tribal people use the tubers of ativisa as it is a good appetizer in dyspepsia.

Research article

Research articles: Phyto-sociological features

Side effects, purification

Side effects and Over-dosage:
It may cause dryness of mouth, tremors and such other Vata symptoms. Vata treatment will relieve the side effects.
It is best to avoid it during pregnancy. Lactating mothers and children can use it under medical supervision.

Ativish Shodhana – purification:
Some authors opine that it should be purified before usage, similar to Vatsanabha purification.
Some opine that Swedana done in Gomayarasa is the method of purification.
The roots are treated or processed with gomaya (cow dung juice) under prescribed (swedana vidhi) and dried in sunlight for purification of the drug.


Goghrita (cow ghee), cow milk for internal administration

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda medicines

 Important Ayurveda medicines with Aconitum heterophyllum as ingredient: 
Kutaj Ghan Vati
Chandraprabha Vati
Khadiradi Gutika for cough
Rasnairandadi kashayam

Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines with Ativisa as ingredient:
1. Pranamritha (digestive syrup)
2. Mebarid syrup (diarrhea)
3. Curill syrup (fever, common cold)
4. Colicarmin drops (pediatric disorders)
5. Pavanam capsules (rheumatoid arthritis)
6. Atrisor capsules(psoriasis)
7. Livdap capsules(jaundice)
8. Amritharista(fever)
9. Amoebica capsule
10. Kutaja compound capsule (chronic diarrhea)
11. Phyto- liv –syrup (liver disorder)
12. Ambimap tablets (Dysentery, diarrhea)
13. Shri jwala capsules (atisara)
14 Atisarex syrup (colitis)
15. Balaguti (danthodbava janya vikara)
16. Bala vati (chardi)
17. Blasogati tablets (bala roga)
18. Berb- Enterone syrup (chronic intestinal problems)
19. Diadyn syrup (summer diarrhoea)
20. Enterocin capsules (gastro-enteritis)
21. Savouryn granules (general debility)

Taxonomic identification

1). Bentham & Hooker:
Kingdom – Plantae.
Sub Kingdom – Phanerogamia
Class – Dicotyledons.
Subclass – Polypetalae.
Series – Thalamiflorae.
Order – Ranales.
Family – Ranunculaceae.
Genus – Aconitum.
Species – Heterophyllum

2). Engler & Prantl:
Division – Embryophyta.
Subdivision – Angiospermae.
Class – Dicotyledoneae.
Subclass – Archichlamydeae.
Order – Ranales.
Family – Ranunculaceae.
Genus – Aconitum.
Species – Heterophyllum

Ayurveda classification

Different types:
According to Madana Vinoda –
4 Varieties –  Sweta (white), Rakta (red), Krishna (black), Peeta (yellow)

According to Raj Nighantu – 3 Varieties
Shukla, Rakta, Krisna

According to Dhanvantari Nighantu –  2 varieties
2.Prativisa- Shyamkanda

According to Vagbhata –
2 varieties – Ativisa, Visa

Priya nigantu – 2 varieties – Sweta and Aruna
Shodala Nigantu – 4 Varieties – Sweta, Rakta, Krishna, Peetha

Several authors identified visha dvaya as Aconitum heterophyllum and Aconitum palmatum. A.palmatum root is black in color and hard in texture. Regarding three or four varieties of ativisa further work is necessary. Maybe one of the adulterants, Aconitum kasmiricum is the third variety as described in the nighantus, while Delphinium denudatum may be the fourth variety.

Many authors have identified the three varieties of Ativisha as –

  1. Aconitum heterophyllum — Sukla variety
  2. Aconitum palmatum –Aruna variety
  3. Aconitum kasmiricum — Krsna variety

Different opinions regarding qualities

Serial     no

Author &








Dravya Guna vignana


Dr J.L.NShastry

Katu, Tikta

Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara


Dravyaguna                      vignana


Dr P.V.Sharma



Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara


Dravya Guna



Banvarilal Mishra



Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara


Raja Nighantu

Katu, Tikta

Lagu , Ruksha



Kapha pittahara


Priya Nighantu


P.V .Sharma

Katu, Tikta

Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara


Kaideva Nighantu



Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara



Katu, Tikta

Lagu , Ruksha



Tridosha hara

   8.Dhanvanthari Nighantu

Katu, Tikta

Lagu , Ruksha



Kapha pittahara


Dosage of ativisa:
Dravya guna vignana, by P.V. Sharma
Choorna- 1 to 3 gm

Dravya guna hasthamala
Moola churna 0.5 to 2gm

Dravya guna vignana, By Ganendra pandey
Churna- 10 to 16 grains

Dhanvantari Nighantu
Churna- 5 to 30 ratti

Dravya guna manjusha
Ativisa choorna—5 to 30 ratti
Prativisa choorna 2 to 4 ratti

Dravya guna vignana By Dr V.G Neginhal
Mula churna 100 to 250 mg

Dravya Guna Vignana, By J. L. N. Shastry
Root powder 1-3 g per day.
Solid extract as tonic 65-195 mg in terms of 2% alkaloid.
SE as anthelmintic 49-65 mg in terms of 2% alkaloid.
SE as antiperiodic 260-390 mg in terms of 2% alkaloid.

Sanskrit synonyms

Prativisha, Upavisha
It is an antidote for many poisons. It comes under visha varga but it’s not poisonous.
Ativisha – non toxic, though grouped in toxic herb group
Aruna – Its rhizome is reddish brown in color
Kashmeera -found in Himalayan region
Shuklakanda – having white tubers
Bhangura – brittle
Vishva – Gets absorbed rapidly in the body
Visha – gets absorbed and spreads rapidly in the body
Ghunapriya, Ghunavallabha – attracts worms easily
Pittavallabha – Useful in Pittaroga
Atisaraghni – Ativisha is very useful in Atisara
Shishu Bhaishajya – useful medicinal herb for pediatric care
Shrungi – Its rhizome possesses horn-like projections
Shophahaa – relieves inflammation
Mahaushadham – A very good medicinal herb
Vagbhata for the first time quoted the terms ghunesta, ghunapriya, Madri & gunavallabha to denote ativisa.

Sthanika karma (Action on different system)

Internal administration

Digestive system – carminative, digestive, absorbent, Anthelmintic. Indicated in Loss of Appetite, Indigestion, Fever associated with vomiting and indigestion, Helminthiasis, Hemorrhoids etc. Helps to eliminate malas (unwanted materials) from koshta (mahasrotas)

Circulatory System – Being tikta rasa (Bitter taste) it acts as a blood purifier. Indicated in edema.

Respiratory System – Pacify Kapha dosha. Indicated in Cough, rhinitis.

Reproductive System – Aphrodisiac and stanya shodhaka (Purifies breast milk)Satmikarana – It has scraping action on dhatus (tissues), Indicated in obesity. Beneficial in weakness associated with fever, diarrhea etc. Anti poisonous (indicated in mooshika visha)
Tapakrama – Indicated in fever (vishama jvara)

2 comments on “Ativisha – Benefits, Dose, Uses, Ayurveda Details

  • T. Chandrashekara Bhatr

    31/01/2015 - 4:42 pm

    Dr. please let me know how to identify the herb or its root, how it looks like, the photo of it iis missing in your article.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      18/04/2015 - 11:01 am

      Hi, I try my level best to procure and insert photos of herbs. You can easily find the images in google image search. Do the search using botanical names.

      Reply to comment

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