Atisa (Aconitum heterophyllum), also known as Ativisha is an important ayurvedic herb. It is famous as pediatric medicine as its roots are commonly used for managing fever in children. It is a perennial erect herb with greenish-blue flowers and is found wild in the alpine and subalpine Himalayas.
Atisa is bitter (Katu) and pungent in taste and is hot in effect. It is considered bad for sperms and the fetus. It has properties that aid digestion, vomiting, cough, and dyspepsia. This herb is also helpful in fever especially viral fever, diarrhea, and dysentery, etc. For this reason, It has been used as an ancient folklore medicine and the same has been mentioned in the texts written by Charaka and Sushruta.
Properties of Atisa
Atisa is an important herb as it contains various medicinal properties which help in curing several diseases. It contains antipyretic, antiperiodic, digestive, stomachic, antiemetic, anthelmintic, amapachak – detoxifier, antidiarrheal, blood purifier, breastmilk detoxifier, antimalarial, anti-obesity, antitussive, styptic, anti-hemorrhoidal, absorbent, carminative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihyperlipidemic, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective properties. Each of these plays an important role in managing many health conditions.
Benefits of Atisa
Atisa has anti-diarrheal properties and acts as an absorbent. This reduces the liquid content of the stool and facilitates the passing of stool. It also reduces the frequency of loose stools. For this, it is commonly used along with Nagarmotha and dried ginger(sonth) powders. Atisa has Vata balancing property which helps in the management of diarrhea. It also helps in managing weak digestive fire due to its appetizer(deepan) and digestion(pachan) properties
According to Ayurveda, vomiting is a result of an imbalance of all three doshas, especially Pitta and Kapha dosha. The imbalance in the doshas occurs due to unhealthy eating habits. This results in the formation of Ama in the body, leading to indigestion. Atis helps to prevent Vomiting by digesting the Ama due to its appetizer and digestive properties. It also has tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) balancing properties
Indigestion occurs due to the imbalance of the Pitta dosha. Atisa contains pitta balancing properties which helps in the digestion of food and curing Indigestion. For this, consume 2 gm of Atisa powder mixed with honey for 3 days. This will provide relief in indigestion.
Ativisha is used to manage the fever as it has antipyretic action which helps to prevent the fever. It is commonly used for managing fever in children. It acts as a diaphoretic and induces perspiration which brings the body temperature down. It is combined with Godanti Bhasma and given with honey to children.
Due to the unhealthy lifestyle of the modernized era, Piles are a common problem resulting from chronic constipation. Constipation leads to an imbalance of all the three doshas, especially Vata dosha. Aggravation in the Vata leads to low digestive fire, causing continuous constipation, which worsens and results in pain and swelling around the anal region if left untreated for a prolonged period. This can then lead to the formation of pile mass. Ativisha helps in the management of Piles by rectifying constipation due to its Vata-balancing properties.
Side-effects and Precautions
- It may cause dryness of the mouth, tremors, and other Vata symptoms.
- Due to insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of Atisa among pregnant women, it is best to avoid it.
- Lactating women should use it after taking advice from a doctor.
- Excessive use can have an adverse effect on health.
- Ativisha may turn the sympathetic nervous system more sensitive to physiological responses.
- Purify the root by boiling it in milk or cow urine before getting it into use.