Atis or Aconitum heterophyllum (A. Heterophyllum) is an ayurvedic medicinal plant used as the main ingredient in various formulations mentioned in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. Aconitum species are also used as major components in Chinese and Bhutanese herbal medicines. This plant is also known in Indian English as atees and atis root, in Sanskrit as ativisha, shuklakanda, aruna, and vishada, in Urdu as atees, in Hindi as atis and atvika, in Bengali as ataish, in Telugu as ati vasa, in Guajarati as ativakhani, in Marathi as ativish, in Kannada as ati-vishsa, in Malayalam as ati-vidayam, and Panjabi as atis.
The atis plant falls under the plant Kingdom, ‘Magnoliophyta' division, and belongs to the Ranunculaceae family and the Aconitum genus. About 300 species of the atis plant are found worldwide, of which 24 species are found in India. Medicinal A. Heterophyllum consists of dried and tuberous roots of A. Heterophyllum Wall. ex. Royle is a perennial herb that is native to the western Himalayas and found in Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Nepal at altitudes between 2,500 and 4,000 m. Most of the species are highly toxic and also known as the Queen of all poisons, with several species having been used, and still being used, on the hunting spike tips. Thus, this plant must be handled with utmost care.
The atis plant is reported to have antidiarrheal, expectorant, diuretic, hepatoprotective, antipyretic and analgesic, antioxidant, alexipharmic, anodyne, anti-atrabilious, anti-flatulent, anti-periodic, anti-phlegmatic, and carminative properties; furthermore, it can be used to treat patients with severe reproductive disorders.
Atis, also known as Ativisha in Sanskrit, is a tall herb that is mainly grown in the Himalayan region. It grows up to a height of 2000 feet above sea level. It is known to be a characteristic species of Nepal, Chumbi is and Sikkim. The herb roots are the main source of alkaloids obtained, such as aconitine, atisine, heterophylin, heterophyllisin, etc. The herb's roots are paired, and tuberous are either white or grey. It has a branched stem, but sometimes it can also be simple and grows to a height of 15 to 20 centimeters. Its leaves are “heteromorophous” and “glabrous," and the flower which it wields usually occurs as an inflorescence, which may be white or violet. The seeds are pyramidal, blackish, or brownish.
Atis is quite helpful in maintaining the body's digestive system due to its carminative property. It also helps in managing diarrhea, as it can inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. This is mainly because the herb possesses an antibacterial property. Atis also helps manage weight loss because it can lower the levels of triglycerides and increase HDL levels- cholesterol, which is considered the "good cholesterol." As per Ayurveda, it helps manage various diabetes symptoms because of its Tikta (bitter) and Kapha balancing properties. When atis powder is consumed with honey, it helps to manage cough and cold due to its Ushna (hot) nature and removes the mucus which has been accumulated. The topical application of Atis seeds with honey provides relief for throat infections and tonsilitis, and the roots of Atis can be inhaled for managing severe headaches or migraines.
In some cases, Atis can also help in managing nausea, periodic fever, piles, or dryness of the mouth. However, consumption of atis in large quantities might cause constipation.
To cultivate the atis plant, a suitable altitude of 2400-3600 m above sea level is needed. The plant is mostly found in sub-alpine and alpine regions of the Himalayas. The plant is needed to be cultivated in moist soil, and the rainfall required for the cultivation of natural and transplanted population of this plant is 664.2 to 1485.7 mm. the plants are usually grown from seeds and tuberous roots, and the seeds are collected and germinated at the beginning of spring. Most of the time, one or two daughter tubes are produced by the end of the growing season. The daughter tubes are collected during autumn after the aerial shoots have deteriorated with age and are replanted in the spring. The new plants will produce leafy shoots during their first year of growth, and the cultivated plants will produce flowers during its second year of growth.
BENEFITS OF ATIS
It is said that when the atis leaf or root is inhaled, it can be considered beneficial for migraines.
A migraine can cause severe throbbing and pain or a pulsing sensation for an individual, especially on one side of the head. It is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain can sometimes interfere with daily activities and makes it difficult for the individual to function.
According to Ayurveda, migraines occur due to an imbalance of pitta dosha and lead to certain symptoms like headaches and vertigo. The atis plant helps in managing such symptoms because of its pitta balancing property. It greatly helps in reducing migraine symptoms, therefore, providing relief from the pain.
Take the atis plant
Crush its leaves or roots
Mix it with rock salt
Inhale this or apple it on the affected area to experience relief from migraine pain.
Indigestion can also be referred to as dyspepsia, and it is a condition that describes discomfort in the upper abdomen. Indigestion is not really a disease, but rather a symptom an individual will experience soon after the person has finished eating his/her meal. The intensity of the pain which comes with indigestion varies from person to person. Indigestion can also be a symptom of an underlying disease. Common causes of indigestion are overeating or eating too much spicy food, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, smoking, anxiety, etc. the atis plant helps manage indigestion and improve digestive strength relieves diarrhea.
In ayurvedic terms, indigestion is also known as angimandya, which is referred to as the digestive fire that occurs because of an imbalance of pitta dosha. When the food consumed is left undigested due to the mand angi, which is the low digestive fire, it results in ama formation. Ama is the toxins that remain in the body due to improper digestion. To understand, indigestion occurs due to an incomplete process of digestion of the food consumed. The atis plant greatly helps in managing indigestion by helping the body digest the ama because of its deepana property, also known as the appetizer property, and its pachana property, also known as its digestion property. Thus, providing relief from indigestion.
Nausea is the uneasiness of the stomach that usually occurs before vomiting. Vomiting, on the other hand, is the forcible voluntary or involuntary emptying of stomach contents through the mouth. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases per se but rather a symptom of various conditions such as motion sickness or seasickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, intense pain, etc. the atis plant helps in managing such an ailment and provides the individual with relief from vomiting.
According to Ayurveda, vomiting occurs because of an imbalance of all the three doshas, especially the pitta and kaphadosha. An imbalance of doshas only occur because of various unhealthy eating habits like consuming too much of teekshna, which is sharp foods, Kashaya, also known as pungent foods, amla, this is sour foods, vidahi, also known as the types of food which causes a burning sensation, Guru, this is also known as heavy diet, Ati-Sheeta, known as cold diet and ApakwaAhaara or raw/uncooked food. All these things resultin Ama's formation, which is the toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion, which leads to indigestion. Atis helps to prevent Vomiting by digesting the Ama due to its Deepana (appetizer), Pachana (digestion), and Tridosha (Vata Pitta and Kapha) balancing properties.
Diarrheais a disorder that causes an individual to pass loose and watery stool more than usual in a day. This ailment may be a symptom of gastroenteritis. This is the inflammation of the stomach or intestine as a result of microbial infection. Diarrhea usually lasts up to two or three days, and treatment is usually not required. In case of severe diarrhea, it may become life-threatening. This is because severe diarrhea causes the body to dehydrate and steadily loses fluids with every passing motion. It's usually infants or malnourished children, and people with a weak immune system fall prey to such an ailment. However, diarrhea can be easily prevented if the individual takes a number of simple steps. All the person has to do is lead a healthier lifestyle, follow a healthy diet, and make sure that he/she drinks enough water, and the water needs to be clean and pure. The atis plant is beneficial in managing diarrhea.
In ayurvedic terms, diarrhea is also known as an Atisara. Diarrhea is a condition in which an individual passes loose and watery stool, usually more than three times a day. This condition occurs because of an imbalance of vatadosha, which interrupts the body's digestive fire's functioning and results in angimandya, also known as the weak digestive fire. Other such factors that are often responsible for such an ailment can be the consumption of improper food, impure water, or even mental stress. The atis plant helps manage diarrhea because of its vata balancing properties. It can also help in the management of weak digestive fire because of its deepana, the appetizer property, and pachana, the digestive property.
Piles is a different term used for hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are collections of inflamed tissues in the anal canal, and they contain blood vessels, support tissue, muscles, and elastic fibers. Piles can be either internal or external and cause pain and irritation. Piles that are caused Internally sit in the inside lining of the rectum and are not obvious unless they areenlarged in a way which the individual can feel it. Internal piles are usually painless and become apparent because they cause rectal bleeding with a bowel movement.Sometimes piles that occur internally can either prolapse or protrude outside the anus. On the other hand, external piles are located underneath the skin that surrounds the anal region, and these can be felt when they swell. They can cause itching, pain, or bleeding when there is a bowel movement. The atis plant is said to be beneficial in treating piles and can provide the individual with relief from such an ailment.
Without a doubt, most people have started living a sedentary lifestyle where there is hardly any movement and work is usually done from home or just sitting behind a computer screen the whole day. And because of such inactivity,piles have become a common problem that occurs as a result of chronic constipation. Constipation leads to the disruption of all the three doshas, mainly Vatadosha. A disrupted Vata leads to low digestive fire, causing persistent constipation, which might further result in pain and swelling around the anal region when left ignored or left untreated. This can then lead to the formation of pile mass. Atis helps in the management of Piles by managing constipation due to its tridosha balancing property, mainly theVata.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE USING ATIS
Breastfeeding: apparently, enough evidence is not available for the atis plant when it comes to breastfeeding women. It is advisable to avoid this plant or consult with a healthcare professional before consumption.
Diabetes: Since enough evidence is not available for the atis plant helping those who duffer from diabetes, it is advised that the individual consults with his/her healthcare professional before consuming this plant.
Heart disease: Since enough evidence is not available for the atis plant helping those with heart-related problems, it is advised that he/she consult with their healthcare professional before consuming this plant for heart-related disorders.
Advice from experts – the atis plant may be toxic when it is consumed in its raw form. Therefore, you must consult with your healthcare professional about how to consume this plant, in what manner and dosage properly.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF ATIS –
Weakness or the inability to move around freely
Dryness in the mouth
In what forms is the atis plant available in the market?
The atis plant is available in the market in oil, extract, and powder.
How can Atis be stored properly?
The atis plant should be stored at room temperature and in such a place where it is not exposed to direct sunlight, moisture, and heat. The stored plant is also advised to be kept away from the reach of children and pets.
Can Atis help those who suffer from cervical lymphadenitis?
Cervical lymphadenitis is the condition in which the cervical lymph nodes swell up because of an infection in the upper respiratory tract. This kind of ailment can also prove to be fatal. The atis root powder constitutes an anti-inflammatory property, and if taken orally, the inflammation subsides. The juice which is extracted from the atis plat’s roots can be consumed with milk. This is highly recommended for the management of respiratory diseases as it acts as an expectorant.
Is the atis plant poisonous?
Although the plant comes from a family of toxic plants, it has been shown to subside other poison effects. The plant is also said to have various medicinal properties, and it is highly recommended that it is first consulted with a healthcare professional or an expert before deciding to consume this plant.
Can Atis help in reducing fats?
Yes, the atis plant can help to manage unnecessary fats in the body because of its deepana property, which is also known as its appetizer property, and pachana, also known as its digestive property. Fats are usually accumulated in the body due to poor digestion, and they are stored in the form of toxins or Ama. The atis plant greatly helps in improving digestion and prevents the formation and accumulation of fats in the body. Therefore, adding to weight loss.
Can the atis plant help with urinary tract burning?
Urinary burning is the pain that is felt when the urine is being expelled from the bladder. The seeds found in the atis plant and the decoction of its roots can greatly contribute to managing the burning sensation in the urinary tracts. This is mainly due to its diuretic property, which exists in the plant. This also increases the frequency and volume of the urine, thus, reducing the burning sensation.