Vatsanabha (वत्सनाभ) ACONITE – Static/Plant poison | Liveveda

Vastanabha- Aconite


This plant is named as Aconitum ferox, it is grown in the Himalayan ranges. It is often grown in gardens for its showy flowers. All parts of the plant are poisonous, the root being mostly used for the purpose.


डकरा, श्वेड विष, अमृत, मीठा विष

Active principles

  1. Aconitine
  2. Picraconitine
  3. Aconine
  4. Alkaloids of aconitic acid.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. The onset of symptoms is within a few minutes after the ingestion of the plant.
  2. Initially there is intensive burning and tingling of lips, throat and mouth.
  3. Gradually a feeling of anesthesia supervenes in the upper G.I.T
  4. Nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, and pain in the abdomen
  5. Pupils dilate
  6. Intense feeling of headache and giddiness
  7. pulse becomes slow and irregular
  8. Respiration becomes slow and laborious
  9. Gradually the temperature becomes subnormal
  10. Death occurs because of respiratory failure or ventricular fibrillation.

Fatal dose

  • 1 gm of the aconite root.
  • 250 mg of the extract.
  • 25 drops of the tincture or 4 mg of the alkaloid.

Fatal period

  • Average - 6 hrs
  • Shortest period - 45 minutes
  • Longest period - 24 hrs

Treatment/ Management

A) According to Modern -

  1. Stomach wash should be done immediately to remove the unabsorbed poisons. Animal charcoal or tannic acid may be added to the solution of stomach wash.
  2. The patient should be kept in a warm atmosphere.
  3. Cardiac Arrhythmia - Novacaine
  4. If B.P drops, a drip of nor-adrenaline or mephentine should be started.
  5. Respiratory stimulants should be given.

B) According to Ayurveda -

Administration of the पटवन plant juice for about 1 pala will remove poisonous effects of vatsanabha.

Post-mortem Appearance

No Specific signs. The poison is often difficult to detect by chemical analysis. Excretion mainly in the urine and traces in saliva, sweat and bile. Aconite is very unstable and is destroyed by putrefaction.

Medico-legal Importance

  1. Aconite is often projected as an ideal homicidal poison, but its actual use in murder cases has indeed been rare.
  2. Most of the cases of aconite poisoning are actually accidental in origin arising mainly out of confusion of a root of this plant.
  3. Suicidal ingestion of aconite root is said to be relatively common in rural areas, but few cases have been reported in medical literature.
  4. Sometimes, aconite is used as an abortifacient.

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