Basic Information




Species                                   :           Aconitum bisma (Buch-Ham) Rapiacs

Local Name                            :           Beshuma (Nep)

Synonym                                 :           A.palmatum D.Don

Family                                     :           Ranunculaceae

Habitat                                   :           A biennial herb thrives well in cold region.

Distribution                            :           Distributed to alpine region, moist fir and Rhododendron forests and on alpine slopes, 2750- 3700 m.

Sikkim                                     :           Dzongri, Changu, Nathang, Jelepla, Memenchu Lake, Kupup, Yakla (14000 ft)  Lachung -Yu mesamdong,

                                                         Yumthang,   Green lake, Kishong

Out side                                  :          West Bengal (Gosa, Moley Phalut, Sandokpo, Bikhay Banzyang, 3300 3800 m) Nepal,  Southern Tibet, (3,000 m

                                                         and 4,800 m) Bhutan (Chelai la, Tangchu), Kohima.

General                                  :            Himalaya (Garhwal- Arunachal Pradesh), South Tibet, South China.

Morphological information

Root biennial, paired, tuberous; daughter- tuber shortly come to long- cylindrical often irregularly shaped, 4 to more than 10 cm long, 0.75- 3 cm, thick, simple or branched, sometimes flexuous or twisted, bearing root fibres, some of which are thread like from the base and break off easily. While other are much thickened at the base or thick- cylindrical, light- brown, smooth, fracture more or less horny and brownish in the thickest part of full- grown samples, almost farinaceous and white towards the tips and in the root- branches, cambium discontinuous forming isolated strands of very varying shape and size. Stem erect sometimes slightly flexuous in the upper part, simple or nearly so inclusive of the inflorescence 2- 4 ft high, stout, hollow, glabrous, shining. Leaves scattered, rather distant upto 10, rarely more or the lowest usually withered at the time of flowering, quite glabrous or the uppermost finely pubescent on the nerves below; Petioles slender 4- 10 cm long; blade orbicular cordate to reniform with a very wide sinus. Flowers greenish blue in few- flowered panicles; follicles 2.5- 3.0 cm long; seeds blackish, obovoid, obscurely winged along raphe, transversely lamellate.

Flowering                   :           August-October

Fruiting                       :           September-November

History                       :

Parts                           :           Roots

Status                         :           Critically endangered



Four new diterpenoid alkaloids- 15 deacetylvakognavine, palmadine, palmasine and 6-acetylheteravisine isolated along with vakognavine, heteravisine, isoatisine and hitidine, structures of new compounds elucidated (Tetrahedron Lett. 1988,29,1875).



Tuber extract is medicinally used for high fever and stomach troubles and the root like quinine is intensely bitter, used in combination with long pepper for vomiting, diarrhoea and bowel complaints. Externally it is used as an application for rheumatism, sharp cuts and wounds. It is also used as a tonic.


 1. Anonymous (1985). The Wealth of India (Vol. I A). Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR. New Delhi. 59- 60.

2. Kirtikar, K.R., B.D. Basu (1993). Indian Medicinal Plants. (Vol- I) Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun. 50- 53.

3. Anonymous (1992). The Useful Plants of India. Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR, New Delhi.11.

4. Progress Report of the Project "Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim" (1998- 2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.

5. Bhujel, R.B. (1996). Studies on the Dicotyledonous Flora of Darjeeling District. Unpublished PhD Thesis University of North Bengal. 50.