Basic Information



Species                       :       Aconitum spicatum (Bruhl)  Stapt.

Local Name                 :       Akphale (Bikh or Bish), nilo Bikh (Nep), Nyine (Lep)

Synonym                     :      Aconitum ferrox  Wall. Ser.

Family                          :       Ranunculaceae

Habitat                        :       A perennial herb grows well in moist places in hilly region.

Distribution                 :       Growing wild in the alpine and sub alpine Himalayas at an altitude of

                                                                                                        about 3,600 m.

Sikkim                          :           Lachen-Thangu, Kupup, Memenchu lake, Yuma- Samdong, Choka, Tukola, Thangu, Rabangla, Serathang,

                                               Karponang, Rabangla.

Out side                      :           Kashmir, West Bengal (Neoravalley, Tunglu, Gairi bans, Moley, Darjeeling,); Uttar Pradesh (Martoli, Bugyals,

                                               Kedarnath, Gulmar Pass, Bander punch, Kumaon); Himachal Pradesh, also distributed in Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

General                      :             Eastern Himalaya (Nepal -Bhutan), South East Tibet.

Morphological information

A perennial erect herb up to 1- 2 m tall. Roots biennial, paired, tuberous, dark brown. Leaves palmately 5-fid, lobes, ovate- cuneate, deeply incised. Flowers blue in long simple or branched, tomentose, many flowered racemes. Follicles 5, oblong, conspicuously reticulate, finely hairy. Seeds obovoid to obpyramidal winged along the raphe.

Flowering            :     September-October

Fruiting                :     November-December

History                :      It was introduced into the Botanical Garden at Edinburgh in 1848 where it flowered in1849 and was fully discovered by Professor Balfour.

Parts                    :      Green leaves and 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).


The plant grown from seeds sown late in October or during February-March. The seedlings are transplanted into the field leaving the space of 30cm in rows and 60 cm between each seedling. Propagation by division of the roots after stems have died appears to be a better method as it ensures plants true to type. The roots should be harvested after the stems have died down in October after flowering. The small roots should be kept for planting and rest should be washed and dried for use. The cultivation can be taken up at higher altitude of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kumaon hills and Sikkim.



Tubers are diaphoretic, diuretic, antipyretic, anodyne, ant -diabetic and antiphlogistic, used in cough, asthma and snakebite.

1. Tincture is antiphiogistic and useful in nasal catarrh, tonsillitis, sore throat coryza, neuralgia and acute gout, palpitation of heart.

2. Linoment is used in Chilblain congestion and swelling attended with severe itching and burning sensation in reaction to cold.

3. Paste is useful in neuralgia, muscular, rheumatism, nasal catarrh, tonsillitis and coryza. Tubers are used to poison arrows and are extensively used medicinally.


1. Anonymous (1985). The Wealth of India Vol. 1 A. Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR, New Delhi. 60 61.

2. Chatterjee, Asima, Satyesh Chandra Pakrashi (1991). The Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants (Vol. 1) Publications and information Directorate, New Delhi. 121.

3. Kumar, Sushil, Janardan Singh, N.C, Shah, Vinay Ranjan (1997). Indian Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Facing Genetic Erosion. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow 30 32.

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