Ethno-botanical and Toxicological comparison on varieties of Vatsanabha (Aconitum ferox Wall.) available in Nepal.
Keywords:Aconitum ferox, Toxicity, Vatsanabha`, Higher Altitude
Introduction: The root of Vatsanabha (Aconitum ferox Wall.) is considered the most virulent of vegetable poisons. Due to this reason, it is highly exploited and traded in India. The Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Database of Nepal (MAPDON) has reported it's distribution at Subalpine zone (3000-4000 meter/10000-14000 ft). Vatsanabha (synonyms Bikha, Bisha) is mentioned in different Ayurveda texts as Mahavisha (~highly toxic in nature). Its Kanda (root tuber) is used in the formulation for curing ailments. Acute Oral Toxicity study found a lethal dose of aconitine in mice to be 1.8?mg/kg. This survey study was conducted to explore the ethnomedicinal importance and to compare the toxicity of those tuberous roots which are available geographically in Nepal.
Methods: Field survey was carried out and interviewed with the indigenous people, traditional practitioners and herbal traders. The Sample collected was evaluated for Acute Oral Toxicity (AOT) on Wistar Albino rat as per Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 425 Guidelines. All the rats were dosed per orally at constant dose-volume fixed as per AOT Software Program. The toxicological parameters were entered and evaluated on AOT Performa for Physical and Behavioural Study.
Results: Local people and indigenous practitioners were aware of Vatsanabha, its uses and toxicity. Traditional practitioners at higher altitude collect, store and process the roots for preparing formulations. The root powder is used for the treatment of joint pain, fever and against microbial contamination. The lethal doses of the Naradevi, Shivapuri and Dolpa samples were observed to be 29.57 mg/kg (C.L. 17.5 - 55), >2000mg/kg and 29.57 mg/kg (C.L. 17.5 to 55) respectively.
Conclusions: Majority of the traditional practitioners ethnic groups inhabitant of Nepal in higher altitude use Vatsanabha to prepare their own different formulations for curing the illness. The lethal doses obtained from Wistar albino rat experimentation was 29.57 mg/kg and 17.5mg/kg wt. This study recommends the quantitative analytical study of Vatsanabha to support the toxicological analysis.
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