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Home » Plant infomation

Actaea spicata  LINN.


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Botanical Name


Actaea spicata LINN.

English Name


Herb Christopher, Bugbane, Toadroot, Baneberry,



Actaea alba; Actaea spicata var alba





General Info


Perennial pubescent herb growing 1 to 2 feet high, which are triangular and either not branched, or very sparingly so. It has toothed, bipinnate compound leaves up to 40 cm long and 30 cm broad. The foot-stalks of the leaves are long and arise from the root. The flowers grow in spikes and are of a pure white.The fruit is an oval glossy black berry, 10-11 mm long and 8 mm diameter.

Herb Effects

Emetic and laxative (root); insecticidal (stem, flower and leaf); toxic (fruit oil); against Ehrlich's ascites tumors, nerve sedative.


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Homeopathic Materia Medica


Active Ingredients

Trans-aconitic acid (plant and fruit); protoanemonin (fruit).

Chemistry of Active Ingredients
Product Categories






Product Categories
Protoanemonin 108-28-1 5-methylidenefuran-2
C5H4O2 Click Here To Enlarge
trans-Aconitic acid 4023-65-8 prop-1-ene-1,2,3-tri
carboxylic acid
C6H6O6 Click Here To Enlarge


Medicinal Use

Used in snakebite; antispasmodic, cytostatic, emetic, nervine and purgative (root);it is also considered useful in the treatment of nervous disorders and rheumatic fever (Coventry,1923).In India it is used in the treatment of rheumatism, goitre and asthma.


Baneberry contains the poison protoanemonin, and is a violent purgative, irritant, and emetic. Taking as few as two berries can cause severe cramps, headaches, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and/or dizziness. Severe protoanemonin poisoning can lead to paralysis of the respiratory system and cardiac arrest.


Chandel et al., Biodiversity in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India.

Uniyal et al., Medicinal Flora of Garhwal Himalayas.

Johnson. T. CRC Ethnobotany Desk Reference (

Coventry. B. O. Wild Flowers of Kashmir Raithby, Lawrence and Co. 1923.



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