Digitalis Lanata

Digitalis lanata, vernacularly often called woolly foxglove or Grecian foxglove is a species of foxglove, a flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae.

  • Synonyms: Woolly Foxglove leaves, Australian digitalis.
  • Biological source: It consists of dried leaves of Digitalis lanata Ehrhart.
  • Family: Scrophulariaceae
  • Geographical source: Southern Europe and Central Europe, USA, Holland, and Equador

Macroscopic characters:

The plant is biennial and has about 1 meter in height. Leaves are sessile, oblong with an entire margin and about 20 cm in length and 5 to 6 cm in width.

Digitalis lanata plant
Fig.1: Digitalis lanata plant

Chemical Constituent:

It mainly contains five primary glycosides and about 70 cardiac glycosides. The primary glycosides are identified as lanatosides A, B, C, D & E. The aglycone digoxigenin and diginatigenin are specific to Digitalis lanata while others are present in Digitalis purpurea.

Chemical structure of Lanatosides A, B, C, and D
Fig.2: Chemical structure of Lanatosides A, B, C, and D


It is used as a commercial source for Digoxin, lanatoside C, lanatoside A and a mixture of lanatosides. Lanatoside and digoxin have the same action as digitalis. Digoxin is used for auricular fibrillation treatment and congestive cardiac failure. It is most preferred because of its less cumulative action.

Interconversion of lanatosides into their derivatives
Fig.3: Interconversion of lanatosides into their derivatives
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