- A genus of perennial flowering plants of the family Schrophulariaceae. D. lanata, a European species, and D. purpurea, purple foxglove, are the main sources of cardioactive steroid glycosides used in the treatment of certain heart diseases, especially congestive heart failure; also used to treat tachyarrhythmias of atrial origin. SYN: foxglove. [L. d., relating to the fingers; in allusion to the fingerlike flowers]
* * *dig·i·tal·is -əs n1 a) cap a genus of Eurasian herbs of the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) that have alternate leaves and racemes of showy bell-shaped flowers and comprise the foxglovesb) FOXGLOVE2) the dried leaf of the common European foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) that contains physiologically active glycosides, that is a powerful cardiotonic acting to increase the force of myocardial contraction, to slow the conduction rate of nerve impulses through the atrioventricular node, and to promote diuresis, and that is used in standardized powdered form esp. in the treatment of congestive heart failure and in the management of atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and paroxysmal tachycardia of the atria broadly any of various glycosides (as digoxin or digitoxin) that are constituents of digitalis or are derived from a related foxglove (D. lanata)
* * *n.an extract from the dried leaves of foxgloves (Digitalis species), which contains various substances, including digitoxin and digoxin, that stimulate heart muscle and are used for treating heart failure.
* * *Dig·i·tal·is (dij″ĭ-talґis) [L., from digitus finger, because of the fingerlike leaves of the corolla of its flowers] a genus of herbs of the family Scrophulariaceae, native to Europe and Asia. D. purpuґrea is the purple foxglove, whose leaves furnish digitalis. D. lanaґta is a Balkan species that yields digoxin and lanatoside.
Medical dictionary. 2011.