ACONITE, MONKSHOOD, WOLF'S BANE
In homeopathy, aconite is given
for acute illnesses and shock. The root is used externally by herbalists to
relieve bruising, rheumatism, and sciatica, and in Chinese medicine as a
The ancient Chinese used this deadly herb as an arrow poison, and the name aconite is
thought to have come from the Latin for dart. A native of central and southern
Europe, it is an attractive garden perennial with dark-green, deeply-divided leaves and
deep blue-purple flowers on a spike.
Dried root, collected in the autumn.
Alkaloids, including aconitine and traces of ephedrine.
Sedative; relieves pain.
Poisonous to the heart and nervous system, it is rarely used internally except in homeopathic doses (Aconite) at the start of acute illnesses such as flu, colds or measles, and in emergencies. It is applied externally to relieve the pain of bruising, sciatica, rheumatism, and neuralgia, but should never be applied to broken skin. Chinese medicine uses a tincture of several species of Aconitum as a local anaesthetic and prescribes it internally for heart disease, but with the poisonous aconitine removed.
Tincture, lotion, homeopathic remedies.
Highly poisonous; UK law restricts sale and professional use of the dried root.