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Aconite Information


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Aconite is a perennial plant with helmet-shaped flowers in shades of blue, purple, white, peach, pink and yellow. Considered to be indigenous to the Himalayas and Europe, it is a key ingredient is various early English medicinal recipes.

While there are over 100 species of these beautiful plants, many varieties are poisonous, so enormous care should be taken when using this as a homeopathic remedy for ailments. Classified as a member of the buttercup plant family, Aconite may also be referred to as monkshood, conite, blue rocket and wolfsbane. These names make more sense when you consider some of the rumored stories within this herb’s history. Wolves and criminals are said to have been poisoned with extracts from this plant. And pieces of the plant resemble old-fashioned cowl robes worn by ancient monks. In 1881, it is possible that a many named George Henry Lamson used a version of Aconite to murder his brother-in-law, Percy John.

Aconite Benefits & Uses

Today, certain (non-poisonous) forms of Aconite are used in oral medicines to address fever, pneumonia, laryngitis, asthma and high blood pressure. It may also be extremely effective in terms of pain relief associated with arthritis, skin diseases and serious inflammations. Certain care-givers claim its effectiveness can be powerful and fast-acting as morphine.

Physicians and patients seeking an alternative for anxiety medications may also sometimes discuss Aconite in an effort to avoid traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions that are considered to be highly addictive.

To remove the active toxicity from the plant, experts convert plant pieces to a liquid…which is then drastically diluted. Further processing them creates a tincture or a tablet of the herb. Gloves must be work during all steps of the processing. In traditional Chinese medicinal preparations, Aconite might be steamed with ginger and/or mixed with other herbs to create a special tea. These elaborate preparations are often designed to safeguard against toxicity risk.

Of course, the poison factor of this plant has made it appealing during history for those wanting to create arrow poisons -- which are used for warfare and also in hunting.

Whether true or simply part of folklore, Aconite is also sometimes associated as being a key ingredient in “Witches Brew” recipes, perhaps because the herb may sometimes cause a sensation of flying for those that ingest it.

Aconite Side Effects

As implied above, extreme caution and medical supervision is recommended for those who are interested in using Aconite as an herbal remedy. Fresh aconite is especially toxic and dosage amounts recommended for use is often dependent on both processing as well as the ailment of focus.

In particular, the root of this plant is considered to be the deadliest piece. Poisoning can have symptoms that include face numbness, pins and needle feelings around the mouth area and/or a muscle weakness in limbs. If untreated, the poison can advance and disrupt muscle impulses necessary for breathing – and can cause death. Occasionally, roots are mistaken for horseradish. Aconite should not be applied to open wounds and is generally not advised for children, nursing or pregnant women or for those with kidney disease.

Potential Drug Interactions

Aside from having a risk of serious harm or death if taken incorrectly, Aconite may also pose an additional risk for those taking medicines for irregular heartbeats and to lower blood pressure. Professional supervision should be acquired if using Aconite.

Available Forms

Tablets and tinctures seem to be the most common forms of Aconite homeopathic remedies.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your Doctor, Physician or Other Health Care Professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult your Healthcare Professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program and before taking any natural medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health issue.