Aconitum napellus
Monkshood is among the most poisonous of plants. Small doses can cause painful death in a few hours. Do not use without medical supervision under any circumstances. 

The root is used as medicine.
Aconite root contains chemicals that may improve circulation but it also contains chemicals that can seriously harm the heart, muscles & nerves. It can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, sweating, breathing & heart problems.

Aconite has been used to treat inflammation, fever, skin diseases, & neuralgias.

The traditional Chinese use Aconite as medicine, it was known as "Fu-Tzu". It is considered an effective stimulant for the spleen & kidneys.
Chinese medical practitioners will combine Aconite with other herbs before final preparation as a tea or infusions in order to neutralize its toxic effects.

Aconite is a favorite treatment for malaise, general weakness,cancer & heart disease.

Aconite is quick acting & is safely used as a homeopathic remedy for physical or psychological stress & panic attacks accompanied by palpitations.

Preparations of Aconite are employed for outward application locally to the skin to diminish the pain of neuralgia, lumbago.

The tincture taken internally diminishes the rate & force of the pulse in the early stages of fevers & slight inflammations, such as feverish colds, laryngitis, first stages of pneumonia.

Also, it relieves the pain of pleurisy & aneurysm.

Other uses have been to regulate heartbeat, reduce nervous tension & to give temporary relief in Parkinson's disease.

Aconite has also been shown to help with urinary problems,bladder infections, painful urination, anxiety at start of urination, urine scanty & hot red urine.

Monkshood can also be useful for people who experience burning headaches that flare up all of a sudden,severe fevers that cause a hot sensation within the body & a chilly feeling outside accompanied by alternating cold & hot at night time,eye irritation when the white of the eye reddens, insomnia owing to nervous dreams or nightmares,restive teething in children accompanied by hot flushed cheeks, irritation & ear pain & mothers scared by childbirth.

Aconite liniment was used to alleviate pain, especially pain caused by arthritis & rheumatism. When applied to the afflicted area, there would first be a hot, tingling feeling followed by numbness.

During blooming the roots contain a minor amount of aconitine but it grows larger & reaches its maximum in the winter. That is why only young tubers gathered in the autumn are used as a drug. Since tubers easily disintegrate, they should be stored in a dark place.

In Tibetan medicine, aconitine is the most valuable drug & is referred to as “the king of medicines”.

Its alkaloids are also used in agriculture for killing harmful rodents & insects.

You should not think that you can try it at home. The amounts used are carefully measured & infinitesimal & a pinch too much can be lethal.


The root of Aconite is highly poisonous & can cause death.

Do not use on open wounds.

Aconite should be avoided by anyone taking medication for high blood pressure or drugs that increases the risk of heartbeat irregularities.

Symptoms of aconite poisoning include: slowed pulse, tingling, vomiting, sweating, frothing, confusion, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, motor impairment, shallow breathing, alternating cold & burning sensations & paralysis.


If used for decoction, it should be decocted first for 30-60 min to reduce its toxicity.
1.5-3 g is used in decoction for oral use.

The right amount of powder should be used for external application.


Monkshood is probably best known for its use as an herbal amulet against
vampires & werewolves. However, according to legend, the protective powers of the monkshood plant are only effective when its flowers are in full bloom.
It is also reputed to have the power to cure those who have fallen victim to the curse of lycanthropy.

To master invisibility, some sorcerers in the Middle Ages were said to have carried with them a magical charm consisting of a wolf ’s bane seed wrapped in the skin of a lizard. It is  unknown whether or not this charm helped them to return to their visible state, or if simply willing it was the only thing needed to regain their visibility.

In Greek legend, monkshood originated from the foam dripping from the fangs of the three-headed dog Cerberus that Herakles brought up from the underworld. Also Hecate, the Greek goddess of the moon, ghosts, witches & magic, poisoned her father with monkshood.

It was formerly used to make a deadly poison,Shakespeare’s Romeo killed himself with a cup of it.

In the Middle Ages witches were associated with monkshood. Since it numbs the senses & gives a sensation of flying, they are said to have smeared it on their bodies & broomsticks.

Druids held monkshood sacred.

It is used for protection, invisibility & fighting werewolves.

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