Aconite (Aconitum napellus)

Folk Name(s): Aconite Tuber, Blue Rocket, Bushi, Caowu, Chuanwu, Devil’s Helmet, Friar’s Cap, Futzu, Helmet Flower, Leopard’s Bane, Monkshood, Mousebane, Queen of Poisons, Wolfsbane, Women’s Bane
Type: Flower
Parts Used: Flower, Leaves, and Roots
Uses (Mundane): Historically used for poison arrows and spears during hunting and battle.

Medicinal Properties: Species of Aconitum have been used for centuries as poisons and medicines. The root is the most toxic part of the plant, although the entire plant is considered toxic. Aconitum species extracts have been administered orally in traditional medicine to reduce fever associated with colds, pneumonia, laryngitis, croup, and asthma. It is used for pain, inflammation, and high blood pressure. It can be used as a diuretic, to cause sweating, to slow heart rate, as well as for sedation. In traditional Asian herbal medicine, root extracts are mixed with licorice and/or ginger.

Extreme caution when using aconite is required, fresh aconite is extremely toxic, and safe dosage depends on its processing. It is not recommended to use this as a homeopathic remedy.

Magical Properties: Invisibility, Protection

An infusion of aconite can be sprinkled on ritual items during rituals to charge them with protective energies. The roots and leaves can be burned in the ritual fire to be used for the same purposes, but use caution not to ingest or inhale the fumes as they are toxic.

Magical Associations:
Deities – Hecate, Medea
Element – Water
Gender – Feminine
Ruler – Saturn
Tarot
Symbolism

Folklore:
Historically, extracts have been used for arrow and spear poisons. It was commonly used in Western cultures as a tincture, applied topically as a counterirritant liniment for neuralgia, rheumatism, and sciatica. In homeopathic treatments, aconite was used to treat fear, anxiety, and restlessness, as well as for acute sudden fear, exposure to dry, cold or very hot weather. It also helped with tingling, coldness, numbness, influenza or colds with congestion, and heavy, pulsating headaches.

Citation:
– Aconite Poisoning – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19514874
– Homeopathic Information – https://www.drugs.com/npc/aconite.html


Aconite is classified as a poisonous plant–aconitine and related alkaloids found in the Aconitum species are highly toxic cardiotoxins and neurotoxins. The wild plant, especially roots and tubers are extremely toxic–severe aconite poisoning can occur after accidental ingestion of the wild plant or consumption of an herbal decoction made from aconite roots. In traditional Chinese medicine, aconite roots are used only after processing to reduce the toxic alkaloid content. Soaking and boiling during processing or decoction preparation will hydrolyze aconite alkaloids into less toxic and non-toxic derivatives. However, the use of a larger than recommended dose and inadequate processing increases the risk of poisoning.

It is NOT advised to consume this plant in any way, shape, or form–please do NOT attempt any of the folk remedies shown here, as they have been included for educational purposes only, as well as to ward against any unwitting consumption.