- Botanical: Aconitum ferox
- Family: Ranunculaceae
- Hits: 630
Known asAconitum virorum, Indian aconite, Eisenhut, Sturmhut, Akonit, Wolfswurz
Parts Usedflowers, leaves, roots
Muscle & Jointsarthritis, joint inflammation, joint pain, rheumatism, osteoarthritis
Mind & Nervesanxiety, depression
Propertiesanalgesic, anesthetic, antidepressant, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant
The plant is a hardy perennial, with a fleshy, spindle-shaped root, palecoloured when young, but subsequently acquiring a dark brown skin.
The stem is about 3 feet high, with dark green, glossy leaves, deeply divided in palmate manner and flowers in erect clusters of a dark blue colour.
The shape of the flower is specially designed to attract and utilize bee visitors, especially the humble bee. The sepals are purple - purple being specially attractive to bees - and are fancifully shaped, one of them being in the form of a hood. The petals are only represented by the two very curious nectaries within the hood, somewhat in the form of a hammer; the stamens are numerous and lie depressed in a bunch at the mouth of the flower. They are pendulous at first, but rise in succession and place their anthers forward in such a way that a bee visiting the flower for nectar is dusted with the pollen, which he then carries to the next flower he visits and thereby fertilizes the undeveloped fruits, which are in a tuft in the centre of the stamens, each carpel containing a single seed.
Properties & Uses
The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It is best harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant dies down. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It has been used in India and Nepal in the treatment of neuralgia, leprosy, fevers, cholera and rheumatism. When the roots are soaked in cow's urine, they become soft and lose their depressant action on the heart, becoming a stimulant instead.
The whole plant is highly toxic - simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people
E. Asia - Himalayas.
It contains large quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine.