Aconite, also known as monkshood or wolfsbane, is a flowering plant in the buttercup family. Aconitum is a highly poisonous plant; all parts of the plant, especially the roots and seeds, contain toxic alkaloids. The toxic alkaloids include serotonin, sumātin, and jesdiamine. Despite its toxicity, traditional Chinese medicine has used aconite for over 2000 years.
Aconite is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a “warming” herb. In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs are classified according to their temperature, taste, and body location they effect. Aconite is considered a “warming” herb because it is thought to raise the temperature of the body, increasing blood flow and sweating. Aconite is used to treat colds, flu, pneumonia, laryngitis, and croup. It is also used as a pain reliever for facial pain, joint pain, and leg pain (sciatica). Aconite is also used as a diuretic and a disinfectant.
Aconitum plants are highly toxic, with the roots being the most poisonous part of the plant. The toxicity decreases as you move up the plant, from the roots to the flowers to the leaves. The stems have the lowest level of toxicity.
What is it used for?
What part is used?
Flower, Leaves, Stems, Roots
This information is not to be confused for medical advice. I am no professional, and this is for informational purposes only. As always, seek medical advice before using any of these herbs.
Aconite should not be taken internally unless prescribed by a qualified traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. Aconite is a very poisonous plant and even small doses can be deadly. Aconite should only be used externally as a liniment and only on unbroken skin. Aconite should never be used on open wounds.
If you are interested in trying Aconite for your health condition, it is best to consult with a qualified traditional Chinese medicine practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage and form of Aconite for your individual condition.
Concerns, Side Effects, & Interactions
- Poisonous if taken internally. The herb is most commonly used topically.
- Aconitum plants are highly toxic, with the roots being the most poisonous part of the plant. The toxicity decreases as you move up the plant, from the roots to the flowers to the leaves. The stems have the lowest level of toxicity.