Did you know:
- Aconite – Aconitum napellus – was used by the Ancient Chinese to poison the tips of their arrows.
- All parts of the plant are extremely toxic. Death occurs in 2 – 6 hours and is caused by the paralysis of the heart.
- Poisoning produces symptoms similar to rabies – frothy saliva, poor vision, disorientation, and coma.
- The helmet-shaped flowers are usually a violet- blue color, but they can also be white, yellow, or pink.
- This plant grows in moist mountain meadows and has glossy, dark green leaves. The root looks like small turnips.
- Aconite was historically used to kill wild predators – hence the nicknames Wolf’s Bane and Leopard’s Bane.
- It is also commonly known as Monkshood, Devil’s Helmet, and The Queen of All Poisons.
- Cleopatra used Aconite to kill her brother Ptolemy XIV, in order to place her own son on the throne.
Stuart, Malcolm. The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism (London: Black Cat, 1987)
Wikipedia, “Aconitum” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum
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