Aconite is a plant native to areas in Europe and Asia with blossoms shaped like a medieval monk’s hood. Thus, other names aconite is known by includes monkshood, friar’s cap, and auld wife’s huid. Aconite is also called wolf’s bane as shepherds used raw meat laced with aconite as bait to kill wolves.
Extracts of aconite have traditionally been given to reduce fever and treat pneumonia, laryngitis and asthma. In traditional Asian medicine, aconite root extract is mixed with liquorice or ginger.
Other ailments aconite are thought to remedy include inflammation, high blood pressure, sweating, and tingling. IT can also be used for sedation purposes. In homoeopathy, aconite may treat fear, anxiety, restlessness, numbness, coldness and headaches.
Due to its poisonous properties, aconite is a common herb used in fiction as a poison. In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena uses aconite, believed to be invented by the goddess Hecate, to transform Arachne into a spider. Also, Medea attempts to poison Theseus with wine poisoned with wolf’s bane.
In the TV show ‘Merlin’, Merlin attempts to poison Arthur with aconite under a spell.
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