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Aconite Herb Health Benefits

Aconite is a hardy perennial, with a fleshy, spindle-shaped root, pale coloured 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.

 

Both tincture and liniment of Aconite are in general use, and Aconite is also used in ointment and sometimes given as hypodermic injection.

 

Preparations of Aconite are employed for outward application locally to the skin to diminish the pain of neuralgia, lumbago and rheumatism.

 

Despite serious concerns about safety, some people take aconite by mouth for facial paralysis, joint pain, gout, finger numbness, cold hands and feet, inflammation, painful breathing and fluid in the space surrounding the lungs (pleurisy), certain heart problems, skin diseases, and hair loss.

 

In homeopathy, aconite is used to treat fear, anxiety, and restlessness; acute sudden fever; symptoms from exposure to dry, cold weather or very hot weather; tingling, influenza or colds with congestion; and heavy, pulsating headaches.

 

The tuberous root is used in traditional medicine, although all parts of the plant are considered to be toxic.

 

Aconite also has a near worldwide historical usage as an arrow poison and as a poison in executions, homicides, and suicides.

 

Internally, it is often included in cough medicine and the purified aconite alkaloid is also used in treating facial neuralgia.

 

In Western medicine preparations of aconite were used until just after the middle of the 20th century, but it is no longer employed as it has been replaced by safer and more effective drugs and treatments.

 

The 1911 British Pharmaceutical Codex regarded the medical uses and toxicity of aconite root or leaves to be virtually identical to that of purified aconitine.

 

Aconite first stimulates and later paralyses the nerves of pain, touch, and temperature if applied to the skin or to a mucous membrane; the initial tingling therefore gives place to a long-continued anaesthetic action.

 

Great caution was required, as abraded skin could absorb a dangerous dose of the drug, and merely tasting some of the concentrated preparations available could be fatal.

 

Fresh aconite is extremely toxic, and safe dosage is dependent on processing. Many species are used medicinally in China only after processing.

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