Aconitum napellus (Aconite)

Possibly from akontion - dart, from its use to poison arrows.


Tincture of the whole plant and root at the commencement of flowering.

Proving by Hahnemann, in Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis (1805); and in Materia Medica Pura vol. 1, 1st edition (published 1811), expanded in the 2nd & 3rd editions. Homoeopathic application described in Hahnemann's Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Power of Drugs (Hufeland's Journal, 1796), and in his paper Observations on the Scarlet-Fever (Allg. Anzeig. der Deutschen, 1808; in the treatment of epidemic purple miliary fever).

A long tradition of use in European medieval herbal medicine, and as a poison. Adopted by the allopathic medicine of Hahnemann's day.

Family Ranunculaceae, subfamily Helleboreae: acon., acon-c., acon-f., acon-l., act-sp., aquil., calth., cimic., hell., hell-f., hell-o., hell-v., staph.

Lower mountain slopes of the northern Eastern hemisphere, from the Himalayas through Europe to Great Britain.

illustration from Herman Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen, 1887

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"... from a thorough consideration of the symptoms presented by the purpura miliaris just mentioned [which Hahnemann distinguished from the epidemic scarlet fever previously prevailing], in the particular character of its purely inflammatory fever with agonizing anxiety and restlessness, I found that aconite must be the spcific remedy ... and experience has confirmed the truth of the remark."

- Samuel Hahnemann, Examination of the Sources of the Common Materia Medica (from part 3 of the Materia Medica Pura), referring to his experiences treating epidemic purpura miliaris between 1800-1808. See Observations on the Scarlet-Fever (Allg. Anzeig. der Deutschen, 1808, in Dudgeon's The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann).

Refer to the Organon, §s 73, 81 note a, 100-102, and 241 re the treatment of epidemic disease.

Last Updated: Saturday, April 3, 1999, 10:04 PM