This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. Wolf's bane.
MEDICINAL PARTS. Leaves and root.
Description. -- This plant has a small napiform root, and simple, straight, erect stems, about five feet high. The leaves are alternate, petioled, dark-green above, paler beneath. The flowers are large, deep bluish-purple, sometimes white, and hairy; fruit a capsule.
History. -- This perennial herb is a native of most parts of Europe, growing in wooded hills and plains, and is much cultivated in gardens. It flowers in May and June. All parts of the plant contain powerfully poisonous properties; but the root is the part most generally employed for medical purposes. It yields Aconitina.
Properties and Uses. -- Although Aconite in the hands of the intelligent physician is of great service, it should not be used in domestic practice. In improper doses all preparations of aconite act as an energetic acro-narcotic poison. As a sedative and anodyne, it is useful in all febrile and inflammatory diseases, and, indeed, in all affections in which there is an increase of nervous, vascular, or muscular action. In acute rheumatism, pneumonia, peritonitis, gastritis, and many other acute disorders, it has been used with the most decided advantage. Its action is more especially displayed in the highest grades of fever and inflammation.
Dose. -- The best preparation is the alcoholic extract, formed by evaporating a tincture made of a pound of aconite and a quart of alcohol. The dose of this is one-eighth of a grain.