(Syn., Aconitin, Napaconitine, Aconitia; Fr. Aconitine; Ger. Aconitin.)  Exists in combination with aconitic acid, and is obtained by exhausting root with cold rectified fusel oil, shaking resulting tincture with diluted (1 p.c.) sulphuric acid, adding chloroform to remove resin, rendering alkaline with sodium carbonate, shaking out with ether.  It is in colorless or white crystals, odorless, permanent, producing tingling and numbing sensation to tongue, lips -- taste cautiously even when diluted; soluble in alcohol (28), ether (65), benzene (7), slightly in water, almost insoluble in petroleum benzin; solutions alkaline; melts at 195 degrees C (383 degrees F.); forms salts, as hydrochloride, nitrate, sulphate, etc.; commercial aconitine occurs in amorphous and crystalline forms, but the latter should alone be used, as the former contains derivatives lessening its activity 10-15 p.c. Tests: 1. Dissolve .001 Gm. With 2-3 drops of nitric or sulphuric acid on white porcelain surface -- colorless solution; with 2 drops of sulphuric acid containing .005 Gm. Of ammonium vanadate in each cc. -- orange solution.  2.  Dilute solutions, + mercuric potassium iodide T.S., or +tannic acid T.S., or +gold chloride T.S. -- precipitate; concentrated solutions, + platinic chloride T.S. or + mercuric chloride T.S., or + trinitrophenol (picric acid) T.S. -- precipitate; incinerate -- ash negligible.  3.  Evaporate a solution of 0.1 Gm. with 5 drops of fuming nitric acid, cool, resulting yellow residue, + alcoholic potassium hydroxide T.S. -- not violet (abs. Of pseudaconitine, atropine).  Should be kept dark in well-closed containers.  Dose (crystals), gr. 1/640 1/200 (.0001-.00035 Gm.; (amorphous), gr. 1/34- 1/20 (.001-.003 Gm.).

Aconine, CHO. -- This appears antagonistic to aconitine in cardiac effect; picraconitine is considered inert; aconitic acid is abundant, but is chiefly in combination with calcium, and is almost inert.


1.  Tinctura Aconiti.  Tincture of Aconite.  (Syn., Tr. Aconit.: Fr. Teinture de Racine D=Aconit; Ger. Akonittinktur, Eisenhuttinktur.)


10 p.c.  Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 104; use menstruum: 70 p.c. alcohol, and adjust to assay (biological).  Dose mss-10 (.03-.6cc.).

Preps: 1.  Dentilinimentum Aconiti Compositum, N.F., 80 p.c.  2. Dentilinimentum Aconiti et Iodi Compositum, N.F., 85 p.c.  2.  Fluidextractum Aconiti, N.F. (75 p.c. alcohol).  Dose, mss-2 (.03-.13 cc.): Prep.: 1 Linimentum Aconiti et Chloroformi, N.F., fldext. 4.5 p.c., alcohol 8, chloroform 12.5, soap liniment .6.

Unoff. Preps.: Abstract (alcohol), gr l/4-1 (.016-.06 Gm.).  Extract (alcohol), gr. 1/6 - 1/3 (.01-.02 Gm.).  Fleming's Tincture Aconite Root, 70 p.c. (alcohol), mss-4 (.03-.26 cc.)  Linimentum Aconiti (Br.), 50 Gm + camphor 3 Gm., alcohol q.s. 100 cc.  Oleate of Aconitine, 2 p.c. Tincture Aconite Leaves, 8 p.c. (Diluted alcohol), mj-6 (.06-.4 cc).  Unguentum Aconitinae (Br.), 2 p.c. Glycerite. PlasterPseudaconitine (A. Ferox), gr. 1/250 - 1/100 (.00026-.00065 Gm.)


Sedative (heart and nerve), anodyne, diaphoretic, antipyretic, myotic, poisonous.  Produces tingling and numbness of the lips, mouth, and fingers; increases the secretion of the kidneys, salivary glands, and skin; circulation (heart action, pulse) becomes weak and slow, due to direct depression of heart-muscle, and stimulation of vagus (pneumogastric) nerve; respiration (breathing) shallow and slow; arterial pressure is decreased; temperature is lowered, all causing a tendency to fainting when in the erect position, and giving rise to its popular name "therapeutic lancet:" it increases urinary flow; effect lasts about 3 hours -- paralyzes first the sensory and then the motor nerves.


It should never be given in asthenic or debilitated conditions, or when the heart action is weak, or in gastric catarrh, but may be employed in all asthenic or inflammatory fevers of the young and vigorous; croup, laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, acute meningitis, peritonitis, pleuritis, rheumatism; measles, scarlet fever, erysipelas, first stage of pneumonia, pericarditis and pleurisy, nervous heart palpitation, cardiac hypertrophy, epistaxis, vomiting of pregnancy.  Locally on non-abraded surfaces; neuralgia, rheumatism, sciatica, herpes zoster, chilblains, pruritus, odontalgia, periodontitis, inflames pulps.


Have anxious countenance, pallid clammy skin covered with cold sweat; pulse and respiration slow, weak, and irregular; muscular weakness, loss of sight and hearing, pupils either normal, contracted or dilated, general anesthesia, collapse, death from syncope, or respiratory paralysis, sometimes preceded by convulsions; conscious until near the end, when carbon dioxide narcosis sets in.  Evacuate stomach reclining, direct recumbent position, feet elevated, warmth to extremities, give diffusible cardiac stimulants (brandy, whisky, alcohol, ether, ammonia) by the stomach, rectum, or skin, then digitalis, tannin; artificial heat and respiration (rhythmically raising and lowering arms from straight at sides to up over head and back again 20 times per minute), amyl nitrite, atropine, and strychnine (hypodermically) to stimulate heart and respiration.


Ammonia, alcohol, alkalies, atropine, digitalis, ether, morphine, heat, turpentine.


Veratrum viride, pulsatilla, staphisagria, cold, fatigue.  Leaves U.S.P. 1820-1870.  These are considered 5-20 times weaker than the root, yet many specimens yield considerable alkaloids; their uncertainty and deception have led to disuse; but if collected when flowers are two-thirds in bloom they are reliable; it is then that all nutrient constituents are in demand for the perfection of reproductive organs, thus leaving behind in leaves a goodly quantity of the (waste products) alkaloids.  Dose, gr. 1-4 (.06-.26 Gm.).

Allied Plants

1.  Aconitum neomonta'num. -- Leaves, U.S.P. 1820-1830, and A. Panicula=tum, leaves, U.S.P. 1840, possess very little acridity, but even now their roots are collected and mixed with the official.

2.  A. Cam'marum (variega'tum). --Europe; root globular, ovate, 12 Mm. (1/2') long, pith rays 5, short, rounded; and A. Storckia'num, Europe; root conical, slender, pith roundish pentagonal, similar in effect, smaller than, but often found mixed with the official.

3.  A. Fer'ox. -- India aconite (native Bikh or Bish) is the strongest species, with root 5-10 Cm. (2-4') long, 2.5 Cm. (1') thick, conical and brown; yields pseudaconitine (peraconitine), similar to and as active as aconitine; A. Uncina'tum and A. Lu'ridum roots are collected with this, as they all have constituents similar to the official, but here pseudaconitine predominates.

4.  A Fisch'eri and A. Japon'icum, Japanese and Chinese Aconite. -- Roots napiform, long, pith circular, 5-7-rayed; yields japaconitine, identical with aconitine; allied to former is A. Columbia'num; Rocky Mountains; poisonous.  A. Heterophyl'lum, India-- fusiform, conical, bitter, not acrid or poisonous, A. Antho'ra, Europe -- fusiform, long, pith thin, rays short and long, and A. Lycoc'tonum, Europe, N. Asia -- rhizome oblique, several-headed, bitter.