Contractions. - Aeon. Aco.
Aconitum Napellus. Nat. ord., Ranunculaceae.
Fig. - Flora Horn., pl. 1.
Common Aconite, Monkshood, or Wolfsbane. For. names: German, Eisenkappe, Sturmhut; French, Aconit. Napel; Italian, Napello; Spanish, Napello.
Habitat. - Moist pastures, thickets and waste places, etc, in mountainous districts, in Central and Southern Europe, and Russian and Central Asia, extending northward into Scandinavia. In Britain probably introduced, but apparently wild in some shady places in Western England and South Wales.
Flowering time. - June to August.
Parts employed. - The leaves and flowering tops, and the root.
Characters. - Leaves smooth, palmate, divided into five or seven deeply cut wedge-shaped segments, exciting slowly when chewed a sensation of tingling. Flowers numerous, irregular, deep blue, in dense racemes. The upper helmet-shaped sepal at first conceals the lateral ones, but is ultimately thrown back. Carpels 3, often slightly united at the base. The fresh root is usually from 1 to 3 inches long, tapering, dark brown, internally whitish. A minute portion cautiously chewed causes prolonged tingling and numbness. The juice must not be swallowed, and the mouth should be washed after applying this test.
Time for collecting. - The leaves and flowering tops, when about one-third of the flowers have expanded. The root in spring, before the leaves have appeared.
N.B. - The cultivated plant has been repeatedly used in place of the wild one, and it yields a very good tincture. It is needful, however, to select plants which have not been grown in rich, luxuriant soil, and also such as retain all the characters of the wild plant unaltered by cultivation.
Preparations. - Tincture from freshly collected leaves and flowering tops, and from the fresh or dry root, the alcoholic strength being proof spirit in either case. A stronger tincture may be made from the dry root, using rectified spirit, but if ordered, it must be distinctly specified.
Reference to Horn. Proving. - R. A. M. L., i. (Est. Zeitsch. f. Horn., vol. i.
Proper forms for dispensing. - φ and lx, Tincture only. 1 and above, Tincture, Pilules, or Globules.
Average loss of moisture: Tops, 72 per cent.; Root, 68 per cent.