Aconite is obtained from the dried, tuberous root of Aconitum Napellus, a perennial plant abounding in the mountains of Europe and Asia. The leaves and root are both used, but the latter is the most powerful. The alkaloid Aconitia or Aconitine, a sedative poison, is obtained from the root, and is externally em-ploved for neuralgic affections, producing a sensation of heat and pricking, succeeded by a feeling of numbness and constriction in the part on which it is rubbed; and very satisfactory results have been obtained from the internal administration of Duquesnel's Aconitia, in neuralgia of the fifth pair of nerves. Another principle of aconite, suggested by Duquesnel, is known as Napelline, which is less powerful than aconitia, but possesses important hypnotic properties, and is substituted for opium and chloral, especially in cases of wakefulness and mental excitement during neuralgic attacks.

Medical Properties And Physiological Action

Aconite is a powerful sedative to the nervous system, and reduces the force of the circulation. In large doses it is an active poison, lessening the heart's action, affecting its ganglia and muscle, and paralyzing the muscles of respiration. In moderate doses it produces warmth in the stomach, general warmth of the body, and sometimes nausea, numbness and tingling in the limbs and fingers, muscular weakness, diminished force and frequency of the pulse and diminished respiration. It proves fatal, in poisonous doses, by its powerful sedative impression on the nervous system, by suspension of the respiratory function and by syncope.

Therapeutic Uses

Aconite, in the form of an extract prepared from the leaves, and a tincture prepared from the root, is administered in all inflammatory and febrile affections, acute rheumatism, neuralgia, especially in chronic cases of neuralgia, where all the signs of active disease are absent, or have been relieved by other remedies; tetanus, sciatica, diseases of the heart, erysipelas, amenorrhoea, tonsilitis, acute congestion of liver, peritonitis, eruptive fevers, etc., etc. It is contraindicated in inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. It is locally applied to painful sprains and bruises, and chronic arthritic swellings.


Of the tincture of aconite - tinctura aconiti - gtt. j to gtt. v; of the extract of aconite - extracturn aconiti - gr. j to gr. ij. The tincture of the root is composed of twelve troy-ounces to alcohol Oij. Dose of aconitia, gr. 1/240.

Dental Uses

Aconite, in the form of the tincture, is a valuable agent in dental practice. When locally applied, it checks inflammation in its early stages, by paralyzing the nerves of the part and lessening the excitement to the local afflux of blood, favoring resolution and limiting the extent of an abscess where pus is already formed. Combined with an equal part of the tincture of iodine, it is a valuable application in the incipient stages of periodontitis, as it relieves the inflammation by retarding the circulation and stimulating lymphatic action. For such purposes the gum or root of the affected tooth should be painted with this combination until it assumes a dark brown color, taking the precaution to first remove all moisture from the surface to which it is to be applied, and, after its application, protecting the adjoining parts, such as the lips or cheeks, until the remedy is absorbed. A drop or two of the tincture, introduced into the cavity of an aching tooth, will relieve odontalgia; and the same quantity will subdue the pain which follows the extraction of a tooth, especially when the cause has been the inflammation of the peridental membrane. Tincture of aconite is also serviceable in the conservative treatment of irritated or inflamed pulps of teeth. Combined with an equal quantity of chloroform, it is applied as a local anaesthetic for the extraction of teeth. For the same purpose it is combined with chloral, pyrethrum, morphia, etc. (See Dental Formulae.) It is also a useful dressing for the pulp canals of teeth, preventing the formation of inflammatory products. The alkaloid, aconitia, is a useful remedy in neuralgia of the fifth pair of nerves. (See Dental Formulas.) Care is necessary in the application of the tincture of aconite to large surfaces, or where the skin is abraded, as dangerous constitutional effects may result. Fifteen drops of the tincture, taken internally, have caused death. The symptoms of poisoning by aconite are as follows: Overpowering sense of fatigue in the lower extremities, great muscular weakness, dimness of vision, with dilated pupils; great dyspnea, the respiration being short and labored; the pulse at first slow and small, and afterward imperceptible; surface of body, tongue and breath cold; a profuse perspiration; muscles of respiration paralyzed; ceasing of the heart's action. The antidotes are emetics and stimulants - heat, brandy and ammonia; patient kept flat on back.

Dental Formulae

For Neuralgia.

Pulveris radicis aconiti


Spiriti rectificati . . . Moisten the aconite with some of the alcohol and macerate in a close vessel for 3 days, then percolate slowly into a receiver containing the camphor until product measures half a pint. Signa.- Apply with a camel's-hair brush.

Dental Formulae 582Dental Formulae 583

For Odontalgia.

Tincturae aconiti, Chloroformi .... Tinct. capsici . . . Tinct. pyrethri., 01. caryophylli . . . Gum camph. . . .


To be applied on a pellet of cotton.

Signa 584Signa 585

A Local Anaesthetic for the Extraction of Teeth.

Tincturae aconiti . . .


Veratrinae . ...

Morphinae sulphas .

Spiriti rectificati . . .

Chloral hydratis . . . gr. iv. M. Let it stand 4 days and then filter. Signa. - Apply to the gum over root of tooth to be removed for 60 seconds, by means of an applicator.

Signa 586Signa 587

For a Local Anaesthetic for Extraction of Teeth.

Tinctura aconiti . . . x



Apply freely to gum about tooth for several minutes.

Signa 588Signa 589Signa 590

For Neuralgia and Rheumatic Pains, Bruises, etc.

Tincturae aconiti, Chloroformi venalis, Spiriti ammoniae . . Oleo ricini .... Linimenti saponis .


To be rubbed on the affected part.

Signa 591Signa 592

For Neuralgia of Fifth Pair of Nerves.

(For Internal Use.) 1/10



Aquae menthae pip. .


A teaspoonful.

Dose 593Dose 594

For Neuralgia. Linimenti aconiti, Lin. belladonnae . . Chloroformi ....


Apply on lint, to the part affected, and cover with a fine piece of sponge saturated with warm water.

Signa 595Signa 596

For Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Aconitine Crystalisee (Duquesnel's) . . . gr. 1/10 Glycerini,


Aquae menthae pip. .


A teaspoonful, slowly and cautiously increased by adding to the solution 1/8 of a grain of the aconite instead of 1/10.

Dose 597Dose 598

For Periodontitis. Tincturae iodi, Tincturae aconiti . . aa Signa. - Apply to gum over root of affected tooth with a camel' s-hair brush.

To Abort an Abscess. Dr. Geo. Watt. Ext. aconiti, fl. Ext. belladonnae, fl. Ext. opii., fl aa equal parts. M. Signa. - Apply with brush as needed to ease pain, also give fluid extract of phytolaccae internally.

Dose 599Dose 600Dose 601

For Odontalgia, Internal Treatment. Dr. Dunogier, Aconitum (crystallized) 1/4 milligr.

Gelsemine.....1 milligr.

Valerianate of quinine 5 centigr. For one pill. M. S. - One to three pills to an adult in the 24. hours.

Dose 602