Synonyms. - Monkshood. Wolfsbane. The tuber of Aconitum Napellus Linne (nat. ord. Ranunculacecae).

Habitat

Mountainous districts of Europe, Asia, and Northwestern North America.

Characters

From 10 to 20 mm. thick at the crown; conically contracted below; from 50 to 75 mm. long, with scars or fragments of radicles; dark brown externally; whitish internally; with a rather thick bark, the central axis about seven-rayed; without odor; taste at first sweetish, soon becoming acrid, and producing a sensation of tingling and numbness, which lasts for some time. Resembling Aconite. - Horseradish (q. v.).

Composition

The active principle is the very poisonous alkaloid Aco-niline {see below). Two other alkaloids are present, - Aconine C26H39O11 and Benzaconine. Other principles are, perhaps, Pseudo-aconitine, C36H49 No11, or Napelline, (dose, 1/6 to 1/2 gr.; .01 to .03 gm., Merck), Pseudo-aconine, C27H41No8, Picro-aconitine, C31H45No10, combined with Aconidc Acid, H,C6H3O6.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 gr.; .03 to .12 gm.

Preparations

1. Extractum Aconiti. - Extract of Aconite. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol, and evaporation. Dose, 1/10 to 1/4 gr.; .006 to .015 gm.

2. Extractum Aconiti Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of Aconite. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 m.; .03 to .12 c.c.

3. Tinctura Aconiti. - Tincture of Aconite. Aconite, 35. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water to 1000.

Dose, 1/2 to 5 m.; .03 to .30 c.c.

It should be remembered that Fleming's Tincture of Aconite, which is found in the shops, is nearly twice as strong as the official tincture.

Aconitina. Aconitine

(B. P., not official). - C33H45No12?= 645.54.?

Source

It is precipitated from an aqueous solution of an alcoholic extract of the powdered root by Ammonia, and then purified.

Characters

Colorless, hexagonal prisms of the rhombic system. Causes tingling when placed on the tongue. By partial hydrolysis it yields benzaconine, and on further hydrolysis it forms aconine and benzoic acid.

Solubility

Readily in Alcohol and Chloroform, less so in Ether; nearly insoluble in water.

Dose, 1/200 gr.; .0003 gm.

Preparation, B. P., not official.

Unguentum Aconitinae. - Aconitine Ointment. Aconitine dissolved in Alcohol, I; Oleic Acid, 8; Benzoinated Lard, 41.