Wolf's-Bane, the Large Blue, or Monk's-Hood, Aconi-tum Napellus, L. is an exotic perennial, growing wild in the mountainous parts of Switzerland and France. - The juice of this plant possesses a disagreeable smell, and an acrid taste : of the latter, however, it is in a great measure divested by inspissation. Being one of the most active vegetable poisons, when taken in large portions, it excites sickness, vomiting, diarrhoea, giddiness, delirium, fainting, cold sweats, convulsions, and death.
Dr. Stoerk, of Vienna, informs us, that the Wolf's-bane is a very effectual remedy in glandular swellings, the itch, amaurosis, in gouty and rheumatic pains, intermittent fevers, and in convulsions. He prescribed 10 grains of the powder to be taken at night, and in the morning; but the dose is to be gradually increased to 6 grains of the inspissated juice, twice every day. Other physicians have employed a tincture prepared of one part of the dry, pulverized leaves of this herb, and six parts of spirit of wine ; in doses of 40 drops. - In Britain, however, this remedy not answered the high expectations formed of its virtues; though it doubtless is a very active, and useful medicinal plant, if duly prepared, and regularly prescribed.
A decoction of the roots of the Wolf's-bane, affords an efficacious liquor for destroying bugs.- - if this root be reduced to powder, mixed with oatmeal and honey, or any other palatable vehicle, and thus exposed to rats or mice, it will corrode and inflame their intestines, so as speedily to prove a fatal repast. - The juice expressed from this plant, is occasionally poured on flesh, and thus employed as a bait to allure wolves, foxes, and other beasts of prey.
Lastly, it is remarkable, that the best antidote for the poison of the Monk's-hood, is asserted to be the root of the anthora, a species of the same genus, called healthful, or wholesome Monk's-hood.