11 Surprising Benefits of Aconite

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of aconite include its ability to reduce pain, lower sensitivity, ease labor stress, eliminate inflammation, reduce anxiety and tension, boost immunity, lower fever, calm conjunctivitis, prevent cold and flu symptoms, lower blood pressure, and detoxify the body.

What is Aconite?

Although most people don’t commonly think of poisonous flowers as being particularly beneficial for health, aconite, with the scientific name of Aconitum, is a genus of more than 200 flowering perennial plants that may surprise you. Commonly known as Wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, and monkshood, this genus of flowers has been known for thousands of years and has appeared in cultural, literary, medicinal, and historical texts dating back to Egyptian times. The flowers typically have a cylindrical helmet and range in color from purple to yellow and are commonly found in mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere in damp, forested areas. The flowers in their natural state are highly toxic and even fatal to animals and humans, but once properly processed, the unique chemical nature of the flowers can actually be used for a wide range of herbal remedies. [1]

Aconite has been in use in Chinese traditional medicine for more than a thousand years, but its first appearance was in Vienna in the 18th century. In terms of modern applications, it is still widely praised for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, but you should always use aconite that is prepared and distributed through appropriate and professional channels, as the toxins are very strong and can do far more harm than good if not administered correctly. Even within the safe limits of a professional or practiced environment, aconite should be used in relatively small doses, as it is still quite potent. [2]

Purple aconite blossoms in the outdoors

Each aconite blossom is shaped like the hood of a medieval monk. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Aconite

Let’s take a detailed look at the health benefits of aconite.

Pain Reliever

Perhaps the most well-known and trusted use of aconite is an analgesic. In the same way that even touching the flowers can cause your fingers to become numb, due to the strong anesthetic properties of the organic compounds in the petals, consuming its supplements or herbal remedies can relieve pain throughout the body, both internally and externally. This has made aconite a popular alternative remedy for people suffering from chronic conditions and long-term pain. In fact, it has been found to be more effective in certain cases than morphine, particularly once morphine sensitivity has developed, and can provide a welcome relief to those patients. [3]

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Closely related to the analgesic nature of this unusual plant are its anti-inflammatory properties. It is able to numb certain areas of the body that may have become inflamed and the active ingredients and compounds can quickly relieve swelling and stress in aching joints and bones. This makes aconite a very popular treatment for gout, arthritis, and other chronic inflammatory conditions. [4]

Labor Pains

For women who choose not to use epidurals or other pharmaceutical pain relievers during the often painful birthing process, small amounts of aconite have been used throughout history to relieve labor pains and reduce inflammation, easing the birthing process and increasing chances of ending up with a healthy mother and infant. [5]

Anxiety and Tension Reliever

Small doses of aconite have been found to be effective for relieving stress and anxiety. While those conditions are often associated with psychological issues or mental pressures, the soothing and anti-inflammatory nature of aconite can help your body and mind relax, lowering the stress hormones in the body, particularly if you suffer from chronic anxiety or tension. [6]

Nervous System Disorders

There are a number of nervous system disorders for which treatment is still somewhat vague and unsuccessful. The compounds found in aconite directly impact the central nervous system, numbing nerve pathways and eliminating inflammation that can cause these disorders. [7]

Immune System Function

Although the direct pathway for this treatment is not fully understood, there has been a significant connection between the use of aconite and improved immune function. For this reason, people often turn to aconite when they first feel the onset of the cold and flu, as it can quickly eliminate those symptoms before they become a full-blown illness. [8]

Fever Reducer

If you are suffering from a fever, aconite is a perfect choice for an alternative treatment, as it can induce sweating, effectively “breaking” the fever and getting you back on the road to recovery. Combined with the above-mentioned effects on the immune system, it works as a comprehensive treatment for the common cold and the flu bug that seems to come around each year. [9]

Heart Palpitations

For those suffering from heart conditions that cause irregular heartbeats or high blood pressure, aconite has been shown to be a truly beneficial treatment. Its ability to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure allows the heart time to regulate itself and not suffer from the effects of inflammation in the arteries and blood vessels, thus allowing a smooth flow of blood and appropriate function of the heart. [10]

Sleep Aid

Due to its soothing, numbing, and analgesic properties, combined with its ability to relieve mental and physical stress, aconite has been suggested as a sleep aid for generations. If you suffer from insomnia or restlessness, small doses of aconite can help to ensure that you get high-quality, restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free. [11]

Detoxifies the Body

Aconite’s active ingredients and organic compounds also impact the frequency with which we urinate, stimulating the release of toxins, excess fats, water, and salt from our body, lowering the stress on our kidneys and helping us improve our overall health by eliminating those unnecessary substances. [12]

Headache Relief

If you suffer from chronic headaches or severe migraines, aconite might be the remedy you’ve been looking for. Whether applied externally or consumed, it can quickly relieve tension and pain, just as modern pain relievers promise to do. [13]

A Final Word of Warning

This cannot be stressed enough; aconite is a highly toxic and poisonous plant and should be avoided if encountered in the wild. Only use aconite if you are confident of the source and the technical skill of the practitioner who is preparing the dosage. Also, use it in small doses to measure your body’s reaction, as everyone responds to this powerful herb differently. Pregnant women should under no circumstances use this either topically or internally during their term; only use it during the birthing process after consulting a medical professional. Use of aconite is restricted by the government of UK so please consult your local health specialist before use.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.8 out of 5.0 based on 161 user(s).