Barbara Roberts, Homeopath


This is a remedy I could not be without.

Aconite is made from the plant monkshood, also known as wolfsbane or leopard’s bane, and is a deadly poison both orally and through the skin. Historically it’s use had been for killing criminals in the Roman Empire (until it was banned) and as a poison in various murder plots.

A particular phrase I used to help me remember Aconite when studying is “fear and fright, at midnight, think Aconite”. As suggested in that line the Aconite will support with shock, fear, panic attacks or anxiety. I’ve given it after a car accident when even the sight of a car caused a panicked reaction. For any panic or anxiety attack, especially if there is a fear of death, open spaces, crowds, or the dark, it is worth trying Aconite as soon as symptoms start. “At midnight”, evening or night time is when symptoms are worse.

Sudden onset of conditions, especially after exposure to a cold, dry, wind is another indication for Aconite. We can use it for the first signs of many different illnesses. This can be a cold, sore throat, or even influenza.

High fevers, that come on suddenly in the evening are another Aconite indication. One of the best stories I have read about this was from Dr James Compton Burnett (1840-1901), who was a medical Doctor. When reading about Homeopathy he was skeptical but decided to give it a go. He was in charge of a ward of children, most coming in with feverish colds or chills. He put a few drops of Aconite into a large bottle of water and gave it to a nurse with the instruction to give some to all the cases on one side of the ward. Those on the other side were not to have any Aconite but otherwise be treated the same. The next morning nearly all the children on the Aconite side had normal temperatures and were playing around their beds, those on the other side were worse or about the same. This pattern was repeated over and over with those taking Aconite better in 24-48 hours. Eventually the nurse took over and gave a dose of “Dr Burnett’s fever bottle” to all the children, calling it a cruel experiment that only half were allowed to take something so obviously effective.

Aconite can have a dry, barking cough, and is the first remedy to give at the first sign of croup. If you get in straight away Aconite can often stop the croup at that stage. If it does go further then moving on to the remedies Spongia Tosta (dry seal bark cough), or Hepar Sulph (chestier phlegmy cough) will usually help.

Some general symptoms with Aconite- they tend to be very restless, and very thirsty for large quantities of cold water. There can also be sudden shooting pains. They are better for open air, rest, and perspiration, and worse for sudden cold, cold dry wind, getting chilled, evening and night, shock, noise and light.

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