- Great fear and anxiety of mind
- Predicts the day he will die
- One cheek red other pale
- Music is unbearable, makes her sad
- On rising from a recumbent position, the red face becomes deathly pale, patient faints
- Amenorrhoea in plethoric girls from fright
Source: Vegetable kingdom
Synonyms: Monk’s hood, Wolf’s bane
Prover: Dr. Hahnemann im 1805
Duration of Action: 6 hours to 2 days
Miasmatic Background: Psora
Thermal Relationship: Neither chilly nor hot, but seems to be hot.
Aconitum Napellus Introduction & History
The name Aconitum is derived from a Greek word, which means’ without soil’ as the plant grows on stony hard rock. Napellus is a latin word, which means a little turnip (the shape of root).
It is also called Monk’s hood because of the shape of it’s flowers, which turn over and give the appearance of a hood thrown over the head. The name is also said to originate from Aconis, a city of Bithynia (in Asia Minor) and Napus means a turnip, from the shape of its roots.
In 1762, Baron Stoerck, a Viennese physician introduced Aconite to medicine. In 1805, Dr Hahnemann introduced it to homeopathy. This remedy belongs to the cardiac irritant group.
It is a very acute, short acting remedy. All complaints come suddenly and violently and go away in the same manner. It is the first remedy to be thought of in inflammation.
Dr Clarke mentioned ‘If Cinchona was the Newtons apple of homeopathic discovery, Aconite is the remedy by which Dr Hahnemann was able to meet most of the conditions which, in his days where treated by blood letting. This deadly poisonous drug affects every system as well as the organs of the body, so also the heart. This drug causes fianctional disturbance and the key word which stands to describe this drug is tension. This drug covers most of the acute as well as chronic complaints relating to the cardiovascular system.”
Habit and Habitat: It is a perennial herb, native of Asia, Siberia, Europe and America. It grows 2-6 feet in height on hard rocks in mountainous regions. Some species of Aconite are very toxic in nature.
Constitution and Physiognomy: It is a short acting remedy; suits people leading a sedentary life. Suits persons who are strong, robust, plethoric, sanguine, have dark hair and eyes and are with rigid muscular fibre.
Ailments From: Dry, cold north winds, checked perspiration, fear, sun heat, shock, operations, injury, fright, etc.
Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Mind, brain, cerebrospinal nervous system, mucous and serous membranes, heart, cardiovascular system and blood.
Active Principles (Chemical Constituents): This drug contains acotinine, neopelline, aconine, ephedrine, aconitic and succinic acid. The main alkaloid is ‘aconitine’. The properties of aconite are mainly those of aconitine extremely poisonous and narcotic. It also contains calcium and plenty of starch, hypaconitine, mesaconitine and neoline.
- If taken internally it produces tingling and numbness of the lips and mouth and an increased secretion from the salivary glands.
- From large doses there results a sense of constriction about the fauces with pain in the epigastric region, nausea and vomiting.
- Heart’s action is at first slowed but later it becomes rapid and weak. The arterioles are contracted. The respiratory centers are depressed under large doses and as a result, respiration is slow and shallow. It produces an anxious expression of countenance and cold, pale skin covered with perspiration.
- Death from Aconite poisoning is due to paralysis of the respiratory center from direct action of the poison, although this may be aided by anaemia of the medulla due to imperfect circulation in its contracted arterioles.
- It produces extreme restlessness, anxiety, shooting pain in the region of the heart with a sensation of compression and tachycardia.
- In smaller doses it quickens the action of the heart probably due to excitation of the motor nerves of the heart.
- It has also been said that toxic doses of Aconite directly paralyse the nervous ganglia of the heart. As per Boehm and Wartmann, it produces paralysis of the peripheral vagi.
- It affects the heart; produces pain in the left shoulder, palpitation with anxiety and tingling in the fingers. The pulse is full, hard and tense; it may also be feeble, quick and small. Pulse may be intermittent temporal and the carotid arteries can be seen on sitting.
Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)
- It is an antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic.
- The principal action of this drug takes place through the cerebrospinal nervous system.
- The drug produces inhibitory paralysis of the heart resulting in reduction of blood pressure.
- The arterioles are contracted.
- Aconite is depressant to the heart and cerebrospinal nervous system when taken in higher physiological doses.
- It acts on the cardiovascular system.
- Pulse becomes very slow and death may occur due to respiratory failure.
- Heart’s action initially slows down, but later it becomes rapid and weak.
- It acts on the nerves and skin. At first it causes a burning and tingling sensation on the entire body along with a feeling of coldness, as if ice water circulated instead of blood.
- It causes vasomotor paralysis, lowers the temperature of the body and causes diaphoresis.
- It acts on the cerebrospinal nervous system, producing sensations of numbness and complete motor paralysis.
- Due to the paralysis of capillaries, it leads to congestion and tension which culminates into inflammation.
Characteristic Mental Symptoms (Psychology)
- Great fear and anxiety of mind with worry.
- Restlessness is very peculiar; patient is restless, changes position constantly, everything startles him.
- Fear of death, believes that he will die very soon; predicts the day and time.
- Fear of the future, ghosts, darkness, afraid of crowds, crossing streets, etc.
- Absentminded, weakness of memory, cannot remember dates.
- Patient is very oversensitive; cannot bear noise or light.
- Imagines that some part of the body is deformed and thinks that his thoughts come from the stomach.
- Music is unbearable, makes the patient sad (Nat-s, Thuj, Nat-c, Sab, Graph).
Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms
Restlessness: This is one of the Nash’s Trios of Restlessness (other two are Rhus-t and Ars). Patient is extremely anxious; he does everything in a haste. He tosses about in agony; restless, especially at night.
Heat, dryness and burning: During the inflammatory condition, there is dryness and burning of the affected parts with heat.
Sudden and violent onset: All symptoms of the disease come violently and suddenly, and go out in the same manner.
Burning thirst: Thirst of Aconite is very peculiar and unquenchable, Patient is very thirsty and drinks large quantities of cold water at a time at long intervals.
Fever: High fever with decided chills followed by dry, hot skin. Inflammation develops with fever and anxiety.
Burning, tingling and numbness: Burning runs throughout the remedy; dry burning heat during fever accompanied by numbness and a tingling sensation.
Haemorrhage: Bleeding is bright red and copious, especially in haemoptysis, epistaxis and piles.
Great pain: It is one of Nash’s Trios of Pain remedies (others are Coff and Cham). Pain is intolerable. Patient becomes restless and crazy; pain drives patient out of bed.
Tension: It is a keynote symptom of Aconite.
Dry and hot skin: During fever, the skin of the patient is very dry and hot. Perspiration is only over the rested parts.
Red face: During fever, the face becomes red and pale alternately with fright and anxiety.
Fear of death: It is a very characteristic symptom of Aconite. Patient thinks that he will die very soon due to his disease. He also predicts the day and time of death but he thinks that he can be saved if somebody calls the doctor and gives him the medicine. A similar symptom is also found in Ars. The patient thinks that he will die because his disease is incurable and that it cannot be cured by taking medicines. In Ars, thus, for this reason the patient denies the medicine.
Sensitiveness: Patient is very sensitive to light and noise.
Paralysis: It is a characteristic of Aconite from exposure north, dry, cold winds.
Convulsions: Convulsions in teething children. Twitching of single muscles, skin hot and dry with fever.
Faint: Faint or giddiness on rising from bed.
Important Characteristic Features
Fever: It is caused due to exposure to north, dry, cold winds and by checking of perspiration. May also be due to shock, fear, fright and heat of the sun. Temperature is very high, comes suddenly and violently; severe chill, especially in the evening and at night time. Intense nervousness; skin is dry and hot.
Constant physical and mental restlessness. Mental restlessness is more marked than physical. Drenching sweat on hidden spots, great anxiety; tosses about in agony. Great fear of death; predicts the time and day of death. Pulse is hard, quick and tense. Face generally looks red. Symptoms worse in the evening and at night time, better from open air.
Restlessness: Aconite is one of the Nash’s Trios of Restlessness. Aconite is mentally restless, patient becomes more restless at night time. Restlessness is more due to anxiety, worry and fear.
Restlessness with fear of death and great anxiety. The impatience and anxiety makes the patient restless. She constantly changes position. The true reason of this restlessness is to be found in a state of internal turmoil, anxiety and agony. She moans and laments, screams and shouts, not knowing what to do and how to find consolation. The other remedies Nash’s Trio of Restlessness include Rhus-t which is physically restless and Ars which is both mentally and physically restless.
Paralysis: Paralysis is due to exposure to cold air, draught of north-west wind. Onset is sudden and violent. Numbness and tingling sensation of the parts. Great thirst for cold water. Anxiety and fear of death. Mentally, the patient is very restless.
Cardiac symptoms: Stitching pain in the heart, numbness in the left arm and tingling sensation in the fingers. Pulse hard and tense. Tachycardia, dyspnoea, pain in pericardium from fright or from exposure to dry air. Great anxiety, fear of death and restlessness, along with profuse sweat and hot skin.
Fear: Great fear and anxiety of mind with great nervous excitability is characteristic of Aconite. Patient is afraid to go out, to go into a crowd where there is any kind of excitement or several people. It has fear of death in acute diseases, fear of darkness, fear of ghosts, fear to cross the street, fear to cross a bridge, fear of death in pregnancy. Fear of the fright remains. Life is rendered miserable for Aconite patients due to the fear that their disease will prove fatal; also predicts the day and moment of death.
General Modalities of Aconitum Napellus
Aggravation: Evening, night time, lying on the affected side, music, during inspiration, upon rising, in a warm room, from tobacco smoking.
Amelioration: In the open air, after perspiration.
Complementary: Sulph, Arn and Coff.
Follows well: Arn, Coff, Sulph and Verat.
Antidote to: Cham, Bell, Coff, Spong, Petr, Nux-v, Sep.
Antidoted by: Sulph, Acet-ac, alcohol, Par, wine, acids, wine and coffee, lemonade.
Predicts the time of death: Acon, Arg-n.
Unbearable painis: Acon, Cham, Coff.
Bad effects of fear still remaining: Acon, Hyos, Op.
Aphonia after exposure to cold winds: Acon, Arum-t, Hep.
Potency: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30, 200, 1000.
- First to third potencies in congestive conditions and inflammatory fevers,
- Sixth potency for neuralgias, 12 and 30 when there is nervous excitement and fear of death.
Repetition: It must be repeated frequently in an acute condition.
Effective when the left side is chiefly involved. It’s action closely resembles that of Cactus, Naja and Spigelia – Dr Richard Huges
Therapeutic Value: Amenorrhoea, Asthma, Cholera, Cough, Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Fear and fright, Inflammation, Headache, Menses, Pneumonia, Remittent fever, Vertigo, etc.
- Aconite is the acute of Sulphur.
- Sulphur is the chronic of Aconite.
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