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Asian cultures, and particularly the Chinese, are the most frequent users of aconite in homeopathy. It can be prescribed for several purposes, including chills, anxiety, restlessness, earache, and headache. The herb is derived from the aconitum plant, which has over 250 varieties. In its natural state, it is extremely poisonous and must be thoroughly detoxified before being used for medicinal purposes. The roots of the plant have even been used to make poison.
Some of the most common uses of aconite in homeopathy include treatment of chills, sinusitis, colds, sore throat, and a persistent dry cough. It is also prescribed for women with morning sickness, menstrual pain, or menopause discomfort. Aconite can also be used to treat mental ailments such as recovery from a frightening event, vomiting as a reaction to fear, or nightmares
Due to the danger of toxicity, aconite is no longer widely used in Western culture for medicinal purposes. In eastern nations, the herb is heavily processed before being used to treat ailments. It is also typically prescribed in small doses in order to lower the risk of poisoning.
In order to use aconite in homeopathy, the roots of the plant must first be detoxified. They are soaked in vinegar for a month and then in salt water for another month. This process will then be repeated multiple times.
In order to create the specific product used for aconite in homeopathy, the essence of the roots is made into a liquid, which is heavily diluted so that the original plant matter does not have a heavy presence in the final product. This process somewhat increases the safety of using the herb. It is in this form that aconite is marketed as a tincture or a pellet that is similar to a tablet.
The aconite flower is also known as wolfsbane, monkshood, and blue rocket. It is so poisonous that gloves must be worn while handling it. When placed in gardens, the plant should only be used as an ornamental. Aconites should not be planted in beds where children or animals have access, as contact could be fatal.
Using aconite root in traditional Chinese medicine, as opposed to the homeopathic remedy, is much more dangerous. Many of the benefits of using aconite in this form are also among the risk factors in taking the herb. For instance, while it can decrease blood pressure and slow the heart to great benefit, it can also perform these tasks to the point of fatality.