In spring the traveller crosses a sea of grass above which the flowers of the paeony, aconite, Orobus, Carallic, Saussurea and the like wave 4 or 5 ft.
ACONITE (Aconitum), a genus of plants belonging to the natural order Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family, commonly known as.
Aconite, monkshood or wolfsbane, and embracing about 60 species, chiefly natives of the mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere.
The aconite has a short underground stem, from which dark-coloured tapering roots descend.
When put to the lip, the juice of the aconite root produces a feeling of numbness and tingling.
The horse-radish root, which belongs to the natural order Cruciferae, is much longer than that of the aconite, and it is not tapering; its colour is yellowish, and the top of the root has the remains of the leaves on it.
Many species of aconite are cultivated in gardens, some having blue and others yellow flowers.
Taken internally aconite acts very notably on the circulation, the respiration and the nervous system.
Aconite further depresses the activity of all nerve-terminals, the sensory being affected before the motor.
The antipyretic action which considerable doses of aconite display is not specific, but is the result of its influence on the circulation and respiration and of its slight diaphoretic action.
The best method of application is by rubbing in a small quantity of the aconitine ointment until numbness is felt, but the costliness of this preparation causes the use of the aconite liniment to be commonly resorted to.
Aconite is indicated for internal administration whenever it is desirable to depress the action of the heart in the course of a fever.
Formerly used in every fever, and even in the septic states that constantly followed surgical operations in the pre-Listerian epoch, aconite is now employed only in the earliest stage of the less serious fevers, such as acute tonsilitis, bronchitis and, notably, laryngitis.
It is probably never right to give aconite in doses much larger than that named.
There is one condition of the heart itself in which aconite is sometimes useful.
Amongst those are to be classed small doses of aconite and colchicum; the former especially tends to lessen the process of inflammation generally, when it is not too severe.
Liniments containing opium, belladonna or aconite rubbed into the affected part will often soothe the most severe local pain.
Other prominent species are Campanula, Pyrethrum, aconite, Cephaelis, speedwell, Alchemilla sericea, Centaurea macrocephala, Primula grandis and a species of primrose.
When the flower is sessile the bracts are often applied closely to the calyx, and may thus be confounded with it, as in the order Malvaceae and species of Dianthus and winter aconite (Eranthis), where they have received the name of epicalyx or calyculus.
In Aconite one of them is shaped like a helmet (galeate).
- Part of the flower of Aconite (Aconitum Napellus), showing two irregular horn-like petals (p) supported on grooved stalks (o).
==Toxicology== In a few minutes after the introduction of a poisonous dose of aconite, marked symptoms supervene.