(Aconite-akovltov, akoniton, a poisonous plant. Monkshood, from the shape of its flowers; Wolfsbane, from its use to poison animals)
Aconite is the accepted name of this remedy, and while the provings were made from the whole plant and root when beginning to flower, the Am. Homoeo. Phar. directs that the root is not to be included in the preparation of the tincture.
Aconitum ferox, which has had a very fragmentary proving, is made fro the root of a variety of the Aconitum napellus and is the not poisonous species of Aconite known.
It is to Hahnemann that the world’s knowledge of the therapeutic value of Aconite is due, and he speaks of its use in the 30th dilution.
The prescribing of Aconite by the old school, which is now so prevalent, is illustrative of their attitude towards us, where, after appropriating bits of information from homoeopathic sources, they acknowledge their indebtedness with the fingers extended, the thumb on the nose.
Hughes says: “If homoeopathy had done nothing for therapeutics but reveal the virtues of Aconite it might die content;” and again: “It is possible to begin to speak of Aconite without a thrill of gratification and pride. The inestimable benefits which are now – at least in England and America- obtaining general recognition, are the direct results of homoeopathy. When, ever and anon, our brethren without have caught a glimpse of its virtues, it has been from its use by homoeopathists that they have done so; though they have generally proclaimed them in the medical journals with a sneer at the source of their information.
Hahnemann published his pathogenesis of Aconite in 1805 and, seventy years later, in 1879, Ringer, an old school author, is ready to startle the world with this statement: “Perhaps no drug is more valuable than Aconite. Its virtues are far from being adequately appreciated, but I venture to predict that, are long, it will be extensively employed.”
Bartholow, another author of the old school, writes a couple of years later, that he “can quite agree with Dr. Ringer in the statement that Aconite is a very valuable medicine, in the class of cases to which it is adapted.” To show, however, his independence of our help, he adds this: “The monopoly by homoeopathic practitioners of use of Aconite has aroused a prejudice against it, which has discouraged its employment. Aconite is, however, an antagonist to the fever-process; it is not applicable in accordance with the so-called law of similars. It is used by these quacks because it is a powerful agent which will produce manifest effects in small doses, that may easily be disguised.
When homoeopathy was young as will as in the early years of out national existence, we were apt to be troubled by adverse criticism: but both the nation and the school have made reputations for themselves. And now neither have any occasion to be exercised over comments that have no facts back of them.
Aconite is a prominent fever remedy, but it is important to remember that it is not the only one, and that fever, per se, is no reason for its administration.
The following sentence from the Handbook must always be kept in mind when prescribing this remedy. “Aconite causes only functional disturbance; there is scarcely and evidence of power to produce tissue change; its actions brief and shows no marked periodicity.”
It is of value in the beginning of acute diseases and in acute exacerbations of chronic disease (62 ), but it is not to be continued after the disease has caused pathological change.
Arterial excitement, or hyperaemia, is a prominent condition calling or Aconite. The onset is usually sudden and is characterized by decided chill, or alternating chilliness and fever, the former especially noticeable on moving, or when the clothes become loosened from the body, which causes chills to run up and down the back. Following the chill we have fever often high and sthenic in type, increased heart’s action flushed face, hot and dry skin, and thirst.
Throughout the case we have restlessness (160) and great mental anxiety. This restlessness is noticeable in all cases requiring the remedy and the patient will not or cannot keep quiet, but it constantly moving an arm or a leg tossing and turning in bed, or grabbing the covers so as to tuck them still more closely around himself.
Along with this restlessness we have, in all severe cases great mental distress or anxiety, the so-called fear of death (81). While this is not, necessarily, a fear of the state called death, it is especially feeling as of impending severe and serious illness that is liable to terminate fatally if immediate help is not obtained. The Aconite case is apt to be a “hurry call” and the patient will beg and plead with you to give him something quick, and “Oh doctor,” he is liable to say, “give me something strong; never mind about homoeopath mow, this is no child, s play, if I am ever going to get over this, you must give me something powerful.”
The Aconite case is short-lived, therapeutically speaking, and you will not find such constant use for it as might be supposed, for by the time you reach the patient the stage of invasion, or of hyperaemia, will probably have passed and some other remedy will be needed that will fit the pathological charge that has taken place. Its action is brief and it is to be given at frequent interval.
We have already spoken of th fever of Aconite and of the h9t dry skin that accompanies it; when the skin becomes moist, or when the patient breaks out into a perspiration the time for it has passed, no matter how high the temperature may continue to
Another section of that sentence quoted from the Handball that we must always remember, says that the action of Aconite “shows no marked periodicity.” It is never to be thought of, never to be given in any form of malaria or septic poisoning, and it is not a remedy top be used in typhoid fever in any stage of the disease.
It is valuable in the chilly as well as i the febrile stage preceding the development of many eruptions and lesions, but when the preliminary storm has passed and the lesion has become established the picture changes from Aconite to that of some other remedy.
The sphere of Aconite is most marked on the head, the respiratory organs, the heart and the joints.
Cold, cold change and exposure tonight, dry, cold winds (5) are especial factors calling for the use of this remedy in many and various troubles.
The pains of Aconite are usually acute, and the word “sticking” will frequently describe them., although shooting, lancinating, twitching, stinging, prickling, electric shocks, drawing and bruised are spoken of, and the pains are often associated wit or followed by numbness (146).
It is a remedy to be thought of in convulsion; not for those dependent upon a chronic constitution taint, but for those of recent origin, as in the puerperal state (155), or the result of a sudden nervous shock, such as fright (36 ). Fright, as well as shock from injury, may result in delirium (53 ) requiring his remedy, when we would have, besides the hot head and face, great restlessness and mental anguish and talking about death.
The headaches of Aconite are severe and are especially of h head is hot and dry, with throning (102). bursting pain (104). Neuralgias of the head and face, teeth and ears (63 ) are especially the result of exposure to cold or o cold dry winds when calling for this remedy.
In the eye, it is frequently called for in the first stage of various inflammations, before any exudation has taken place, with heat, dryness and sticking pain. It is apt to be the first remedy you will think of for acute inflammation of the conjunctiva, due to cold (73) or from the irritation due to cold (73) or from the irritation due to a foreign body (74).
In incipient coryzas(37) it is of great value; the nares are either hope and dry or there is hot fluid discharge. It is both cases we have chilliness alternating due to a foreign body (74). with heat.
It is right her that we need to sound a word of warning to our parties. They all keep aconite in the houses; have learned that it is useful in the beginning of a cold and use it in all cases, whether indicated or not; but they want to be told, that as it induces perspiration they must not be exposed to cold air after taking the remedy any more than they would after taking a hot bath.
Aconite it to be remembered in epistaxis of bright red, hot blood when associated with the customer anxiety about his condition, as well as for great sensitiveness of th olfactory nervous, with especial reference to had odors.
As regards the stomach, we have thirst, especially for cold water. At the onset of eruptive diseases we find retching and vomiting, principally of green substances, or a similar condition following a severe shock, such as fright, or from suppression of menstruation of perspiration. In haematemesis, it is also to be though of, but in all these conditions, we must have as our guide the physical restlessness and the metal anxiety.
In the abdomen it is indicated in the early stage of all inflammations, peritonitis, hepatitis, etc.,, with the usual Aconite symptoms of fever, sharp pains and restlessness. If these conditions arise from exposure to cold, so much the more reason for thinking of this remedy.
In the rectum, remember it for bleeding piles (85), with heat, sharp sticking pains and bright red blood. A fruitful cause of an acute attack of haemorrhoids is the sitting on could stones, and from such an origin Aconite would be of value in the beginning. We also find diarrhoea from chill of from fright (57), with pain and green (59)., watery stools.
In fever, the urine is dark, hot and scanty, but with no evidence of nephritis. While it is a undoubtedly of value in the stage of hyperaemia and especially in an acute exacerbation of some chronic inflammation, particularly if due to cold, the changes are that we would seldom be called to the case in time to make use of the remedy.
In an acute prostitutes from cold, however, when supervening upon a chronic condition, we would find more occasion, for its use, as the symptoms would be so distressing that the physician would be sent for at once.
It is of value in acute orchitis and in retention of urine in infants (200) or children, especially from cold.
In the female sexual organs Aconite has been found of great value in ovaritis from cold, in suppressed (134) or painful menstruation from sudden chill or fright and in metrorrhagia, the blood bright red and hot (136) and associated with the mental anxiety and restless of th remedy.
The cough of Aconite is hard and croup or dry and hacking, with expectoration of blood or blood-streaked mucus (69), and it is of great value in the first stage of membranous croup (52), with high fever, great anxiety and restlessness, and in spasmodic or false croup (53) it is of constant use.
In the hyperaemia sage of pneumonia (150), the stage of invasion, prior to exudation, it will be found invaluable when associated with the symptoms that have been mentioned so often the chill and chilliness alternating with fever, thirst, hot and dry skin, great restless and mental anxiety. After it has relieved the restlessness and anxiety and the patient has more or less of a moist skin, stop the remedy, for the time for Aconite has passed and some other drug must be selected, no matter how high the fever may remain.
In haemoptysis (27) of bright red blood, the chief symptom would be the great mental anxiety shown by the patient.
Aconite in small doses, physiological, accelerates the heart’s action and later causes tumultuous beating. From larger doses we have paralysis. On account of its effect on the heart, I fear to use Aconite in the tincture. It is a very valuable and frequently indicated remedy in acute inflammations requiring this remedy, the patient is often obliged to lie on the back with the head raised. The febrile pulse is full, hard and rapid.
Aconite is frequently overlooked in neuralgia of the extremities, especially the upper, with numbness of the limb as if the blood did not circulate freely, and particularly if the neuralgia is the result of cold or a sudden check of perspiration. Acute muscular rheumatism sometimes calls for it, but it is seldom indicated in inflammations of the joints. It has formication (82) as well as a tingling, asleep sensation in the limbs (71).
Do not forget Aconite for sleeplessness (169), with or without fever, with great restlessness and mental anxiety; also, for these who are nervous and make up their mind before retiring that they will be unable to get to sleep.
Many remedies follow well after Aconite or help to complete the cure that it has started; a few are: Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Cantharis, Ferrum Phosphorus, Iodium, Spongia
I use Aconite 6th.