This plant grows in Europe. The tuberous root is collected in the fall carefully dried. This root is used by the English in the preparation of the drug. In Germany the whole plant is collected when flowering. The homoeopathic preparation is made from the whole plant when flowering. The root contains a number of alkaloids, of which aconitine, the principle, is present in about 0.75 percent. It is dark brown in colour, from 4 to 10 cm. long and 5 to 20 cm. in diameter. When broken, the interior is of a mealy yellowish-acrid and pungent, leaving a sensation of numbness or tingling in the tongue.
Allied plants are the Japanese aconite, the India aconite, and the aconitum ferox.
In the British Pharmacopoeia for 1932 there are no preparations of aconite listed other than a liniment. This drug has therefore become a “has been” among other old school brethren.
Dr.Rudolf, of Toronto University, published a paper about 1910 upon the action of aconite in reducing fever, and found it valueless.
A recent authentic case of aconite poisoning is reported by Edward F.Hartung, M.D., in the J.A.M.A. 1265, October, 1930. It is as follows:.
A strong healthy man age 31, weight 242 lbs., drank a small amount of whisky, 11 cc. in all at 4 p.m. At first he felt stimulated and took a walk. In one-half hour he felt depressed, ate some food, and went to a theatre. He remained sitting quietly in the theatre until about 9 p.m., when he began to have difficulty in breathing and became faint., weak and dizzy. Soon he became cold and clammy, and collapsed for two hours; he was then assisted home and into bed. There was no vomiting, diarrhoea, or tingling in the mouth, or on the skin.
The physician gave stimulants. The following day he still complained of weakness, faintness, and a feeling of uneasiness over the pericardium. The skin was cold and he was pale. The heart sounds, at this time were weak, S.B.P.75, D.40.Urine O.K. An electrocardiogram was taken, which disclosed a first degree heart block. He gradually improved, but this period of recovery lasted four weeks. Through the entire illness he exhibited great panic and anxiety, and complained of uneasiness over the precordium. Except for the absence of tingling and neuralgic pains, this report bears out the homoeopathic proving of Aconite. The whisky when analyzed was found to contain tincture of Aconite in considerable amount.
This drug is quick and violent in its action, but some or it results nay be quite long lasting, and remote. The provings show tumultuous heart action, chills, a rapid rise in temperature, sweat and great weakness accompanied by great mental distress, fear and restlessness, tingling, and numbness. T.F.Allen says that even animals exhibit this great restlessness and anxiety when taking the drug. In heavy doses there are said to be caused paralysis of the sensory and motor nerves, vomiting, purging, convulsions and death. THE GENERALITIES ARE;.
Cannot lie upon the right side.
Cannot lie still, restless, tossing about.
Convulsions coming on suddenly from fright or exposure to cold, with shaking chill in the intervals between he convulsions.
The convulsions alternate with relaxed state, the face and body sweats.
The face may be red or pale and fear is always present.
Twitching of the muscles, prickling, tingling sensation indifferent parts, sensations like electric shocks through and part.
Anxious trembling of the lower jaw, cannot keep still during the chill.
Stitching pains here and there, but more frequently about the head.
Sensitive to touch, to drafts of air. Weakness.
From exposure to cold and cold winds, from becoming wet and chilled.
In the evening. In a closed room.
In open air, after a sweat, and some times from cold applications, as in croup. MENTAL SYMPTOMS:.
The mental symptoms are the key to the use of this remedy. All acute cases exhibit in greater or less degree, the fear of death or apprehension. If the patient wants the doctor he wants him in a great hurry, he is afraid he will suffocate or that he is getting pneumonia, or he may not fear death, but he is afraid, wants help and wants it right away. If he is delirious he will rave about death, be terribly restless and frightened. In the milder states requiring this remedy he will be found restless, sweating easily, and overly concerned about his complaint; is inclined to suggest a consultation, even where the physical findings do not point to any serious condition. HEAD:.
Acute congestions, supraorbital neuralgias, facial neuralgias, burning stinging or tingling pains accompanied by restlessness and anxiety, from exposure and worse every night. EYES:.
Acute conjunctivitis, frequently caused by foreign particles. A few doses of Aconite will rapidly remove the offending particle. THROAT:.
Sudden attacks of croup, following exposure to cold, coming on in the evening with fear of suffocation. Dry ringing frequent cough. Dry croupy cough. (These cases are quickly helped by the application of a cold wet towel about the abdomen). The voice is husky. CHEST:.
In acute chest pains, congestion of the lungs and acute pleurisy, coming suddenly. The pain is often agonizing, the onset sudden, a chill, severe shaking, short hard dry cough, rapid heart action, tumultuous beating, sensation of impending disaster. These symptoms are quickly improved by Aconite, and often entirely cured. The stage of chill is frequently passed before you arrive, but if the patient is still frightened, restless, and presents that appearance of fear with rapid hard pulse, do not fail to prescribe Aconite at once.
On physical examination even if you detect a congestion, crepitant rales, a pleuritic rub, it is not too late to exhibit Aconite. Frequently he will complain of heart or hot feeling behind the sternum with sensations of fullness or pressure over the lungs or heart with sharp pains from deep breathing, sneezing or cough. He may need Bryonia later on but give him Aconite at once. HEART:.
The case of poisoning just cited would indicate a field for the exhibition of Aconite which we are apt to overlook. Most cases of coronary thrombosis come suddenly, as you know, and the more fearful and sudden this pain is, the more fearful is your patient. Do not forger Aconite when prescribing. Mayhap the patient needs Spigelia or Latrodectus, or Kalmia, but possibly Aconite.
A case in point comes to mind. A woman aged 50 was working hard in her garden on May 16, 1934. That evening she received word of her fathers death, and immediately proceeded south to Toronto by motor car. This trip was about 100 miles, and was made at a good rate of speed. The front window of the car was open, she sat in the rear seat, getting the full force of the draft.
During the trip she was seized with a violent pain in the region of the heart and became chilled and covered with a cold sweat, and was put to bed upon her arrival in the city. Seen early on the 17th found her frightened, fearful, temperature 102.3, pulse 120, heart gallop rhythm, chest both front and back on both sides filled with coarse crepitant rales. It is hard to say whether this case is one of commencing double pneumonia or of coronary thrombosis with hypostatic congestion. The sensation over the heart is one of fulness and pressure.
She is slightly grey, cool to the touch, and must sit propped up. In all, it looks more like a heart case. Aconite 200 every half hour for six doses, then every two hours, and strict injunction to remain quiet and lie down as she feels more able. May 18 a.m. pulse 98,. temperature 99.3, chest nearly clear of rales, gallop rhythm gone, anxiety gone, skin warm. May 19; temperature 98.4., pulse 88, improving nicely. May 20. Cactus grand.6x Q.I.D., improving steadily, voice stronger. So much for the use of Aconite in heart conditions. ABDOMEN AND BLADDER:.
Strange to say I have not had many cases of abdominal complaints in which I thought Aconite was indicated. In bladder conditions, however, where there is sudden retention of the urine following exposure, or fright, or a long drive, it will speedily relieve the congestion, and relax the sphincter muscle, thus giving relief. Following the use of the catheter, Aconite is very frequently indicated.
Now for some of the more remote indications of Aconite. We are often inclined to overlook its use in more chronic cases. Here it has a field indeed, and works as quickly when indicated as it does in the more acute cases. I do not mean that in these cases Aconite was not first indicated; it probably was, but its use has been overlooked.
The case of rheumatic fever which has been so puzzling and reluctant to respond, or that case of neuralgia which has tried your, and the patients patience; perhaps Aconite is indicated. The following will well illustrate my point.
The rheumatic patient has nightly aggravations, sweats easily and profusely. The pains wander from side to side, from legs to back, and eventually locate in the eyes, which are congested and sensitive to light. He fears for his recovery, for the loss of his vision. He has had Belladonna, Mercuries, Lac caninum, and Calcarea, all to no avail. But this condition came on following exposure to every extreme cold in February,. The specialist says to remove a tooth, feed him on aspirin and prescribe an atropine ointment to prevent his iris from becoming fixed to the lens behind. He is worried, frightened.
Aconite is indicated and it cures him. This case was six weeks or more from the time of the original exposure.
Another case is that of an elderly banker. While in New York on a business trip he was taken with a chill and fearing to be ill away from home, took the first train back. Arrived with temperature of 103, and a well developed case of bronchitis, which appeared to call for Phosphorus and later Pulsatilla. He made a very good recovery, and in ten days time was up and about the house.
Soon, however, he complained of a supraorbital neuralgia, which was absent in the day, came on every evening and lasted until about 3 a.m. When tired and exhausted he was able to sleep. He was restless while in pain, and had to get up and move about. Rhus tox. seemed to give some relief for a night or two, but did not cure him. He was quite worried and had to be reassured. Local applications did no good. Aconite cured at once.
In ending, let me say that I have noticed very frequently that the fear which possess the Aconite patient is so apparent that it transmits itself to the other members of the family and tends to also transmit itself to the doctor in attendance. When you find yourself afraid as in a case of croup, and the whole family afraid, give Aconite.
DR.FARRINGTON:It is always useful to have these old friends of ours brought out, perhaps somewhat in new raiment. The doctor has given us some useful suggestions on Aconite. It is simply on a part with a story that my father told years ago.
One of his patients was quite ill and he called Dr.Betz in consultation. Betz, you know, was one of the most celebrated gynecologists we have ever had in the homoeopathic profession Betz looked the case over and prescribed pulsatilla,and charged the woman ten dollars, and she was exceedingly angry about that. She heard him mention the remedy and knew something about the ordinary remedies or homoeopathy, and she said,”The gall that doctor has to charge me 10 for such an ordinary remedy as Pulsatilla!”.
There are a lot of our remedies that are of commonplace and ordinary and certainly Aconite is not one of them. No doubt most of you who use Aconite, use it chiefly in acute troubles and it is the custom of our teachers to give a picture of the fully developed Aconite case, and not say anything about any chronic ailments that it might cure.
Fear is really the central feature of the remedy, so much so that this remedy will cure fear, even when it has been of long duration, fear that is unattended by any other symptoms at all.
Several times I have cured fear of crossing the street, in a pregnant woman, fear that she would be run over when there was not an automobile within a block; and any conditions from injury even when there is little swelling or redness.
I remember, again going back in the years to my preceptor, Dr.Korndoerfer, told me Aconite was to the eye as Arnica is to the soft parts of the body of the effects of injuries at that time Dr.Korndoerfer had the care of the men in a large foundry, and he said that he invariably used it when they got pieces of steel in the eye, and he claimed that when he was unable to remove those pieces of steel, Aconite would do it for him.
DR.BOGER: We have on tap the oldest remedy in homoeopathy except China and,thinking back over years of practice makes one recall instances where Aconite was applied for single symptoms with great benefit.
I remember crossing the Great Divide. I had a patient who is present here, taken with strangury, accompanied with great fear, and Aconite controlled the case in a few minutes.
The anuria of newly born children is more certainly controlled with Aconite than any other remedy.
If you have those things at your fingers ends-well, you should have them at your fingers ends. Aconite will help you out in many a tight place. Many cases of acute nephritis go on to death because Aconite was not given first. Instead of that they gave Mercury, or Arsenic, or some other remedy first. Aconite should not be preceded by ARsenic or some other remedy,.
The doctor spoke of a Aconite in controlling fear. Dont think it will always control fear and that it is the only remedy for fear. I cant imagine a more intractable case than a chronic case with predominating fear, and Aconite wont come within a thousand miles of helping it. We all meet those cases, some on the verge of the asylum, predominating fear, fear of anything which cant be controlled with Aconite, and you will be lucky if you can control them with anything to be found in the materia medica-just afraid of everything, afraid of fresh air, drafts, heat cold and night, any imaginable thing. You cant imagine anything they are not afraid of.
I want to digress just a moment here because this is a pretty full audience, and I want a chance at them, if you will excuse me.
I am engaged in proving a remedy, I have over four hundred symptoms I have gotten now and if anyone would like to know whether a potentized remedy will affect a well person, should like to demonstrate that it will.
DR.GRIMMER:Let us have it.
DR.BOGER: Well, will all of you promise to take a single dose of he medicine? It wont be under the 30th potency either, unless you want it lower than that. If you will do that and report the results to me, I will he happy. I have had a number of responses and,as I say, I have over 400 symptoms by now and some are very wonderful.
We have in this remedy an antipsoric with as great power as any other antipsoric in the materia medica, and I shall be happy to send you a 200th potency of it, and you write to me the wonderful experiences that you have had after it. It wont hurt you, either.
DR.ALFRED PULFORD: Early in my career I was a slave to all the possible higher theories of homoeopathy; for instance, the miasm theory, the long-and short-acting remedies, the acute and subacute, and the chronic.
As I grew older and got my one-cylinder brain working, I discarded those theories and prescribed the drug on the basic pathogenetic symptom and got the results.
Now we have no acute, subacute, and chronic remedies. Any remedies may be indicated whether it is one of today or of ten thousand years from now.
I reported a case of gallstone colic that lasted for over two years, the attacks coming on monthly. With one dose of Aconite that case was absolutely relied and remained so for nearly a period of five years, up to now.
Now, then, if Aconite is an acute remedy, how could it have healed that case, or how could it have cured a chronic condition so readily and have in hold?.
The length of time that the remedy is supposed to act is the time of the direct action of the drug to the time that the reaction comes to the surface, and that is all. We have no long- acting potentized drug. It acts immediately. There is nothing in the system to hold it, but if we give a crude dose of mercury, the system cannot free immediately all the power in the mercury and it continues to act through years and years until all that has passed away.
If you give a potentized mercury,say the 200 and 1000, then you dont get that.
DR.GARCIA-TREVINO:In discussing this wonderful paper, I want to say that in Mexico during the epidemic of Spanish flu, we had the same experience as Dr.Green in regard to Aconite. We found that in many cases, in the first stage of this acute condition, the congestive stage, they werent even finding th4e characteristic symptoms of Aconite. We did not get any response in many cases.
We found that in those cases often we had to use Ferrum phos. to get a response from the patients, and this has made many Mexican homoeopaths say that Ferrum phos, is an Aconite for the people of dark complexion of the tropics. We not only found this to be a fact, but also in all these acute fevers in the congestive stage, when some of the symptoms seem to indicate Aconite, we simply get better results by using Ferrum phos,.
I agree with Dr.McLaren that now Aconite will also be used in chronic cases. For some years I had the impression from the materia medica textbooks Aconite should be indicated or should be prescribed in the fist twelve or twenty-four hours of these conditions of congestive stages.
Recently I had in Chicago a case of pulmonary tuberculosis. The man had been in the City Tuberculosis Sanitarium for some time and had been discharged. He was a big fellow, a heavy-set Irishman, and after having been discharged for a certain time, he suddenly had a relapse in the condition and rather a profuse haemoptysis.
He never had used homoeopathy, but his wife is a good homoeopath, so she convinced him that he should try homoeopathy: I was called on the case and went to see him and found very clear indications of Aconite. I didnt want to use it in low potency, remembering what the books say about Aconite in low potency. This man had a very marked fear. He thought he was going to die. His haemorrhages were so profuse that he was certain he was going to die. This fear, the nature of is pulse, and other congestive symptoms, made me think of aconite, and I gave him a single dose of Aconite 200. That stopped the haemorrhage and he recovered.
Three or four days after this remedy was given I saw him in my office. The fear was gone. so was the haemorrhage.
I believe differently, now than I believed years ago, that Aconite can also be used in chronic cases and especially in high potencies.
DR.BENTHACK:You are talking about Aconite in chronic cases. We, as good homoeopaths, may use any remedy when the symptoms indicate it, chronic or acute. If anyone comes in, especially a woman who has cried her eyes out, and tells me that yesterday she was in a doctors office and he gave her a gloomy prognosis, and said she has a cancer, when the mental symptoms indicate it, I usually give a dose of Aconite before I go much further and usually she is a good deal better in half an hour.
Dr.Schlegel, in his book on cancer, said, “If anyone comes to you who has a gloomy prognosis and is very excited about it, consider Aconite first, and give a few doses.”.
One other thing I want to say that the doctor mentioned the urinary difficulty. if an elderly man comes to me, and he has made a four-hundred mile drive with an automobile, and he cannot pass his urine and has trouble with the prostate gland, I think first of Aconite.
DR.MOORE: I should like to thank Dr. McLaren for clearing the atmosphere for me. I spend a big part of my life digging steel and emery and all sorts of things out of peoples eyes. This will make it easier.
DR. CAMPBELL: This paper of Dr. McLarens on Aconite reminds me of a little deception I practiced on an insurance company. I had a patient who was perfectly sound, as sound as most of us are, who had been applying for life insurance for the fast year. He came up for repeated examinations and every time, but his apprehension about the examination caused his pulse to speed up and his blood pressure to rise. He was quite distressed about this and came into the office one day and told me about it. He was going for his examination the next day, so I gave him the powder of Aconite and told him to take it an hour or so before he went in for his examination. He passed with flying colors.