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=Aconite= (Aconitum Napellus, monkshood).--Root and leaves. Poisonous

property depends upon an alkaloid, aconitine. Aconite is one of the

constituents of St. Jacob's Oil.

Symptoms.--Numbness and tingling in mouth, throat, and stomach,

giddiness, loss of sensation, deafness, dimness of sight, paralysis,

first of the lower and then of the upper extremities, vomiting, and

shallow respiration. Pupils dilated.
Pulse small, irregular, finally

imperceptible. The mind remains unaffected. Death often sudden.

Post-Mortem Appearances.--Venous congestion, engorgement of brain and


Treatment.--Emetics, stimulants freely. Best antidote is sulphate of

atropine, 1/50 grain hypodermically, and also strychnine. Digitalis also

useful. Warmth to whole body. Patient to make no exertion.

Fatal Dose.--Of root or tincture, 1 drachm.

Fatal Period.--Average, less than four hours.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach, etc.--Extraction from contents

of stomach by Stas-Otto process. It may be found in the urine; gives

usual alkaloidal reactions, but no distinctive chemical test known.

Tests.--Chiefly physiological; tingling and numbness when applied to

tongue or inner surface of cheek. Effects on mice, etc. A cadaveric

alkaloid or ptomaine has been found in the body, possessing many of the

actions of aconitine. The presence of this substance was suggested in

the Lamson trial.

The Indian aconite, Aconitum ferox, the Bish poison, is much more

active than the European variety. It contains a large proportion of

pseudaconitine, and is frequently employed in India, not only for the

destruction of wild beasts, but for criminal purposes.

=Aconitine= varies much in activity according to its mode of preparation

and the source from which it is derived. The most active kind is

probably made from A. ferox.