ingredient information
Aconitum napellus
Aconitum napellus (Monkshood, "aconite", "Wolf's Bane", Fuzi, "Monk's Blood", or "Monk's Hood") is a species of Aconitum in the family Ranunculaceae, native and endemic to western and central Europe. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1 m tall, with hairless stems and leaves. The leaves are rounded, 5–10 cm diameter, palmately divided into five to seven deeply lobed segments. The flowers are dark purple to bluish-purple, narrow oblong helmet-shaped, 1–2 cm tall. Aconite flowersNine subspecies are accepted by the Flora Europaea: Aconitum napellus subsp. napellus. Southwest England. Aconitum napellus subsp. corsicum (Gáyer) W.Seitz. Corsica. Aconitum napellus subsp. firmum (Rchb.) Gáyer. Central and eastern Europe. Aconitum napellus subsp. fissurae (Nyár.) W.Seitz. Balkans to southwest Russia. Aconitum napellus subsp. hians (Rchb.) Gáyer. Central Europe. Aconitum napellus subsp. lusitanicum Rouy. Southwest Europe. Aconitum napellus subsp. superbum (Fritsch) W.Seitz. Western Balkans. Aconitum napellus subsp. tauricum (Wulfen) Gáyer. Eastern Alps, southern Carpathians. Aconitum napellus subsp. vulgare (DC.) Rouy & Foucaud. Alps, Pyrenees, northern Spain. Plants native to Asia and North America formerly listed as A. napellus are now regarded as separate species. Plants are grown in gardens in temperate zones for their spike-like inflorescences that are showy in early-mid summer and their attractive foliage. There are white and rose colored forms in cultivation too. [edit] UsesAconitum napellus is grown in gardens for its attractive spike like inflorescences and showy blue flowers.[1] It is a cut flower crop used for fresh cutting material and sometimes used as dried material. The species has a low natural propagation rate under cultivation and is propagated by seed or by removing offsets that are generated each year from the rootstocks. The use of micropropagation protocols has been studied.[2] This species has been crossed with other Aconitums to produce attractive hybrids for garden use, including Aconitum x cammarum [3] SeedsLike other species in the genus, A. napellus contains several poisonous compounds, including enough cardiac poison that it was used on spears and arrows for hunting and battle in ancient times.[4] A. napellus has a long history of use as a poison, with cases going back thousands of years.[5] During the ancient Roman period of European history the plant was often used to eliminate criminals and enemies, and by the end of the period it was banned and any one growing A. napellus could have been legally sentenced to death.[6] Aconites have been used more recently in murder plots; they contain the Chemical alkaloids aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine and jesaconitine, which are highly toxic.[7] Aconite produced from the roots of a number of different species of Aconitum is used ethnomedically in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), to treat "coldness", general debility, and "Yang deficiency".[citation needed] Misuse of the medicinal ingredients contained in this plant can negatively affect the cardiovascular and central nervous systems, thus resulting in death.[8][9][10][11]