Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Aconite or Monk's-hood, a genus of more than C0 species of herbaceous plants, belonging to the order Ranunculacew, natives of the mountains of the northern hemisphere. Many kinds are grown for their flowers, which have a large hood-like sepal, blue or yellow, arched over two stalked honey-secreting tubular petals. The dark tapering roots contain the alkaloid aconitine, a white, uncrystallisable, bitter, acrid substance, which renders them virulently poisonous. They act as an irritant and narcotic. The powerful Bikh poison of Nepaul used for arrows is prepared from Aconitum ferox, which is now preferred as a source of aconitine to the common European species, A. Napellus. The latter is a doubtful native of England. Its roots have been mistaken for the pale-yellow Horse-radish.