Aconitum caule simplici; Aconitum vulgare
English: Large blue wolfsbane, Monkshood, Aconite, Helmet flower, Friar’s cap.
French: Aconit napel, Napel, Aconit.
German: Napel Sturmhut, Eisenhut, Blauer Sturmhut
Italian: Napello Spanish: Napelo.
Natural order: Ranunculaceae
Family: Jussieu [vegetable substance] – Polyandria trigynia, L.
Mode of preparation: The juice of the fresh herb is prepared and mixed with equal parts of alcohol, yielding the mother tincture.
The essential features
In the beginning years of my practice I used Aconite only for acute inflammatory conditions, like everybody else in the homeopathic world, because of the wrong assumption that Aconite was indicated only in acute, febrile conditions. It was only later that I discovered that it was also very useful for what could be called chronic conditions, especially chronic phobic or anxiety states. Since that time we have been using it at the Center of Homeopathic Medicine in Athens quite frequently for such chronic conditions with very good results.
Actually Hahnemann had made a similar observation when he wrote: “Although aconite, on account of the short duration of its action, might seem to be useful only in acute diseases, yet it is an indispensable accessory remedy in even the most obstinate chronic affections, when the system requires a diminution of the so-called tension of the blood-vessels.”
The causative factor
There are remedies for which the causative factor is of paramount importance in determining their indication; Aconitum is one of them.
The central theme that runs through Aconitum is an excessive excitability in the nervous and vascular systems. These systems can easily be upset by different stimuli. Modern civilization is rife with innumerable stresses — disappointments, grief from loneliness, loss of a lover, child or parent, fears, frights, failure in work or on examinations, financial insecurities, financial ruin, stresses from the weather, chemical and medical stimuli, environmental pollution, etc. — which, if sufficiently severe, can shock an individual. An Aconitum case will not develop from all of these stresses, only from some specific ones. Aconite, for instance, is well known for producing inflammatory conditions from sudden exposure to cold, dry winds, but it has become increasingly apparent that there is another stimulus, namely sudden fright, that can also produce an Aconite state.
It is, of course, not necessary to have a history of a sudden fright to prescribe Aconite, but, if such a causation exists in the case under study, then this remedy must be seriously considered. The rest of the symptomatology will, of course, affect the final decision.
During Kent’s time Aconite individuals were typically vigorous and plethoric, and he vividly describes them as such. Today’s typical Aconitum cases have changed to a great extent. Of course, some of them still fit his description. They are usually sympathetic, vital, and extroverted people, yet, despite the apparent robustness of their appearance, they are exquisitely sensitive to a mental shock.
Aconite individuals will not develop their symptomatology when the shock is caused by financial ruin, an exam failure, a grievous love affair, etc. They have a specific vulnerability to sudden stresses that can create a simultaneous overexcitement of both the circulatory and nervous systems. In simpler terms we can say that an Aconite state may develop if the organism is subjected to the shock of “fright” or of “freezing.” “Frightful” shocks obviously affect or stimulate the nervous sytem first and, secondarily, the vascular system, while in “freezing” it is the vascular system that is primarily affected, through vessel contraction, and the nervous system that is secondarily affected or excited.
What is important in both cases is that the systems can easily be overexcited. This actually means that the person who develops a constitutional Aconitum state under such specific stresses must have certain inherent predispositions for weakness of the nervous and vascular systems imprinted in his DNA. Not everyone who undergoes similar types of shocks will develop the same symptomatology, and, therefore, not everyone will need the same remedy.
The reactions of aconite
It must be understood that when we speak of an Aconite constitution being exposed to “sudden cold winds,” we are referring to a sensation of being “extremely chilled;” he feels as if he has come very near death and reacts violently. Conversely, if an Aconitum constitution faces the possibility of dying, the experience is a “chilling death experience” for him. It is interesting here to note and understand the underlying mechanism that evokes an Aconitum state, the sudden mobilization of the vascular system — sudden intense constriction or dilatation — as a result of a strong stimulus.
The weakness of Aconitum lies in the easy mobilization of these systems, their predisposition to tumultuous upheaval. Such vascular systems, as Kent observed, are often encountered in plethoric or vigorous individuals; however, as I previously intimated, today’s Aconitum patient is far less likely to possess such vigor. His robustness has been compromised by the hazards of modern civilization: poor diet, environmental pollution, constant use of chemical drugs, etc. As the plethoric Aconitum becomes more and more rare, we see fewer of the Aconitum febrile conditions of old, and instead are increasingly confronted with the mental and emotional disturbances characteristic of the newer Aconitum constitution.
Furthermore, we may, in general, say that whenever there is sudden exposure to cold and, at the same time, an immediate, violent inflammatory reaction in any system or organ, we should think of Aconitum. The poison is deadly, the effect immediate and the result violent — such are the characteristics of Aconitum.
The fear of imminent death
The Aconitum picture seems to especially develop after violent events, events in which the patient experiences a fear of imminent death; such as, when someone is threatened with a pistol during a robbery.
Automobile accidents and earthquakes are other types of stresses that can especially provoke an Aconitum state. The1982 earthquake in Athens provided ample example of this observation. There were many Aconitum cases seen after this earthquake whose fears reached panic proportions; these fears were accompanied by trembling, restlessness and exhaustion from the constant anticipation of another earthquake. Aconitum 30C provided quite a bit of relief for these individuals. Other situations or types of stresses that can induce an Aconitum state are: entrapment in an elevator, riding on a train through a dark tunnel and suddenly experiencing an electrical blackout (The mere anticipation of such events may be sufficient stimulus.) Informing a patient prior to major surgery that it may end fatally for him, seeing one’s child in a precarious position and sensing that death is near. This last causation is illustrated by the following case report.
“A little girl was accidentally wounded by a pistol. Her mother suffered mental shock, paleness and faintness, especially on attempting to sit up; great concern for the result. Relieved after a dose of Aconite.” – J.C. Morgan, M.D.
The important element in all of these situations is the sudden fear that death may come to the individual or to his beloved ones at any moment. Aconitum contains this element strongly in its causation. In febrile states this very same idea overwhelms an Aconitum case. The fever is so severe, so sudden that the patient is convinced that he is not going to survive, that he will die soon.
In the acute state, as mentioned, the fear is that “they will suddenly die at any moment.” In chronic states the fear is that death is nearing; it is a fear that death will occur within the next few months (up to a year or so). Only seldom will Aconite predict death at a precise moment; such as, “I am going to die when the clock strikes eight.” They are absolutely sure that because of their condition they are not going to live very long. They make preparations for death, such as writing their will, etc. If one does not know that this element belongs to Aconitum pathology, one might think that the patient is just being prudent in making such preparations, but in such cases the driving force is the fear of dying, a fear which is not justified by the pathology of the case. This conviction of imminent death has nothing to do with reality and must be taken as a symptom.
The mental-emotional structure
Let us now review Aconitum as it is seen in the patient of today. Because Aconite cases of today so seldom present with the traditional physical inflammatory reactions of old, it is critically important to understand the remedy’s inner mental-emotional structure that its current indications might be better recognized. The shocks in an Aconitum case penetrate the entire body and mind and send the whole organism into a shudder, into extreme trembling with tremendous restlessness, unrelieved by any change of position, and an agonizing fear of death. Phobias, especially of death, that persist for years can result. It produces a fear that death will come on suddenly, when least expected; this phobic state is not constant, but rather one that comes in fits. The fear is most accurately expressed as a “fear of impending death.” We witness this kind of picture today in patients suffering from phobic neuroses. From time to time, with or without small provocations, acute states erupt with the above characteristics.
In the provings Aconitum has produced a sudden tumultuous stimulation of the vascular and nervous systems, bringing about fear, heat, flushing, strong palpitations or arrhythmias and eventually coldness – blueness, small pulse and death. Vertigo and, often, one-sided numbness of the face or body can result. The numbness can be severe or can resemble a tingling state; it may affect the whole body. Aconitum patients will suffer from episodic spells of any or all of the above symptoms; that is, the pathology takes the form of separate crises which last from but a few moments to a few hours.
The attacks are not regular, nor are they constant; they come in fits, in sudden acute crises and can come at any time and as a consequence of any stimulus. The most important point is that in almost all cases we see a tremendous fear of death, which sometimes reaches panic proportions, in addition to the feeling that death is imminent. A physician attending an Aconitum patient in a crisis may hear the patient saying that he has “come too late,” that he will “die soon,” this being another expression of the presentiment of death. The books say, “Predicts the time of death.”, and while it is not always expressed in exactly these words, the patient’s comments will have the same implication. A similar fear of death during pregnancy or during labor can be seen and is a keynote for this remedy. In chronic conditions the patient will not make such specific predictions; he just has a general presentiment that death will come soon and suddenly. For instance, a woman may fear that she will die before she can bring up her children. This is an almost clairvoyant perception; in fact this remedy often has clairvoyant experiences and in particular clairvoyant dreams.
The Complaining, Reproaching and Wailing
Aconite patients have a disposition to weep; they moan, and complain bitterly, with fears, despair, and loud whining. Here are a few examples:
He has a feeling as if something is kicking in his heart and an overwhelming fear arises. In this state he does not want to do anything, and, if forced to do it, he will have the tendency to break the things he is handling. Any kind of outside pressure gives him the impression that he is going to have a brain stroke or heart attack.
In the past she loved her family, children, husband, etc., but now she avoids them because they irritate her and she cannot tolerate any contradiction from them. Anything that the husband does is wrong. She does not know why she is behaving like this, but she cannot avoid it. She tries to suppress her anger, but she feels such rage inside that she wants to kill somebody. Although she loves her husband, she wants to kill him.
Here it should be noted that Aconitum patients have a desire to be the first in whatever they are doing; it is difficult to suppress this inclination. If they do try to suppress it, a boastful attitude usually results. A similar result – appearance of another deeper disturbance – applies when discharges are suppressed. The suppression of anger can also have adverse consequences. Also, if any of their desires are not appeased immediately, they fall to pieces. Great impatience is characteristic of the remedy; time seems to pass too slowly while waiting.
The anxiety attacks
Picturing an Aconitum individual with the intense fears, pounding tachycardias, arrhythmias, or other intense symptoms, one might expect to see a plethoric and intensely communicative patient in the consulting room, but this is not the case. When he is not in a crisis situation, he will be calm and quiet. He will appear fairly normal. Even his descriptions of the crises will not be very intense. However when the crisis comes, the violent intensity, panic, and fear surface to an unbelievable degree.
These sudden attacks of anxiety are of such an intensity and so overwhelming that they normally cannot be controlled at all. They are like a storm coming on, a storm which overcomes the psyche and produces a terrible state of panic-stricken fear. But despite their anxiety these patients will still try to control their fears, and if their efforts are successful a kind of internal trembling and shaking occurs sometimes, invisible to others. In this situation, even during the crisis, it is not necessary to see the patient restlessly running around or tossing about – it may be enough to perceive the sense of agony and despair exuding from such patients to prescribe this remedy.
Chronic Aconitum conditions are typified by intense exacerbations interspersed with completely normal intervals. It is as if Aconitum cannot go on having attacks all the time because the attacks are too strong, too terrifying for the patient to survive a constant onslaught.
The anxiety state of Aconitum can be reflected in many symptoms/syndromes. Here are some examples:
Flickering before vision makes him anxious on the street, he thinks he constantly jostles the passers by.
He needs to press his heart and at the same time breathe deeply because he is afraid his heart will explode.
Inconsolable anxiety, sad wailing; peevish and impatient.
Anxiety is transiently ameliorated by drinking cold water; followed by apathy; with cold sweat.
Anxiety as though a great misfortune would happen to him.
Increased anxiety, followed by total apathy.
Anxiety which does not allow him to remain in one place, he must constantly walk about.
Anxiety and peevishness, with fine stitches in the side of the chest, then palpitation at the pit of the stomach, and pressive headache. Inconsolable anxiety and piteous howlings, with complaints and reproaches about unimportant matters.
Pitiful anxious complaints, with fears, despair, loud wailing, weeping, and bitter reproaches.
He cannot banish anxious apprehensive thoughts, even in gay company
Suddenly, as he is walking or sitting, a sudden feeling of faintness and intense weakness overtakes him that may last for one or two days.
The sadness and indifference
Aconitum can show a completely different picture which is far less known than the anxiety and restlessness. Many homeopaths would never think of Aconitum when they see a person who is very sad or apathetic and indifferent to everything.
In this particular state of mind he whines and howls piteously and weeps without cause. Music is unbearable to him because it makes him sadder. He desires to be left alone, shuns other people, does not want to talk and if someone asks a question he answers only with a yes or no. It is as if he has lost all affection for anybody and he becomes indifferent to his relations, friends and persons he normally loves. He sits buried in thought. He may even think about committing suicide by jumping from a high place or from a train.
This state of mind appears sometimes after a long period with very severe anxiety attacks. It seems to be a kind of reaction, as if he could not endure his panic anxiety any longer and therefore found an escape in a state of emotional indifference or a suicidal mood.
Here it is important to note the polarity that appears quite often in Aconitum cases. Most patients have fear of death and agonising restlessness, but a few will manifest the opposite extreme and actually desire death. Sometimes the two states alternate. A similar opposition can be seen in fevers. In such instances rather than the usual restlessness and fear that accompany high temperatures, we witness indifference, exhaustion and sleepiness or a stupid, groggy feeling. All of the above symptoms do not necessarily have to be seen in one individual for him to be given Aconitum. Some people will have fear of death, vertigo, fear of fainting, and tachycardia; others may have trembling, arrhythmia, perspiration, unilateral numbness (e.g. numbness of half of the face,) etc.
Another group of patients may experience a type of extreme psychogenic dyspnea, similar to that of Lobelia but more intense, which causes them to inspire deeply, loudly and with great anxiety. We may also see flushes of heat involving parts of the body, especially the head. There are also allergic eruptions surfacing after flushes of heat. The time of aggravation in general is during the night, especially from midnight to 4 A.M. There is generally an aggravation from sudden changes of temperature. Once the chronic state of Aconitum has become established, the acute exacerbations or crises can be precipitated from either sudden dry cold, dry heat, overheating, or warm rooms.
The sympathetic element
These patients are very sympathetic. They need company and are usually extroverted, but they do not like consolation. They express their feelings easily. The sympathetic element leads to a state of anxiety about others. They are very concerned about their relatives and friends, and they react exaggeratedly when something happens to someone about whom they care. They erupt emotionally when they hear news of something bad happening to a friend. The reaction is out of proportion to the significance of the event. Because of that element, Aconitum patients do not like to hear bad news. One should not be misled into prescribing Aconitum simply because a patient has such a symptom. The whole picture must be seen to justify the prescription of this remedy — the intense crises with panic, fear of death, tachycardia, perspiration, etc.
Prescribing solely on a symptom such as “anxiety about others” is an example of “one-dimensional” prescribing which is not only misleading but erroneous. Even if only one symptom exists upon which to prescribe, it must be viewed in a three-dimensional context if there is to be any hope for success in keynote prescribing. To glean an impression of what is meant by three-dimensional prescribing let us consider the differential diagnosis of one symptom — anxiety about others — and the corresponding remedies:
The Aconitum sympathy is reactive. It consists of an emotional eruption or explosion; such as, ” Oh, my God! What shall we do!” Such reaction arises especially when the patient is suddenly faced with a severe health problem or, even worse, an accident concerning one of his relatives. Aconitum is especially afraid of accidents and consequently over-reacts when hearing of one. The anxiety about others is very intense and disproportionate to the reality of the situation. Stoicism is not Aconitum’s long suit; his reactions are immediate and exaggerated.
Sulphur will not show such anxiety. He will worry only in special situations. Sulphur is anxious about his children. It is very seldom that he worries about anybody else, being in essence quite self-centered. If his child is late coming home, he starts to worry. He will be unable to sleep, will walk up and down imagining that the child has had an accident or some other mishap. When his son or daughter drives into the driveway, all of his concerns evaporate and he goes back to sleep.
Phosphorus will have a completely different kind of anxiety. He shows great affection and concern for everybody, even recent acquaintances. He becomes especially concerned and attentive if he hears of their having a health problem. His involvement is genuine, his sympathy for them great. Phosphorus does not display the imaginative worry that Sulphur does; he suffers only when he actually encounters a situation in which another person is suffering, and then he empathizes intensely. A Phosphorus mother has to get up in the night to see whether her little baby is breathing, or is alive. A Phosphorus patient who is confined to the hospital will not be able to tolerate the pain of his roommate; he will persistently ask the nurse to do something to alleviate his pain. The same is true in Causticum, because of the extreme sympathy towards the pain of others that the two remedies have.
Arsenicum is also anxious about others. In this case it is an inner anxiety. The objects of his anxiety are those who are close to him– father, mother, brother, etc. These people provide him with a sense of security; thus, he himself feels threatened when they are not well. It is a self-motivated anxiety for others; he wants them to be well so that they can help him.
Baryta carbonica has a sweet concern about the people who are looking after her. She is very concerned that something may happen to them though she feels completely inadequate in doing anything about the situation. Baryta carbonica will display a lot of silent sympathetic concern which others can feel, but underneath there is a terror that something may happen to the individuals that take care of them or protect them. This is a genuine concern but one arising from a feeling of insecurity, inferiority and helplessness. They fear that they will be left completely unprotected, unable to fend for themselves if something happens to their protector. They resist even thinking of such a possibility.
Cocculus has a passive anxiety about others — a type of anxiety that makes him stay in the hospital the whole night, attending one of his relatives and not sleeping for an instant. His anxiety that this relative may die is so great that he does not allow himself to relax. Cocculus does not think; instead he acts almost instinctively when one of those he loves is in danger. He seems not to feel the tiredness while in the grip of his anxiety for others and their welfare. His anxiety, though, is limited to those he loves.
Causticum has a more general anxiety or rather compassion about others, that is so great that he suffers when he hears or he even reads that others are suffering, or are under a kind of suppression by authorities or injustice. It is enough for him to read in a newspaper or to see in television that people, even in a foreign country, are starving and he is affected so deeply that he has to weep and he gets extremely excited.
The fear of closed spaces
Aconitum also produces claustrophobia; it can arise in a crowd, a train, an airplane or a bus. If the weather is dark or cloudy, the claustrophobia will be aggravated and may eventuate in a panic attack. Fear of the dark, fear of suffocation and, especially, fear of crowds are characteristic of this remedy. Aconitum patients will not participate in a demonstration which would necessitate their being in close proximity with a large number of people. A characteristic case I once saw illustrates the possible intensity of the claustrophobia and the fear of crowds. The claustrophobia was so strong that with only six or seven people in the room this patient would have to leave the room. As a consequence, she could no longer invite all of her relatives to the house on the same day.
In theatres they may sit in the rear so their exit will be made easier if an emergency arises. There is also a fear of suffocation, especially in warm, closed places and when they are caught in traffic jams, where panic may overtake them and force them to leave their car or the underground train. Sometimes, interestingly enough, one will encounter exactly the opposite sensation — a fear of open spaces. They cannot drive on open highways, yet they will have no difficulty driving within the city. They are paralyzed with fear the minute they enter a highway. But they can also have a fear of going out of the house or crossing a street.
The fear of the dark
These patients often can not sleep with the lights off. Darkness is aggravating, producing a feeling of suffocation; there is also fear of ghosts. They will not go through tunnels (dark and closed places), nor will they take the elevator lest the electricity goes out, leaving them trapped in a “closed and dark place” where they might suffocate; they would rather walk up five stories than enter an elevator. The same fear precludes their riding in an airplane. A fear of accidents can be so prominent in Aconitum individuals that they refuse to drive an automobile alone; they need someone to accompany them.
The fear of diseases
They also have a fear of diseases, of impending disease, brain stroke and heart disease — a fear that their heart will stop beating and that they will drop dead or that their heart will explode. It appears that these fears are usually dormant, but with the least provocation they surface with an impressive intensity. All such symptomatology surfaces quite readily in our modern cities with their inhuman aggressiveness and violence; consequently, this remedy will be required increasingly often.
Some Aconitum cases bear a strong resemblance to Lachesis by virtue of a peculiar nocturnal aggravation: after having gone to bed and having slept for ten or fifteen minutes, they suddenly awaken with tremendous fear and jump up in a panic. The difference is that with Lachesis the fear is not a fear of death; it is rather a fear of suffocation because they cannot breathe. It results from a momentary paralysis of the vagus nerve as they were falling asleep. Aconitum has a fear of death that occurs ten to fifteen minutes after falling asleep. Pay special attention to these differences because one can easily confuse remedies with similar symptomatology.
In Aconitum the subconscious fears surface as sleep removes the control of the logical mind. Aconitum has a subconscious mind loaded with fears. These fears surface suddenly with such an intensity that the person jumps up from bed “in a panic,” trembling and anxious, feeling that he is about to die. Another possible explanation for this symptom is that since Aconitum has an aggravation from heat, the panic state is provoked as the person becomes warm in bed. Sometimes these fears will appear as nightmares — awful nightmares — instead of the symptom just described. Another condition that can be encountered in Aconitum is a state of paralysis on waking (Phosphorus, Lachesis, Sulphur, Medorrhinum); they are unable to move their extremities and subsequently become extremely panicky.
The fear of earthquakes
Aconitum is the remedy most affected by earthquakes, and it is an interesting and very apt simile that the internal state of Aconitum is like that of an earthquake. The internal circulatory system is in such a turmoil that it is as if an earthquake is occurring inside the body. Sometimes the sensation of an internal earthquake is so strong that these patients may wake up from sleep with a feeling that there is an actual earthquake taking place and that the ceiling may fall on them. There is a tremendous commotion inside these patients; it can be so intense in the chronic Aconitum patient that it becomes terrifying for the practitioner to behold.
The fear at twilight
I have seen Aconitum cases that have suffered a state of agony every evening at twilight. They would experience intense fear and would sob so intensely that the sounds resembled the barking of a dog. One case I encountered was so terrified that she was unable to voice any of her feelings during the crisis because of her anxiety; she could only sob and sobbed so loudly that she could be heard in the neighbors’ apartments. One such crisis was actually witnessed as it occured while her case was being taken; it was a terrifying experience. One of the times of aggravation for Aconitum patients is twilight, and the aggravation may continue until midnight.
The Aconite patient will complain that ideas haunt him, and that he cannot get rid of them. His mind is very active, but he will say that his attention is distracted while reading, and that thought seems to cease. He cannot finish a half-written idea without great effort. On attempting to think of one thing, another intrudes, followed by another and so on. There may be a stupid feeling in the head, as if there were a board before the forehead; or he may say that he cannot think, that ideas seem to come from the stomach. Such patients suffer from diminished intellectual power, and cannot perform even light mental work. They can also suffer from weakness of memory. They may feel that what they have just done was a dream, and be scarcely able to recall what it was. The inability to continue long at one thing may be accompanied by impatience; the patient throws himself about, constantly changing position, unable to think or perform even the slightest mental labor, with an unusual distraction of ideas.
The alternating states
The Aconite mood can alternate between laughter and crying; at one time he is gay, at another gloomy; he may be excited, or sit buried in thought; at times he seems to weep, and at times he sings. Now he is perfectly conscious, now raving. There may be alternate attacks of opposite moral symptoms. The patient sometimes doubts he will recover, while at other times he is full of hope.
In Aconite the delirium is characterized by worry, fear, raving, and sometimes unconsciousness. In this state the Aconite patient may cry out, with a staring look, with convulsive motions, with great heat in the face, dilated pupils or convulsions, speaking in a childish, nonsensical way and being extravagantly gay or talking about death. At night he raves, springs out of bed and may imagine that he is driving sheep. He may be quarrelsome, with constantly varying delirium, imagining his thoughts come from the stomach or that parts of his body are abnormally thick. There is the feeling that what has just been done was a dream. Insanity and maniacal delirium follow. During the convulsions there is loss of consciousness. The delirious patient lies in a stupid condition, with eyes closed and twitching of the facial muscles, while the mouth is tight, without power of speech. Comatose states may also be found in Aconite.
The Aconite individual may have an angry disposition, be quarrelsome, morose and peevish and desire to be alone. She makes reproaches, takes every joke in bad part, is irascible and fretful, and inclined to be irritated over trivial matters. In this state she shuns people, dislikes to talk and answers laconically yes or no. She has no affection for anybody, is morose, misanthropic, peevish and of a malicious mood. Such an individual may also have anthropophobia.
The slightest noise is unbearable, and the irritability may be accompanied by over-sensitiveness to light and touch. For instance, in cases of otitis, the patient does not want to be touched. He screams with pain at slightest touch. In cases of depression the patient will not be touched or uncovered.
It is apparent that Aconitum states can include a wide range of symptomatology. Symptoms can vary from relatively mild tachycardias, arrhythmias, numbness, tinglings, etc. to fears, phobias, tremendous panic and, finally, coldness, extreme prostration and collapse with blueness and coldness of the whole body.
The aconite baby and child
A few observations about Aconitum children may prove helpful. They can be subject to sudden anger, fits of rage and nightly enuresis, this occurring if one or both of the parents behave aggressively or if the child has a fright.
Aconitum can also be helpful in convulsions after a sudden nervous shock or in convulsions of teething children with jerks and twitches of single muscles, high fever, hot and dry skin; the child gnaws its fists, frets and screams and cries violently, with convulsive twitching of the facial muscles
The remedy is often used in newborns for asphyxia, apoplectic symptoms, hot, purplish, pulseless breathlessness; icterus; ophthalmia; vomiting of blood, with bloody stools; retention of urine from the shock of birth or the sudden coldness of the new external environment. When suffering painful affections, Aconitum children will feel the pain so intensely that they tend to protect the painful part with their hands. During a cystitis for instance the children reach with their hands to the genitals and cry out. The whole body is sensitive to touch; the child will not allow itself to be moved; it whines.
It is important for the student of homeopathy to understand that a case that needs Aconitum will be cured in an impressive way only by this remedy alone; no other remedy can replace it, be it an acute or a chronic case. Do not hesitate to prescribe it if the symptoms agree in any case no matter how severe its pathology may appear to be. I repeat, the information given by old masters that Aconitum is indicated only in the beginning stages of acute conditions is totally misleading.
Some general remarks: It is important to understand the remedies in their general action upon the human organism and apply this understanding to the diseases being treated. One should avoid the trap of getting stuck on little details and instead try to perceive the general image of the patient, then prescribe correspondingly. The student of homeopathy should make sure that he knows a wide range of homeopathic remedies before attempting to make a differential diagnosis; otherwise he will tend to see in all of his patients the characteristics of the few remedies he knows.
Physical and mental restlessness.
Most of the symptoms are accompanied by shivering and anxiety.
Trembling and tendency to palpitation.
Aconite will be indicated in cases of epilepsy or convulsions when you see a picture like the following: loud lamentations; body rigid and bent backward; fists clenched across throat; gnashing of teeth; eyes drawn up spasmodically under lids; the limbs are distorted with spasms; jerks of left leg or arm, grinding teeth; comatose; restless, moaning.
Convulsions of whole body worse towards noon time.
Sudden and great sinking of strength.
Great muscular weakness, weariness, prostration, almost total inability to stand.
Feeling very drowsy, languid and unable to rise from couch; obliged to discontinue all work; system feels prostrated with sense of inward fever.
He loses his ability to stand, must sit down.
Numbness, tingling more on left side.
Numbness and tingling over the body.
Faintness on attempting to sit up.
Pains intolerable; more so at night.
Stitches in the forehead, back, sides of chest, back of hands, and other parts, as if he stood on the isolated plate of an electrical machine, and one took sparks from him. Very fine stinging, or stinging burning pains in many parts, as if seated in the skin, sometimes combined with a sense of heaviness, numbness, or swelling.
Tearing, cutting, wandering pains.
Burning through all the mucous membranes.
Neuralgia with congestions, from dry cold air or checked sweat.
Pains are intolerable to the extent that they drive him crazy.
As if bruised or beaten in different parts.
Has but little effect on disorganized blood-globules, hence seldom useful in true typhoid states. Acts more on arterial system.
Plethora; active capillary congestions (from overactive serous membranes).
Local congestions and inflammations.
Neuritis, with tingling.
Complaints in joints: shooting, cramp, cracking, loss of power; drawing in joints and aponeuroses.
Acute rheumatism, much fever, restlessness and anxiety; swellings of joints which are red and hot or pale; shifting from one point to another; especially if caused by suddenly checked sweat or by dry cold air or winds.
Common colds with high fever in the very beginning.
Muscular rheumatism with high fever.
Palpitation of the heart and anxiety, and increased heat of the body, especially in the face.
Palpitation of the heart with great anxiety; oppression of the breathing and great weariness in all the limbs; it rises from thence into the head, and she is as if stupefied from flying redness in the face.
Wounds painfully sensitive after surgical operations; fever.
Shock from injury or surgical operations.
Children’s diseases; with high fever.
Contraindicated in fevers which bring out eruptions, unless there is agonizing tossing with dry skin. Tendency to apoplectic congestion; plethora.
Sensitiveness to fresh air.
All the symptoms of having caught cold.
Remarkable degree of sensitiveness to the least draught of cold air.
From a fall or concussion; face pale or red, but no stupor.
Apoplexy or apoplectic congestions.
Head feels dull, stupefied.
Dull, stupid; pressure outwards, aggravated on sitting up; with anxiety and fear of death. Alternate stupefaction and restlessness, with mild delirium twitchings, starts as in a fright, pulse frequent.
Stupor, with cold feet.
Aggravations and ameliorations:
Anxious restlessness, finding no comfort in any position.
Worse from dry cold or from becoming overheated. Worse from motion, like Bryonia, but in Aconitum the restlessness usually reigns and forces the patient to move despite the fact that he is aggravated by motion.
Better in open air; worse lying on affected side, from music, from tobacco-smoke.
Worse at twilight and in the hours following until 11 or 12 midnight; also worse from 10 P.M. until 4 A.M. Worse after fright.
Worse from touch, especially in fevers where the whole body is in pain. The patient has an aversion to being touched and is aggravated by touch because of the pain.
There is decided relief from any kind of discharge; such as, vomiting, diarrhea, perspiration, free flow of menses, leucorrhea, etc.
Vertigo after fright; from congestion, as in sun; on stooping; staggers to right; as if drunk, with nausea, aggravated on rising from seat, ameliorated while walking, none while sitting; blackness before eyes when shaking head; with nosebleed; from sudden suppression of menses by cold.
On rising from a recumbent posture, red face becomes deathly pale, or he becomes dizzy and falls over, he fears to rise again; often accompanied by nausea, vanishing of sight or unconsciousness.
Vertigo, headache, nausea, gagging, coldness.
Turns suddenly red and falls unconscious.
In the head there can be tormenting sensations — tormenting headaches and vertigo.
The head in front is as if nailed up, when in a warm room.
Congestion, anxiety; face hot and red, or pale; carotids pulsate strongly; pulse full, strong, or small and quick; aggravated toward evening.
There is often congestion and fullness in the head, frequently accompanied by a sense of great heat and a feeling as if the head is enlarged. Throbbing in temples.
Headache and roaring in ears. Constant burning in forehead.
A very characteristic sensation of boiling inside the head is often encountered.
A fainting feeling, vertigo and paleness on attempting to sit up in bed are seen in this remedy.
Headaches can occur after fright or after exposure to cold, dry winds. Squeezing in forehead above root of nose, feels as if she would lose her reason; aggravated on walking in open air. Pressing shooting pain in forehead.
Pressive, stupefying headache; sleeplessness.
Shooting, pulsating headache, as if from an internal ulcer, sometimes prevents speaking.
blows in right side of forehead.
Sunstroke; especially from sleeping in sun’s rays.
Headache, as if brain was moved or raised; aggravated during motion, drinking, talking or sunlight.
The headaches are most often located in the occiput and forehead.
They are usually accompanied by some kind of fear of death.
One-sided numbness of the face is common.
Head excessively hot.
Bends head far back.
Constantly tosses head about.
Sensation as if hair stood on end.
If he raises his head, he vomits phlegm or what he drank.
Constantly puts hand to head.
Cold sweat on forehead.
Aconitum will probably be indicated in severe cases of encephalitis and meningoencephalitis judging by the tremendous fear, upheaval and tormenting sensations felt inside the head, and the high fever, and severe headaches.
Vision as if through a veil; difficult to distinguish faces; anxiety and vertigo. An anxious look can be perceived in the eyes.
Staring, glaring eyes.
Eyes excessively hot and dry; conjunctiva of lids very red, constant winking and closing of lids, could hardly force them open; temporary relief from cold water; asthenopia from straining eyes.
Severe conjunctivitis can occur from exposure to cold, dry winds.
The eye and eyelid inflammations of Aconitum may produce copious discharges. Photophobia from sunlight. Desire for light; photomania.
Pupils contracted, then dilated.
Dilated pupils (immediately).
Eyeball feels enlarged, as if coming out of socket.
Eyes red, inflamed, vessels deep red; burning, pressive shooting pains.
Eyes dull, encircled by blue rings.
Sticking and tearing pains around eyes; aggravated at night.
Upper half of eyeball sore when moved; feels as if it would be forced out of orbit (better on stooping). Profuse lachrymation with intense pain; tears flow, with or without local inflammation. Inflammation extremely painful.
Aconitum has proved quite useful for injuries to the eyes, especially when there is severe sudden inflammation because of a foreign body injuring the sclera.
Acute aggravations of granulated lids and pannus of cornea, with excessive hyperemia, heat and dryness especially if induced by overheating from violent exercise, or by exposure to dry, cold air.
In earlier stages of violent acute inflammations of deep structures of ball, when it becomes sensitive to touch and feels as if it were protruding; rarely after exudation.
Sudden blindness resulting from exposure to excessively cold or hot weather or from fright is seen. Ophthalmia neonatorum; in beginning.
Copious tears and red conjunctiva.
Lids feel dry, burn and are sensitive to air.
Lids hard, swollen, red, with a tense feeling; aggravated in the mornings.
Averse to noises, they startle him; they are intolerable.
Music goes through every limb; makes her sad.
Roaring in ears; humming; ringing.
Left ear deaf, with buzzing in whole head.
Tearing pain (left ear); pains in right ear.
Stinging in ear; meatus red and narrowed.
External ear hot and red; swollen, painfully sensitive, noise intolerable.
Sense of smell very acute, especially for unpleasant odors.
Great sensibility of the olfactory nerve; bad smells have a powerful effect.
Distressing cramp or pressure at root of nose.
Nosebleed; blood bright red.
Nosebleeding and headache.
Coryza: dry, with headache, roaring in ears, fever, thirst, sleeplessness, caused by cold, dry winds; checked with headache; ameliorated in open air, aggravated from talking; fluent, frequent sneezing; dropping of a clear, hot water; fluent mornings; inner nose red, swollen, interfering with breathing. Mucous membrane dry, nose stopped up; dry or with but scanty watery coryza.
Marked pain between orbits at the base of nose.
Anxious expression; frightened.
The face is usually hot and dry during fever.
In the nose there can be great heat with fire-like burning in the nostrils during catarrhal inflammations. Facial flushing with a sensation of enlargement of the face is characteristic of the remedy. Face pale, with restlessness and expression of anxiety; Red cheeks with fear of death.
The face, red when lying, becomes deathly pale on rising up.
Between attacks, face pale; now and then flying heat.
Face and whole body pale.
Face dark red, lips blue.
Redness of one cheek with paleness of the other.
Numbness on one side of the face.
Neuralgia of trigeminus, left side; face red and hot; restlessness, anguish; rolling about, screaming.
Rheumatism in face and teeth.
Creeping pain in the cheeks.
Sensation as if cheeks were swollen to double their size.
There may be perspiration of the face occurring only on the side lain upon.
Lips: blue, dry, black, peeling off; swollen, inflamed.
Burning and numbness of lips and mouth; heat and tingling.
Burning of lips and tongue, as after eating pepper or smoking.
Mouth drawn to one side (right).
Lips on left side motionless, during breathing.
Constantly moving lower jaw, as in chewing.
Aconitum is the first remedy for facial paralysis after exposure to a cold, dry wind, especially when accompanied by numbness or tingling.
Toothache: even in sound teeth; with throbbing in one side of face, intense redness of one cheek, congestion to head, restlessness; most left-sided, or going from right to left.
Toothache caused by: dry, cold winds; taking cold in raw air; during pregnancy; especially in young, plethoric sedentary persons. Sensibility of the teeth to open air.
Gums hot and inflamed.
There is a sensation of heat of the lips.
The mouth tastes bitter, and all but water tastes bitter.
Mouth as if filled with air tasting of rotten eggs.
Trembling and temporary stammering.
Speech imperfect, lisping.
Saliva – copious, streaked red, sweet taste in mouth.
Accumulation of water in mouth.
Yellowish-white thick fur in mouth.
Sensations of numbness and tingling of lips and tongue.
There is great dryness in the centre of the tongue.
There is a sensation as if cold air were blowing on the tongue.
Tongue feels swollen, burning, prickling and tingling. Tongue and lips swollen.
Burning on tip of tongue and lips.
Burning vesicles on tongue.
Tongue coated white or thick yellow-white.
Tongue dry, furred, white.
Tongue red, with great thirst.
Tongue dry, red on sides, centre thinly coated white.
Penetrating fine stitches in the tip of the tongue. Chronic affections of tongue.
Red, dry, constricted, numb, with prickling, burning and stinging. Redness of uvula and soft palate.
Uvula: swollen and elongated; feels as if elongated and coming in contact with tongue.
Feeling of dryness and as if something stuck in throat.
Acute inflammation of throat, palate, tonsils and fauces with high fever, dark redness of parts, burning and stinging in fauces. Burning sensation in back of throat, causing him to hawk.
Burning and fine stinging pain in back of throat.
Severe sticking pains in posterior fauces.
Burning and numbness in throat; throat almost insensible.
Pricking, burning in throat and along eustachian tube.
Roof of mouth and fauces dotted with eruption.
Burning sensation in pharynx.
Swallowing: stinging choking in throat.
When swallowing food, it feels as if it had lodged in cardiac region.
Swallowing much impeded.
Muscles extremely sore in swallowing.
Almost entire inability to swallow.
Burning from mouth along esophagus to stomach.
Tingling in esophagus.
Lively sensation of hunger, renewed soon after eating.
Excessive hunger and thirst, but eats slowly.
Thirst burning, unquenchable.
Excessive thirst, yet can retain nothing.
No appetite; loathing of food, qualmishness.
Desires: wine; brandy; beer; bitter drinks.
Violent pain in stomach on eating, with warmth and tenderness; hiccough; nausea (after meat broths).
Momentary relief from cold water.
Aconitum can often ameliorate a gastritis produced by drinking cold water when overheated. Drinking ice water excites cough; generally better from cold drink, especially anxiety.
Worse from smoking.
Wine generally relieves, but sometimes brings on congestions, hemoptysis or palpitation, and augments rheumatic pains. Painful hiccough.
Better from eructations.
Violent but ineffectual urging to vomit.
Gagging, retching, gasping for breath.
Vomiting: of lumbrici; of bile; of green masses, with diarrhea of same appearance; of mucus; of blood, of bloody mucus; of what has been drunk, followed by thirst. Vomiting with anxiety, heat, thirst, profuse sweat and increased micturition.
Vomiting, meteorism and inability to make water.
On sitting up, vomits clear water.
Inclination to vomit, just as if he had eaten something disgustingly sweet or greasy. Cholera.
Vomits sour phlegm.
Nausea, vomiting, thirst, general heat and profuse sweat with flow of urine.
Region of pit of stomach sore to touch and meteoristic.
Burning from stomach up through esophagus to mouth.
Sudden excruciating pain, with gagging, retching, vomiting blood, gasping; cold sweat on forehead; congestion of mucous lining of stomach. When breathing, pit of stomach is drawn to spine.
Pressure in stomach and pit of stomach, as from a weight or hard stone. Tensive pressive pain, as from fulness or a weight pressing in the stomach and hypochondria.
Stitch-like, burning, pressing pain in pit of stomach, with fear of death.
Pressure as from a stone in pit of stomach going through to the back, with a squeezing sensation as from a strain, like stiffness.
In the abdomen there are pains which extend to the chest.
Burning, stinging, hepatic pains.
Hot, tense swelling under right short ribs.
Pressure and constriction in hepatic region, with obstruction of breathing.
Pressive pain,as from a weight in the hypochondria.
Feeling of violent constriction in the hypochondria.
Acute hepatitis, with violent fever.
Tension and heaviness in hypochondria.
Agony, has to sit straight up, can hardly breathe, pulse thread-like, vomiturition, sweats with anxiety; abdomen swollen, particularly under short ribs. Stitches in region of liver taking the breath.
Severe and constant pain in epigastrium, pressing outward.
Stitches and heat in diaphragm.
Pain going to umbilicus, or changing from stomach to liver.
In acute infections of the intestinal tract characterized by stools which are green and watery or which consist of green masses like spinach, violent tenesmus, and severe colicky pains that are relieved only after stool, nothing else will relieve.
Colic forces him double, yet relieved in no position.
Colic involving bladder, contraction of hypogastrium in region of bladder; constant ineffectual urging to urinate. Flatulent colic in the hypogastrium as if he had taken a flatus-producing purgative. Burning in umbilical region.
Burning in abdomen.
Umbilical region hard, swollen, like ascites.
Great swelling of abdomen, which is painful to touch.
Meteorism, vomiting, inability to urinate.
Abdomen burning hot, tense, tympanitic, sensitive to least touch, cutting pains, fever, anguish.
Abdomen puffed and hard.
A feeling of weight, as if a heavy load were resting on abdomen and bearing one down.
Hernia, recent and small, also incarcerated with bilious vomiting and cold sweat; burning as from coals of fire.
Sensitiveness of lower abdomen to touch.
Sensitiveness of abdomen to touch, as from slight peritoneal inflammation.
Pain in loins, as if bruised.
Aconitum is in general ameliorated by evacuating the alimentary canal, either through vomiting or diarrhea. Aconitum has to be thought of in jaundice of the newborn.
Jaundice: during pregnancy, liver atrophied; after fright; from a cold, with catarrh of small intestines. Splenitis with inflammatory fever.
Diarrhea: watery; frequent small stools; like chopped spinach (summer complaint); bilious, of infants, with colic, which no position relieves; from getting wet; slimy, bloody, violent pains in bowels; tenesmus, also between discharges.
Scanty, loose, frequent, with tenesmus; small, brown, painful; at last bloody.
Pure blood passes without feces.
Urging; slimy stools; intolerable nightly tingling, itching at anus.
Dysentery or inflammatory diarrhea during hot days and cold nights.
Cutting, griping, followed by frequent urging to stool, after anger or fright.
Pain in the rectum.
Shooting and aching in the anus.
Hemorrhage from bowels bright red, in streams.
Alternate slimy stools and constipation.
Constipation; clay-colored stools.
Stool and urine suppressed.
Stool white, with dark red urine.
Stool white, with saffron-colored urine.
Cholera, congestive stage; stage of reaction.
Bleeding piles; stinging and pressure in anus, burning and heat in piles.
Stinging and pressing pains in region of kidneys.
Renal region sensitive, with shooting pains.
Violent burning in bladder.
Inflammation of bladder; constant urging, water passes in drops, with burning, admixed with blood; tension, heat and tenderness over pubes. Painful anxious urging to urinate.
Children reach with hands to genitals and cry out.
Burning in urethra when urinating.
Must rise each night between 12 and 3 A.M. to urinate.
Dysuria during pregnancy.
Urine scanty, red and hot.
Urine: hot, dark colored; red, with white feces; red and clear.
Urine dark brown, frothy or yellow.
Urine yellow-red and no sediment.
Enuresis, with thirst.
Diuresis, with headache and profuse sweat.
Retention or suppression of urine, with pressure in bladder or stitches in region of kidneys.
Retention from cold, especially in children, with much crying and restlessness.
Hematuria, with hemorrhoids of anus or bladder; burning distress in urethra.
There may be retention of urine after a fright. Aconitum is very often used in newborns who suffer urinary retention subsequent to the fright of birth. Tenesmus of the neck of the bladder.
Genitalia – male
Increased sexual desire; lascivious dreams; fits of lasciviousness.
Testicles feel swollen and hard, as if surcharged with semen.
Bruised pain in testicles.
Simple pain in the testicles, like that caused by a bruise.
Violent, sudden orchitis.
Gonorrhea, first stage.
Genitalia – female
Stitching pains, more to right of fundus uteri; sharp, shooting pains, abdomen exceedingly sensitive.
Sudden inflammation of the ovaries in cases of suppressed menstruation.
Prolapsus uteri, occurring suddenly, with inflammation, bitter vomit, cold sweat, or dry, hot skin; with or without hemorrhage.
Labor-like pressing in womb; has to bend double, but relieved in no position.
Uterine hemorrhage, active, much excitability, giddy, cannot sit up, fear of death.
Menses too late, diminished and protracted; plethoric females, who lead a sedentary life. Menses profuse in plethoric women.
Suppressed or painful menstruation after exposure to cold or after a fright, by getting feet wet, or by a cold bath.
Amenorrhea during puberty; nosebleed; palpitation; congestions.
Restores menses of plethoric women, after their suppression from any cause. Inflammation of genitals.
Vagina dry, hot, sensitive.
Leucorrhea copious, tenacious, yellow.
During pregnancy; restlessness; fear of death, predicts time of death; jaundice; blood-spitting; disturbed between 12 and 3 o’clock at night, compelled to get up to urinate; has no affection for anybody.
Impending abortion from fright, with vexation; circulation excited, rapid breathing.
Pains of labor: distressing; vagina hot, dry, tender and undilatable; violent, following in rapid succession, particularly with a large child (head seems immovable), contractions insufficient, pains overwhelming; shrieking; red, sweating face; thirsty; head and hands glowing, pulse hard, skin scarcely moist, increased action of heart; ineffectual from defective position of child.
Puerperal convulsions, cerebral congestion, hot, dry skin, thirst, restlessness and fear of death. After tedious and difficult parturition.
After-pains too painful, too long-lasting.
After-pains, with fear and restlessness.
Milk-fever with delirium; mammae hot, hard, tense, with scanty milk.
Lochia offensive, bloody, slimy.
Return of lochial discharge, when women commence going about after confinement.
Childbed fever after suppression of lochia; mammae lax, no milk; dry, hot skin; hard, frequent pulse, or tensive, contracted; fearful, wild, staring, glittering eyes; dry tongue, great thirst; inflated abdomen, sensitive to slightest touch.
Larynx and Trachea – Hoarseness, with pain when talking.
Voice crowing, croupy.
Voice husky, can scarcely speak, points to larynx, wants to cough, but cannot.
Tickling in the larynx provoking cough.
Larynx sensitive to touch and to inspired air, as if raw.
Laryngitis, with inflammatory fever; also with suffocative spasms (spasms of glottis).
Laryngeal complaints after straining voice.
Dryness in windpipe causing a frequent little cough.
Croup: awaking in first sleep; child in agony, impatient, tosses about; dry, short cough, but not much wheezing nor sawing breathing; cough and loud breathing during expiration; every expiration ending with a hoarse, hacking cough; after exposure to dry, cold winds.
Burning low down in larynx.
Pain in larynx on coughing.
Respiration – Fetid breath.
Inspiration through the nose impeded, especially in sleep.
Breathing: short, in sleep, after 12 P.M.; labored, anxious or quick, and superficial; deep, slow, sighing; difficult, must breathe deeply; slow, rattling (apoplexy), whistling (croup in old age), short, when raising one’s self.
Asthma from active hyperemia of lungs and brain; face red, eyes staring; after emotions; can talk but little at a time.
Asthma after suppression of acute rash; feeling of band around chest; muscles of chest rigid; occasionally vomiting; urine scanty, dark; after paroxysm, sputa yellow or blood-streaked.
Agony, sits up straight, can hardly breathe; pulse like a thread, vomiturition; sweat, with anxiety; swelling under short ribs. Oppression of chest when moving fast or ascending.
Oppressed respiration, dry hacking, much thirst and chilliness.
Inhalation difficult and noisy.
Worse during inspiration; better during expiration.
Constant short, dry cough, with feeling of suffocation, which increases with every inspiration. Difficult breathing.
Breathes only with diaphragm.
Cannot breathe freely from a sensation as if lungs would not expand; frequently takes deep breaths. Fear of suffocation.
Dyspnea from fear in hysterical women.
Dyspnea from cardiac excitement in plethoric persons.
Dyspnea in chest affections — has to sit erect to breathe.
Cough – Clear ringing or whistling cough, caused by burning, pricking in larynx or trachea.
Cough short, dry, forcible, excited by scratching in throat.
Short cough after 12 P.M., from tickling in larynx; the more he attempts to repress it, the more severe it becomes.
Dry hoarse, barking cough.
Dry cough, with shooting in chest; with raw pain in chest, caused by change of temperature.
Frequent dry cough, with occasional expectoration of bright red blood.
Dry, whistling cough; beginning of pertussis; feverish, anxious, restless.
Wants to cough, but cannot.
Cough hollow, hoarse, choking, causing blueness of face.
Violent hollow cough at night; shorter and more panting during day. Cough awakens him from sleep, is dry, croupy, suffocating; great anxiety. Cough better lying on back; aggravated on side.
Cough with nervous excitability.
Cough with viscid mucous expectoration.
Cough after drinking, sputum thin, frothy, blood- streaked; burning, shooting in chest; dullness on percussion.
Cough worse: after eating or drinking; lying, must sit up from a constrictive feeling and suffocation (tracheitis) until 3 A.M.; evening, night, more after 12 P.M.; from tobacco smoke; during sleep; from vexation, especially fright; when overheated; from dry, cold winds, or currents of air; from walking in open air; when assuming an upright position; from deep inspiration; from speaking.
Expectoration – Hemoptysis: blood comes up with an easy hawking, hemming or slight cough; expression of anxiety; great fear of death; palpitation, quick pulse, stitches in chest; caused by mental excitement; exposure to dry, cold air, or after taking wine.
Sputa: absent; thin, gelatinous, more mornings and during day; scanty, falls in round lumps, dark cherry-red (pneumonia); bloody or blood-streaked; bright red blood. Expectoration of thin, frothy, white mucus, mixed with streaks of bright red blood.
Expectoration brownish-red, rust-colored; cough frequent, with severe pains from shock through chest.
Expectoration of blood and mucus, with raw sensation behind the sternum.
Heart – Palpitation of the heart accompanied by great anxiety and fear of death. Tachycardia.
Palpitation, anxiety, restlessness; aggravated lying; face pale, anxious.
Palpitation, with anxiety, fainting, and tingling in fingers.
Palpitation and anxiety, with increased heat, especially of the face.
Palpitation of the heart, with great anxiety and restlessness, and pressive pain in the cardiac region.
Palpitation; feeling as if boiling water was poured into chest.
Hyperemia of lungs, violent palpitation of heart; face red; spitting of blood.
Oppression about heart, burning flushes along back.
Oppressive feeling in the heart region, as if heart will explode.
Inward pressing pain in region of heart.
Anxiety about praecordia, heart beats quicker and stronger; fear of death.
Anxiety, difficulty of breathing, flying heat in face, sensation of something rushing into head.
Anxiety in cardiac region, and oppression of chest, with contracted pulse and constriction of the chest, when sitting after much motion. Inflammations of the heart — pericarditis, endocarditis — with severe shooting and stitching pains, obliging the person to shout.
Sudden attacks of pain in the heart with dyspnea.
Sudden violent cardiac irritation with fluttering pulse; has to sit up in bed; grasps the throat with anxiety or even anguish.
Feeling of fulness; pulse hard, strong, contracted; stitches at heart; lies on back, with raised shoulders; constriction of chest.
Slight stitches in cardiac region.
Uncomplicated cardiac hypertrophy; especially with numbness in left arm and tingling in fingers.
Great agitation of heart, anxiety.
Intense pains in all directions, especially down left arm, with numbness and tingling; anxiety, fear of death, coldness, cold sweat; feeble pulse. Fainting, with tingling.
Pulse quicker than beat of heart; during three beats apex strikes only once. Pulse strong, full, hard.
Full, strong, hard pulse, with heat and thirst.
Short, small, quick pulse with flushed face.
Pulse: small, intermitting, irregular (asthma); accelerated, with heat of skin (jaundice); contracted, full, powerful, over 100 per minute; full, powerful, intermitting every six beats with cardiac heaviness; slow, intermittent; slow, feeble, weak and small; like a thread, with anxiety; quick, hard and small (peritonitis). Pulse strong, full and quick.
The heart beats quickly while the pulse was slow, apparently intermitting with attacks of powerlessness. Pulse full, hard; tense and bounding; sometimes intermits.
Toward evening the pulse became full and quick; he felt the beating of the temporal and carotid arteries, while sitting.
Carotids beat violently.
Beat of heart powerful; pulse full, hard and strong, moderately frequent.
Inner and Outer Chest – Tightness of chest.
Oppression of chest, feeling of great weight, must breathe deeply, with anxiety.
Constrictive sticking pain in sides of chest.
Pressure, weight and burning under sternum.
Pressive tight pain in side of chest.
Pressure, especially on right side of chest.
Heaviness on the chest.
Pain in middle of chest drawing toward back, aggravated with every motion of body. Squeezing pain in the chest.
A creeping pain in the chest.
Stitches in right side of chest, but only when lying on that side. Stitches: when breathing; with cough; from lowest rib, right side, through lung to apex of scapula; at every inspiration; in left chest; last rib, right side, through to back; transient, now here, now there; aggravated bending sideways; between scapulae, on deep breathing; and burning shooting in chest.
Anxiety in the chest, and oppression on the right side, afterward in the whole chest.
Cannot lie on right side, only on back.
Lancinating through chest, with dry heat, difficult breathing, often violent chill.
Painful shocks in left chest superiorly, especially on taking a deep breath. Synochal fever, hot sweat, oppression; children have rattling in chest; sensation of fulness in chest; must lie on back. Heat in lungs.
Rush of blood to lungs.
Pleurisy with stabbing, stitching, severe pains that are aggravated by the least motion, coughing, laughing or even yawning.
Veins of throat expanded.
Chest muscles rigid.
Neck sore and painful; glands swollen.
Tearing in nape of neck.
Drawings in muscles of throat and neck.
Rheumatic pain in the nape only observed on moving the neck.
Painful stiff neck, aggravated on moving neck; pains down neck to right shoulder.
Cutting pains extending in a circle from spine to abdomen.
Crawling in spine, as from beetles; formication.
After injury or checked sweat.
Numbness of small of back, extending into lower limbs.
Violent, shooting, digging pain all down the left side of the spine to the sacrum, which was so much increased by inspiration that tears came repeatedly into the eyes, for four hours.
Pain as if bruised in the articulation of the lowest lumbar vertebra with the sacrum; the sacrum feels hacked off.
Bruised pain between the shoulders.
Pain as if from a bruise, from the loins through the back into the nape of the neck.
Coldness of extremities.
Hands icy cold; cold, sweaty palms.
Coldness of feet and ankles; soles and toes cold and sweaty.
Drawing, tearing pains in limbs.
All the joints are painful.
Affections with associated numbness and tingling of the extremities.
Trembling and tingling in limbs, accompanied by shooting pains.
Convulsive trembling of limbs.
Convulsive contraction of limbs.
Slight starting of limbs, alternating with trembling.
Limbs feel weak, heavy and painful.
Limbs feel tired during repose.
Weakness and laxity of the ligaments of all the joints.
Automatic motion of left hand; he strikes his face.
Trembling of hands.
Creeping pain in fingers.
Creeping in fingers, also while writing.
Twitching of fingers and toes.
Formication in arms, hands and fingers.
Arms hang powerless, as if paralyzed by blows.
Numbness of left arm; can scarcely move hand; tingling of fingers.
Numb, tingling sensations in arms and hands, as though the poles of a galvanic battery were being held. Numbness in gouty limb.
Legs almost powerless; after sitting, numbness.
Legs and feet feel numb; tingling, commencing in feet and spreading upward.
Ankles feel as if tied with a ligature.
Hot pricking in toes; they “go to sleep” while walking.
Lameness and numb feeling in affected parts; pain intolerable.
Numbness, icy coldness and insensibility of hands and feet.
Aconitum is indicated in cases of functional paralysis, especially after an exposure to very cold winds while being warm, and for paralysis that ensues from a sudden frightful experience, a form of hysterical paralysis. Paralysis of wrists.
Acute rheumatism with excruciating pains, restlessness, congestion and heat of the affected joint and a feeling of enlargement of the inflamed part.
Rheumatic inflammation of joints, aggravated evening and night; intense, bright red, shining swelling of parts; sensitive to least contact, with high fever. Red pimples on back of hands; stinging itching.
Bright red hypothenar eminences on both hands.
Hip and hip-joint (left) swollen, hot and exceedingly painful to touch; feverish, thirsty, anxious.
Drawing tearing in left hip-joint on moving.
Thighs when walking feel as if tightly bandaged.
Lower limbs sore.
Shooting, tearing pains in legs, knees, ankles, toes, etc.
Shootings in the left knee.
Unsteadiness of knees; bend while standing or walking.
Knees swollen; painful, throbbing, cutting, stinging pains; cannot sleep, had to sit up.
Knifelike pains in knee joint.
Shooting, tearing, erratic; in arms, forearms, wrists and finger-joints.
Icy coldness of the knee alternating with flying shootings.
Legs stiff when moved, after taking cold.
Cramps in calves, also in feet.
Passed a restless night, body very hot, tossed about much, and had excessively vivid dreams. Light sleep (from 1 to 5 h.).
On going to sleep; fever becomes intolerable; jerks; restless tossing. Somnolency, eyes closed; in a little child.
During sleep: delirium; starts; profuse sweat; hot, restless and talking; slow breathing.
Restless nights; must walk or move about; alternately cold and hot, partial sweat. Excessive wakefulness; nervous sleeplessness.
Sleeplessness after midnight with anxiety, restlessness, continual tossing about; eyes closed.
Sleeplessness caused by fear, fright or anxiety, with fear of future.
Yawns often, without being sleepy.
Vivid dreams of day’s occurrences.
At night anxious dreams, several times waking with start.
Long dreams with anxiety in chest, taking away breath and causing him to awaken.
Anxious heavy dreams with oppression of chest.
Awakened: by asthma; by nightmare; with starts; by cough. He starts up in a fright, moves much and talks in his sleep.
Aconitum is indicated in all inflammatory conditions with the following characteristics: congestions, especially when the skin is dry and hot, great thirst, intense suffering and pain, restlessness that can find no solace in any position, anxiety and fear.
In some cases of fever a different situation will be encountered: sudden, continuous very high fever with no apparent causation nor apparent localized site of inflammation, without thirst, without restlessness or anxiety or other specifics; the only complaint is that of being very tired, and these patients look sleepy, groggy and stupid.
The fever is of very sudden onset and is so high that the patient (often a child) literally seems to be burning up. Such cases bear resemblance to Ferrum phosphoricum, but in Aconitum the fever is much higher, more sudden in onset, and the patient more tired and sleepy. Aconitum is used in infectious diseases, especially measles.
Chill: anxious; on slightest movement; being uncovered or touched; ascends from feet to chest; with formication between shoulders and down back; finger tips cold, nails blue, aggravated in a warm room.
Shuddering on lying down at night. Skin cool, dry or cold and viscous; or cold to touch, but patient feels as if burning. Whole body stiff and cold.
Rigors and vomiting.
Cold crawls over back, with hot skin.
Sudden chill in evening, followed by heat.
After a violent chill, dry heat with difficult breathing and lancinating pain through chest.
With chill, internal heat, anxiety, red cheeks; body chilly, hot forehead and ears, internal heat.
Chill at beginning violent, more in evening after lying down, often with one hot cheek and contracted pupils.
Cold waves pass through him.
Alternate heat and chill all night; restless, wants to uncover, yet chilly therefrom.
Face hot, hands and feet cold; face flushes, with cold hands and feet, mostly evenings.
Skin hot and dry, with anxious tossing about.
Heat with thirst, hard, full and frequent pulse, anxious impatience, inappeasable, beside himself, tossing about with agony. Dry, burning heat, generally extending from head and face, with much thirst for cold drinks. Toward evening burning heat in the head and face, with redness of the cheeks and outpressing headache; at the same time rigor over the whole body and thirst.
Heat, with inclination to uncover; fever unbearable towards evening and after getting into bed.
Heat, with chilliness at same time.
Red cheeks, with obstinacy, complaining mood; burning in region of navel and pressive headache.
Redness of the cheeks and heat of the head; shuddering all over the body, with proper taste in the mouth. Or along with redness of the cheeks, rigors,with weeping and pressive headache.
Heat in the head; forehead hot to the touch, with rigor over the body on the slightest movement.
Thirst for beer during heat.
Drinks little during the heat, yet has dry lips.
Profuse sweat during sleep, even in consumptives; sweat after 12 P.M.
Long continued, general sweat, of a somewhat sour odor.
Affected parts and covered parts sweat; likes to be uncovered.
Worse while sweating; better afterward.
Profuse sweat relieves rheumatic pains.
Bad effects of suppressed sweat: catarrhs; fever; local inflammations, etc.
Slight perspiration all over the body.
Skin dry; absence of sweat.
Tingling over whole surface.
Red, shining, hot swellings; violent pains.
Fine prickings, as from needles, here and there.
Spots like flea-bites; itching unchanged by scratching.
Formication and biting, especially on the hairy parts of the body, with the exception of the head, as if from fleas, making him scratch.
Erythema from sun’s rays; papular erythema.
Erysipelas, smooth skin; violent fever.
Red rash all over, except on abdomen. Purpura miliaris.
Measles: dry, barking cough; painful hoarseness; eyes red; cannot bear light; tongue red; jerks of left leg or arm, or grinding of teeth; restless moaning and lamenting; lying in a comatose state; pains in joints; free sweat.
In red miliary fever: increasing restlessness, agonizing anxiety and heat of body.
Rash of children.
Seldom in scarlatina, except as specified below or during desquamation.
Scarlet rash, with high fever.
Scarlet fever, with dry skin and very great restlessness and distress; must frequently sit erect in bed in consequence of dyspnea.
Anxiety states. Common colds. Inflammatory conditions. Measles.
Encephalitis. Meningoencephalitis. Endocarditis. Pericarditis. Acute arthritis. Neuritis. Pneumonia. Peritonitis. Pleurisy. Gastritis. Conjuctivitis.
Fear. Fright. Chill. Cold, dry winds. Heat, especially of sun. Injury. Surgical operation. Shock.
Compare Aconitum with belladonna, Coffea and Lachesis. Compare also with: Aconitine – Heavy feeling as of lead; pains in supraorbital nerve; ice-cold sensations creep up; hydrophobia symptoms. Tinnitus Aurium 3x. Tingling sensation. Aconitum Lycotonum – Great yellow wolfsbane. Swelling of glands; Hodgkin’s disease. Diarrhea after eating pork. Itching of nose, eyes, anus and vulva. Skin of nose cracked; taste of blood. Aconitum Cammarum – Headache with vertigo and tinnitus. Cataleptic symptoms. Formication of tongue, lips and face. Aconitum ferox – Indian Aconite. Rather more violent in its actions than A. nappellus. It is more diuretic and less antipyretic. It has proved valuable in cardiac dyspnea, neuralgia, and acute gout. Dyspnea. Must sit up. Rapid respiration. Anxiety, with suffocation from feeling of paralysis in respiratory muscles. Cheynes-stokes breathing. Eranthis hymnalis – Winter Aconite. Acts on solar plexus and works upwards causing dyspnea. Pain in occiput and neck.
It is complementary to Arnica, Coffea and Sulphur. Arnica can complement its action, especially in injuries. Similar to belladonna, which can be antidoted by Aconitum, if one is not careful.
It is often indicated after: Arnica, Coffea, Sulphur, Veratrum album, Abrotanum, Arsenicum album, belladonna, Bryonia, Cactus grandiflorus, Cantharis, Hepar, Ipecacuanha, Kali bromatum, Mercury, Pulsatilla, Rhus toxicodendron, Sepia, Spigelia, Spongia, Sulphur, Silica.
When taking Aconitum, vegetable acids and wines, as well as other alcoholic stimulants, should be avoided.
It is antidoted by Acetic acidum, Alcohol, Paris quadrifolium, belladonna, Berberis, Coffea, Nux vomica, Sulphur and Vinum. It antidotes belladonna, Chamomilla, Coffea, Nux vomica, Petroleum, Sepia, Spongia and Sulphur.
Aconitum seems to be active in all the potencies from the very low to the very high. In the Centre of Homeopathic Medicine in Athens experience has shown that the very high potencies act well and for long periods of time, especially in chronic cases and cases of anxiety neurosis.
According to Hahnemann: “In measles, in purpura miliaris, and in the acute pleuritic fevers, &c., its curative power is marvellous, when, the patient being kept rather cool, it is given alone, all other medicinal substances, even vegetable acids, being avoided, in the dose of a thousandth part of a drop of the decillionth development of power.
It is seldom that a second similar dose is required thirty-six or forty-eight hours after the first.”