Materia Medica

Aconite Ferox

Aconitum ferox also known as Aconitum virorum is a species of monkshood, in the family Ranunculaceae. It is also known as the Indian Aconite.

A deciduous perennial that grows up to 1.0 metre tall by 0.5 metres wide and which favours many types of soil. They are handsome plants with the tall and erect stem crowned byracemes of large eye-catching blue, purple, white, yellow or pink zygomorphic flowers with numerous stamens. They are distinguished by having one of the five petaloid sepals (the posterior one), called the galea, in the form of a cylindrical helmet; hence the English name monkshood. There are 2-10 petals, in the form of nectaries. The two upper petals are large. They are placed under the hood of the calyx and are supported on long stalks.

It is from “Aconitum ferox” that the well known Indian poison bikh, bish, or nabee is produced. It contains large quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine, which is a deadly poison.

Aconite ferox is considered the most poisonous plant in the world.

Symptoms of Aconite ferox

Clinical: Burning pains. Cheyne-Stokes breathing. Chill. Dyspnoea. Gastralgia. Neuralgia. Numbness.


Aconitum (Aconite) ferox was proved by Dworzack, who also proved Aconitine. Aconite ferox developed burning pains in greater intesnity than the alkoloid; more intense mental activity followed by greater depression. The Aconite note of inability to endure suffering was marked. Anxiety and fear of suffocation from paralysis of respiratory muscels; obliged to breathe half-sitting up with head resting on palms of hands. Cold drings >; sitting up >; warm food <; coffee >.

Relations –  Compare: Curare and Phosphorus in respiratory paralysis and Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

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Manish Bhatia

Manish Bhatia

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1 Comment

  • If you look at the symptomatology of Aconite ferrox, they are very similar to paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea seen in patients with congestive cardiac failure.

    I have employed this drug with extremely satisfactory and prompt results in such cases.

    In rare cases of failure of Acon. ferrox, I would advise the patient to inhale Aspidosperma Q, and a few whiffs would subside the cardiac asthma