Aconite is a perennial plant that dies in late autumn, and reborn in the spring when their roots as a small turnip sprout new shoots. It has erect stems and alternate leaves palmate, on top of the stem are a bunch of blue flowers that have a characteristic shape of a helmet.
It is an herb that grows on the edges of streams. Is distributed in Spain by the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian mountains and in almost all the mountains of the northern half of the peninsula.
The anapelo blooms in summer. Collection primarily interested in the root, which is used in pharmacy for the extraction of active ingredients, it is shaped tuber and can be mistaken for other edible plants, which could lead to a blunder because the monkshood is one of the most poisonous plants that exist on earth. For this reason, the collection should be left to specialists. Once uprooted tubers are thoroughly cleaned, cut longitudinally and are dried at a temperature between 40 grados Celsiusand 50 grados CelsiusC. From the leaves also can be extracted active substances, although fewer and lower quality.
It is an extremely toxic plant: suffice it to say that with 3-4 g. Of fresh tubers can kill a normal adult. The most important compound of this plant-and responsible for his actions, is the aconitine, this substance is present in the root, stem and leaves not only of this species but many other species. In the aconitine is considered one of the most potent poisons that exist in the plant world. Therapeutic purposes has been used as an analgesic because it amends the nerve endings. Also known to have some antitussive properties, febrifuge, decongestants and vasoconstrictors, in addition to being a mild sedative. But for aconitine intake does not cause serious poisoning should be administered at very low concentrations and strictly controlled by qualified personnel. Intoxication begins with a state of excitement, with numbness of the lips, tongue and throat may occur later gastrointestinal distress, followed by a drop in body temperature and, finally, may appear paralysis of the respiratory and circulatory, ultimately lead to death by suffocation.
Its therapeutic qualities include external route appears to be a good hair-restorer and helps relieve inflammation when they are congested and non-microbial. Formerly enjoyed popularity as a curious plant lice and scabies of cattle, but this application quickly fell into disuse, since through the skin can absorb a certain amount of aconitine, enough to trigger the fatal symptoms.
As a plant so dangerous not suitable for home use in any form. Its virtues are many other plants, less hazardous and equally effective.
HABITAT: Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains
FLOWERING: July and August
PART USED: Leaves and root
CASTILIAN: Napelo, anapelo
CATALAN: Acónit, herba tora
BASQUE: Otseri belarr pozoidum
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