Interesting Facts!

So now to answer the question I am sure all of you have really come to this website to find:

"What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
-Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

The correct answer is.... nothing! Both of these names are used to describe many of the flowers in the genus Aconitum. So there you go! It was a trick question.

Now, even if you were one of the people, like Hermione Granger, who already knew the correct answer to that question, I'll bet you didn't know the interesting ways in which these two common names came about.


Aconitum napellus
first earned the title of monkshood when people started noticing that this dangerous plant, which was often grown in the monastery gardens for its unique beauty, held a strong resemblance to its hooded caretakers when they were fully dressed in their robes.


Wolfsbane, on the other hand, was a nickname given for a much more sinister reason. In as far back as the first century AD Aconitum was commonly brewed into special poisons that were coated on the tips of arrows and used to kill wolves that would torment villagers. The poison from the plant was the only one the people could find that worked effectively enough to actually kill the wolves they shot.

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Also, despite its potentially deadly properties, Aconitum is also known to be a key ingredient in a wide variety of homeopathic remedies for different illness across the globe, and it has been especially popular in Chinese herbal treatments. Clinical research has shown that when administered in the correct dosage, Aconitum can be used to minimize or even cure such symptoms as pain, insomnia,  and anxiety along with many others. Its most common medicinal use has been as a pain reliever, and although it is very effective it has lost most of its popularity with time as more and more alternatives for pain relief have arisen, most of which having much less potential danger associated with using them. To find out more about how this plant is used as a drug click here.

All in all, Aconitum napellus is a very amazing flower that deserves to be treated with respect and appreciation for its amazing capabilities and the important uses it has had throughout our history. So, if you are looking for an exciting (and potentially dangerous) addition to your garden, or just an interesting organism to learn more about, I hope you plant to read more about Aconitum napellus. For a listing of other places you can look to find more information about this amazing plant
click here.

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