Aconite Aconitum Napellus
Common names: Wolfsbane, monkshood, leopard’s bane
"In 1856 a dinner party in the Scottish village of Dingwall came to a horrible end. A servant had been sent outside to dig up horseradish, but instead he uprooted aconite, also called monkshood. The cook, failing to recognize that she had been handed the wrong ingredient, grated it into a sauce for the roast and promptly killed two priests who were guests at the dinner. Other guests were sickened but survived.
In Greek mythology, deadly aconite sprung from the spit of the three-headed hound Cerberus as Hercules dragged it out of Hades.
The poison, an alkaloid called aconitine, paralyzes the nerves, lowers the blood pressure, and eventually stops the heart. Swallowing the plant or its roots can bring on severe vomiting and then death by asphyxiation. Even casual skin contact can cause numbness, tingling, and cardiac symptoms.”
from Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
Saturday January 29th