Monkshood, Wolfsbane, Leopard’s Bane, Women’s Bane, Devil’s Helmet, Blue Rocket
Deity: Hecate, Medea
Poisonous! Do not ingest!
Aconite is a herbaceous perennial plant, which can grow up to 1m tall. Its leaves can be between 5 to 10 cm long, are divided into lobed segments, and are hairless – as are the stems. The flowers are a beautiful purple, ranging in shade from blueish-purple to a dark violet, and are shaped like helmets, a couple of centimeters long.
The dangers of aconite poisoning mean it is not recommended for any medicinal use.
Aconite is used in magic for protection and invisibility, and was once an ingredient in classic ‘flying ointment’. It’s alternative name ‘Wolfsbane’ refers to its ancient use as a protection from and cure for werewolves.
Aconite has a long history of use as a poison, including being used on spears and arrows for hunting or battle. So prolific was it that by the end of the Roman period it was banned, and anyone found growing Aconite could be sentenced to death.