Aconitum napellus (aconitum, blue rocket, friar's cap). Related species:
A. variegatum (spotted aconite), A. lycoctonum (wolf s bane).
A member of the plant family RANUNCULACEAE. Perennial tuberous plant, with light
green narrowly divided leaves and purple helmet-shaped, hooded flowers. Fruit usually have one or more follicles, each containing 10-15 black seeds with
Animals most affected
Sheep, cattle, goats (other species)
Ingestion of the plant (rare, due to its acrid taste), or contaminated forage or
All parts of the plant contain the alkaloid aconitine, with the highest concentration
found in the tubers (roots) and seeds, lower amounts in the leaves and stems. The
alkaloidal content is at its maximum just before flowering (Jun-July). Actual toxic
doses are not well known.
Oral doses of the plant:
2-5 g dried plant material
200-400 g fresh plant material
Note: horses, donkeys and goats are more sensitive to aconitum than sheep.
Aconitine (by parenteral route):
dogs 2-3 mg
horses 10-12 mg
vomiting, salivation, colic and possibly diarrhoea;
shivering, muscular contractions and spasms;
ataxia, dilated pupils (mydriasis);
dyspnoea, bradypnoea with cyanosis, bradycardia;
death due to asphyxia.
Non-specific:gastric and renal congestion.
No available antidote. Symptomatic and supportive care: