Wolfsbane or Monkshood (aconitum napullus)

Wolfsbane or Monkshood (aconitum napullus)

One of the most beautiful and also oldest and most deadliest of poisons. The principal alkaloids are aconite and aconitine; of these aconitine is thought to be the key toxin and one of the most toxic plant compounds known. Ingestion of even a small amount results in severe gastrointestinal upset, but it is the effect on the heart, where it causes slowing of the heart rate, which is often the cause of death. The poison may be administered by absorption through broken skin or open wounds and there are reports of florists being unwell after working with the flowers.

Its distinctive taste makes it unpleasant to eat so accidental poisoning is extremely rare but not unknown. The taste is described as initially very bitter followed by a burning sensation and, then, a numbing of the mouth. All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous if eaten and may cause systematic poisoning if handled.

Magical propensities for invisibility and protection from evil. Excellent for redirecting predators.

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