Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 03 – March 2018
Answer: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
“As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite. Well? Why aren’t you all copying that down?” There was a sudden rummaging for quills and parchment. Over the noise, Snape said, “And a point will be taken from Gryffindor House for your cheek, Potter.” – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Also, on the TV show Dexter, the character Hannah McKay uses aconite to dispatch victims.
Monkshood’s toxins are aconitine, mesaconitine, and hypaconitine. Aconitine and mesaconitine bind to the open state of the voltage-sensitive sodium channels, blocking their inactivation.
The roots and root tubers are more toxic than the flowers, which are more toxic than the leaves and stems.
General symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, dizziness, hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, confusion, and headache. Neurological symptoms include paresthesias, numbness of face and mouth, and limb weakness. Cardiac symptoms include hypotension, palpitations, chest pain, bradycardia, ventricular dysrhythmias (tachycardia, torsade de pointes, and/or fibrillation), junctional rhythms, cardiac arrest, and death.
Aconite tincture has been used as an herbal therapy as an antipyretic, antirheumatic, cardiac stimulant, abortifacient, aphrodisiac, and antihelmintic.
Dr. Hack (Oleander Photography) is an emergency physician and medical toxicologist who enjoys taking photographs of beautiful toxic, medicinal, and benign flowers that he stumbles upon or grows in his garden. Contact him at ToxInRI@gmail.com.