The Flagship Remedy of Chinese Medicine: Reflections on the Toxicity and Safety of Aconite

The toxic properties of aconite, perhaps more than that of any other medicinal substance, loom large in the lore surrounding this plant in both East and West. According to Greek mythology, the botanical species Aconitum napellus originated from the slavering mouth of Cerberus, the three-headed dog with deadly bite that guarded the gates to the underworld.