Wolfsbane (Aconitum lycoctonum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Wolfsbane
Aconitum lycoctonum
Ranunculaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, antitussive, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and stimulant[178]. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

  • Edible Use

    There is a report that this root has been boiled and used for food in Lapland[2]. However, this is a very poisonous plant and such a use is very inadvisable[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The whole plant is highly toxic - simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people[1, 200].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[111]. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate[133]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn[1, 111]. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year[233].
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands[1, 4]. If the flower stems are removed after flowering the plant will normally flower again later in the season[200]. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer[233]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes[54]. A polymorphic species[1]. The nomenclature is very confused for this species, A. lycoctonum. L. is treated as A. septentrionale by many botanists whilst A. lycoctonum. Auct. is A. vulparia[50].
Europe to W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.