Anita McLaughlin

Your local homeopath for Guernsey


home about me GBG articles contact

Aconite and Belladonna

This month I want to tell you about two more remedies that are essential for a homeopathic first aid kit.  Both remedies are from the plant kingdom and both are poisonous plants if taken in a material dose.  As I have mentioned in previous articles, homeopathic remedies are diluted so that little or nothing but the energy of the remedy remains.


ACONITE is more commonly known as ‘Monkshood’ or ‘Wolfsbane’.  This remedy is most effective at the very beginning of an illness and symptoms come on very suddenly.  It is definitely a remedy for emergencies and acute situations, (I keep it with a selection of other emergency remedies in my car).  It is useful also when physical symptoms follow a fright, shock, or being chilled, or even after being very angry.  Symptoms tend to be worse at night, usually around midnight, and the pains feel intolerable. There is general inflammation and great thirst.


·        Mental SymptomsShock, people are extremely distressed and fearful, even inconsolable, full of anxiety and panic.  It is very useful following operations, childbirth especially if the delivery was fast.

·        Childbirth – pains are intolerable and the woman might say she wants to die.

·        Common cold symptoms follow a shock, getting chilled by cold dry winds and are often accompanied with a headache.

·        Cough – a barking, dry, hoarse, irritating, tickling coughs that are worse at night with the same causes.  It is the first remedy to think of for early stages of Croup

·        Fever – Burning heat alternating with chills at night.  The patient will be very anxious and have unquenchable thirst.  They feel hot inside and chilly externally, their cheeks may alternate between hot and red and pale and ghostly, especially in teething children.

·        Injuries – cuts/wounds bleeding excessively; with shock


BELLADONNA is more well known as ‘Deadly Nightshade’ and its poisonous properties have been well known throughout history and in herbal preparations.  In Chaucer’s time it was used as a sleeping potion and in the 16th century Italian women used it to dilate their pupils to make their eyes sparkle (belladonna literally means ‘beautiful woman’).  There have been plenty of accidental poisonings of Belladonna to provide the symptom picture to homeopaths:

Dry mouth, fever, constricted throat with difficulty swallowing, Nausea/vomiting, red face, dilated pupils, dim vision, difficulty thinking, giddiness, delirium.  These symptoms were seen to be almost identical to the symptoms of Scarlet Fever, thus creating a classical homeopathic remedy picture.


So think of Belladonna as the first remedy to give where one part of the body becomes inflamed or infected.  There will be violent, red, hot, throbbing pains that are worse movement, touch or being jarred.  The eyes sparkle or shine, pupils are dilated, the tongue may be coated white or bright red, the face is flushed and burning.  All Belladonna illnesses come on suddenly and are worse at 3 pm or 3 am.  Patients are better lying down in quiet, darkened rooms as they are hypersensitive to light and noise, and they are very restless.

·        Earache – Worse on the right side, the pain may extend down the neck. The pains are stitching, tearing, and or throbbing

·        Fever – Burning dry radiating heat and chills, delirium, extreme restlessness, even violence.

·        Headache – Pains in back of head, in eyes, forehead, temples; bursting, hammering, pulsating, throbbing, violent; better resting head, lying in darkened room and pressure.  The pain is worse moving the head, cold and light.

·        Mastitis  - Breasts become hard, throbbing, painful, with red streaks

·        Sore throat – Constricted, irritated, raw, swollen glands, pains severe, stitching, the pain may extend to the ear, worse on the right and swallowing liquids.