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I’m Getting a Cold. Grab the Aconite!

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

August 9th, 2015  |  50 Comments

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When you open most homeopathic remedy kits,  the very first remedy in the box is usually Aconitum Napellus 200C, or Aconite for short.

It is such an easy remedy to learn that those who know very little about homeopathic remedies will at least know their Aconite.

I wasn't surprised when a student told me about how her husband — who devotes little to no time to learning remedies — knows how and when to use Aconite.

“I think I'm coming down with something,” he suddenly announced after feeling great during an otherwise uneventful day,

“… so get Aconite, right?”

Yes, he's probably right. The remedy probably is Aconite.

Let me tell you why …

The body presents a need for Aconite when the symptoms manifest themselves quickly, and with little prior warning. So, if you felt fine at bedtime, but woke up the next morning with a sudden aching in the ear, you would think of Aconite as a possible remedy because there was a quick onset of symptoms; a shock to the system, so to speak.

If after taking the remedy your symptoms improve, you could say that you had an Aconite ear infection because your body was ‘jolted’ into an illness. If any other illness comes on sudden and strong like this, be it a bladder infection, a sore throat, or a burn to the finger, you would consider Aconite as a possible remedy, again because of how the symptoms manifested.

Because of its “shocking” nature, Aconitum napellus is particularly useful in situations involving fright.

For example, if you witnessed an unexpected and frightening car accident, this lovely remedy would be excellent medicine to help ease and resolve any feelings of shock and fear you might experience.

This means it can also be used in place of Arnica for an injury. For those times when one minute, all is well, then WHAM!

You have a broken bone and contusions.

Again, we are looking at the circumstances surrounding how the illness/injury occurred, not just at its pathology.

The only caveat to Aconite is that typically, it is only useful during the first 24-48 hours of the illness. However, this rule mostly applies to colds, flu, ear infections, and other infectious diseases — not injuries.

After these first hours, you need to abandon this remedy and pursue another one if necessary. This is one of the rules of Aconite — that if well-chosen, it is only effective for the first 24 hours of a typical acute illness.

There are always exceptions but for now, since we are merely introducing the remedy, consider this the basics of Aconitum napellus.

As a “for instance,” consider Maria, a woman who was in a severe earthquake that left her in a complete state of panic for decades. In her particular case, Aconite would have been the ideal remedy for her if taken just after the time of the quake.

But by taking Aconitum Napellus 200C twice daily for a few weeks, even years later, she was able to regain enough composure and a sense of calm to get on with her life without the use of anti-anxiety drugs.

Another example is what I refer to as “the case of the phantom-sting:”

My student’s kids were playing at the park in some tall grass when some sort of unidentified flying insect with a large stinger dashed out and stung one of the boys in the leg.

Yowzers! I think the child in question would agree that being stung was indeed a shock to his system! Ledum palustre 30C or 200C would have helped in this situation, but mom hadn't brought her kit to the park.

So, what did she administer immediately instead? You guessed it: Aconitum Napellus.

The child's symptoms improved instantly and it sustained healing until she could get home and give her son Ledum. Meanwhile, the angst and fear of the moment had lessened, alleviating the added anxiety that could have likely accompanied the initial incident.

This story illustrates that because Aconite is so useful at the beginning of a condition, I recommend that you carry it around with you in your purse or book bag at all times.

Clearly, you want Aconite nearby in the event you may need it!

To help you remember today's spotlight on Aconite, I urge you to commit this verse to memory. I hope it serves to inspire the way you react the next time you need it:

“Oh my! What a fright! Grab the Aconite! But take it by tonight.”



P.S. I'd love for you to tell me why you love Aconite and how you’ve used it in other ways!


Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


50 thoughts on “I’m Getting a Cold. Grab the Aconite!”

  1. Christina Reinhardt says:

    I used it just this morning on my 4 yr old boy when he woke up barking like a seal. By the time we were sitting in church he was well. He hasn’t coughed since and it’s over 12 hrs later.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Good job, Mom! Croup visited our home over and over when our 1st son was a baby. Then I learned about Aconitum and that was the end of those kinds of coughs.

  2. Stephanie Walker says:

    Ihad the unfortunate experience of having to sit on an airplane next to a gentlemen who was coughing/sneezing the whole trip and admitted to being in bed with the flu the previous few days. Upon going home I immediately took my arsenal of herbs in order to protect myself. The next day I was feeling fine until the afternoon. Then the flu symptoms set in quickly. After taking multiple rounds of herbs for defense with little results, I took Aconite. After the second dose, the severe headache and runny nose subsided and I did not come down with the flu. This was one of the most dramatic illness reversals I have experienced with homeopathy and I will always cherish Aconite and keep it at the forefront of my homeopathic arsenal.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      ‘Good story. I have had he same experience time and again with Aconite. Thanks for passing this along.

  3. Donna says:

    We discovered Aconite clears up my son’s vertigo spells very quickly. He never leaves home without it now!

  4. Kim VanderWerf says:

    Thank you, Joette, for this practical post! I’m grateful to have another tool in my toolbox for keeping my family healthy:) Just have 2 questions:
    1) Dosing…. I know dosing generally is determined by watching for results, but how long would you wait for a positive response before giving a second or even third dose?
    2) Would you advise adjusting dosing when administering to babies/toddlers?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Some homeopaths believe that when there is great severity that the remedy ought to be administered every 15 minutes for about 4 doses. I have tried that a few times and it has acted well for an acute. On the other hand, for those who are fairly new, it is usually advised to give a dose every few hours up to about 4 doses before moving on.

    2. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      This is to answer your question regarding babies. It might be advisable to use 30c or 30x in stead of 200 when it comes to a baby unless there is a good deal of experience with using homeopathy.

      1. Amy says:

        But babies usually have high vitality, so 200c should be fine. A higher potency should be deeper and longer lasting, right?

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

          Based on classical homeopathy, yes, that is the way it is viewed. Based on Banerji Protocols, it is built into the protocols that it should simply act across the board. The reason I backed off from the 200 potency in response to the previous question is because I don’t know the child and I’d rather error on the side of the conservative.

  5. Donna F. says:

    Great info! But I was under the assumption that Apis M was best for stinging bug bites? My daughter is affected severley by any kind of bug bite even sand fleas, would Ledum be the best choice or Aconite if I were to choose between the two?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Apis is reputed for when there is severe swelling, such as swollen mouth, tongue, lips, throat, eyes, etc. and Ledum when the swelling isn’t so severe or if Apis doesn’t act fast enough. Aconitum would not have been my 1st choice, but it apparently acted in this child’s case.

      1. Chel says:

        I have a real problem with mosquitoes in Florida where I live. The bites get inflamed and I scratch till I bleed. If it weren’t for Ledum 30, I’d be chronically miserable, especially since I have difficulty with Sulphur (it gives me hot flashes, which I need like a hole in the head), the one remedy I know might stop them from biting.

        1. Cindy says:

          I also live in Florida with lots of insects. You may want to read up on Staphysagria to make yourself less desirable to bugs. It is commonly used with livestock to reduce problems with parasites. Staphysagria has reduced my problems with mosquitos and chiggers. In addition to Staphysagria, I have been using OHM Sting Relief & Insect Repellent. It smells good, is non-toxic and it works very well for me.

  6. Meredith says:

    Great information. Aconite goes in the purse!
    Maybe this would have been effective on Saturday when my husband injured his leg running. He returned to our hotel room limping and in severe pain. Seems to be a kind of pinched nerve problem. But it was the suddenness and shock of it that disturbed him as much as the pain.

    We are past the 48 hour mark. Into 72 hours now. He is till very angry, grieved, by it all. Mostly it is the loss of mobility that concerns and absorbs his worries, along with the pain.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      The 24 hour rule applies to a cold or flu that has ripened beyond the 1st stages. Aconitum may still have value given that it is not an infection. Having said this, Arnica, Hypericum Rhus tox or Ruta may good choices to consider based on where and how the injury is located. THat is, if its in the joint, then RT. If its a ligament, then Ruta. If the pain is from a mechanical injury, then Arnica and if its severe pain as in a nerve injury, then Hypericum.

      1. Myh says:

        Dear Joette
        Seeing your answer here with Ar, Hy, Rhus and Ruta. Ive just got them all fo army service dog who has all the above you mentioned (and thats why I got all of them). Can I give these to her all at once or do I need to waite a minute between them (the is also having all the things for bones and disk prolaps as well – thats why im asking because there is quite a lot give very day and some of them twice a day). Thank you again

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

          It’s better if possible to spread out each one by at least a few minutes.

  7. Greenefingers says:

    My daughter came to me this morning saying “I think I might be getting a cold”. Having received this email yesterday I told her to take aconite 30c. Like you I try to help my children to remember by rhyming, so we made up:
    “I think I might…. (Be getting a cold/sore throat/earache) Take aconite!”
    It seems to have worked.

    Thanks for a great website, I’m an avid student.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      SO happy to see that you could use the info. immediately. And rhyming is certainly the way to go. I used to add a snappy tune to mine sometimes too. Try singing it.

  8. Cheli says:

    One of my favorite remedies. I didn’t know about the aspect of the cold onset. Good to know… too bad I so seldom get colds! Ha ha!!

  9. Linda says:

    Two questions. Would this work on a child who has woken up with a nightmare? Also, would aconite be the choice for a parent teaching a child to drive? Now I know how people get gray hair!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      It’s not the 1st remedy I’d think of for this condition. Pls refer to my article last week(Terror in the Night)where I discuss night terrors. No doubt, our grey hair is a badge of mothering.

  10. rajdeep das says:

    Will aconite be helpful to fight type 2 herpes simplex?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      For some it can be useful.

    2. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      I’ve used it from to time. For some it seems to help, for others not. There are better chosen remedies for this condition and I plan to write on this subject soon.

      1. Rajdeep Das says:

        I’m suffering from genital herpes for last 4 years,taking anti viral but every time I stop taking it reappears. I’m looking for some homeopathic remedy.Please help.Thank you.

  11. Emily says:

    Would this apply to stomach flu too? Or just respiratory flu? I went to bed fine then was awakened in the morning by severe belly cramps with waves of nausea and flushes of heat alternating with chills.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      No. My favorite (I’m in Calcutta and I get it every time I’m here) is Veratrum album 200 mixed with Cuprum and taken after every movement. Since 3 is hard to find in the US, I often use Curpum 6. IT works like magic for my family and me.

  12. Kyung says:

    I was wondering, my son had a sudden and severe case of strep throat after being in cold water and eating lots of greasy foods. We didn’t know it was strep but he had a very high fever for 2-3 days which we treated only with acupuncture. Our herbalist said that such high heat was damaging and he became a strep carrier which was remedied with months of Chinese herbs. Now, a decade later, I feel like Aconite would be helpful for him. Is 200c a strong enough dosage and do you think it would be appropriate? He has anxiety but is outgoing, jovial. He tends to lie a lot to get what he wants. Thanks!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Pretty much regardless of the personality, etc. I rely on Aconitum 200. It’s often a clean match with someone who has anxiety.

  13. Mo says:

    Hi, I just wanted to know if Aconite was taken a little late say just after 24 hours and the sysmtoms did improve at first but then transcended into the 2nd Stage of a cold/flu, so even though it didnt completely nip it by the bud, could it still have weakened the impact/severity of the flu ?

    Im at this stage now, ive taken atleast 4-5 ABC’s ( Aconite, Belladona and Camomilla combination remedy) in the first 24 hours or so and got a bit better but it was still holding on from the inside so I took Bryonia to drive it out (my state of mind and physical was calling for Bryonia) in the 2nd 24 hours, now its giving me a bit of Arsenicum symptoms so Ive taken an Arsenicum which seemed to have calmed me down a bit tonight ready to sleep..

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      After seeing Aconitum act again and agina in spite of the time that has lapsed, I have come to the conclusion that it can be useful even days later. However, the flu is a different animal and needs to be treated a little differently than a cold.

  14. Gersha says:

    What is the difference between Aconite 30 and 200 in the case of first signs of fever with restless anxiety ? Throat early soreness but only to warn. The real reason is probably hormonal due to menopause, but I cannot be sure as the weather has just cooled two days ago after a major heat wave. I have never understood how to take 30 or 200 or 6. Please do simplify. Thank you.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      I don’t generally use Aconitum 30 because I find that 200 acts so well, I’ve not wanted to tinker with my success. In a severe setting we use a medicine such as Aconitum 200 rather frequently, say every few hours. When not so severe, then perhaps twice daily but we stop when there’s noteworthy improvement.

  15. Lisa says:

    Thanks, Joette for this helpful article. Please, clarify for me: is aconite given only once and only within the 24 hr period or if started/begun within 24 hr window – is it continued as needed?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      It can be continued as needed.

  16. Lisa says:

    Thanks…. I’m considering the Aconitum 200 mix w/ Bryonia 30 ….as I don’t have the Bryonia 200 potency. In another article, you offered this protocol though prefer the Bryonia 200.

  17. Rachel says:

    Thanks a million for this very informative article, Mrs. Calabrese! I’ve been pondering it for days now.

    I’m a bit unclear on when to choose Arnica vs. Aconite. In one of your podcasts, you shared how you dropped frozen chicken on your toe and took Arnica, but in your article here you wrote, “This means it can also be used in place of Arnica for an injury. For those times when one minute, all is well, then WHAM!” Could you please help me understand further? Thank you again.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Both are appropriate for most injuries. However, Arnica is more specific for pain while Aconitum is more attuned to shock.

      1. Rachel says:

        Thank you Mrs. Calabrese for your reply, I really appreciate it. It seems many injuries have a wham/shock value followed by pain, so I’m thinking my go-to will be Aconite first quickly followed by Arnica? The two in succession seem like a perfect match for most injuries.

        Thank you again, I heard you on, “A Happy Home Podcast” and I’ve taken a deep dive into Homeopathy because of you. You’ve literally already changed my life and that of my family. Count us as one of the multitude of homes you are trying to reach with Homeopathy! 🙂

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

          So happy to hear that homeopathy has touched your home and that I had a small hand in it.

  18. Lily says:

    You mention the lady who after the earthquake started aconitum 200 twice daily to stop anxiety. I have suffered with anxiety after a divorce and the fear of being alone raising my kids and with great fear anxiety. Its not a tragic earthquake experience but yet its a great chamge of anxiety of fear and panic attacks I have struggled with this last year. I do not take any prescriptions. I am trying to deal with homeopathy. Would aconitum 200 twicw a day for a few weeks possibly work for the anxiety of not wanting to leave my house similar to the earthquake lady?

  19. Myh says:

    Could aconitum 200 twicw a day for (?)be another thing to add for overall help with old PTSD after kidnapping, violence and rape.
    I’m now gonna start on several things for sleep, chronic fatigue/fibromylgia/pain and depression (found on your pages).
    Just saw this one and thought it might also be added? Thank again

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Aconitum 200 is a wonderful medicine for what you have described.

  20. Myh says:

    Could aconitum 200 twicw a day for (?)be another thing to add for overall help with old PTSD after kidnapping, violence and rape. Its many years ago but very high (chronic) cordisol level.
    I’m now gonna start on several things for sleep, chronic fatigue/fibromylgia/pain and depression (found on your pages).
    Just saw this one and thought it might also be added? Thanks again. Lots of appreciation and hope from here…imagine these things could help x

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      It sounds like the history lines up but symptoms also need to do so. I urge you to read Aoonitum in either my materia medica or Dr. James Tyler Kent’s online (free) to help you make your final decision.

  21. Justyna Kasper says:

    Is Aconite and Aconitum same remedy?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:


  22. evelyn dick says:

    could not stop crying so Pulsatilla 200c which helped emotions but early next
    Morning sudden sore throat around 7am
    daughter tells of fears and anxiety
    Takes Aconite 30c day 1
    Slow improvement but much better
    day 2 continues Aconite 30c
    dry cough
    Antimonium Tart 30c
    Yellow mucus brought up from chest
    mucus in throat stuck manually needs to loosen Lots of dainage back of throat
    developes head pain in temples
    continues Aconite 30c every 4 hrs alternating with Antimonium Tart

    Question: continue Aconite 30c and consider Pulsatilla 30 or Kali Bichromicum

    Thank you for your suggestions

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