We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Wolfsbane?

By T. Carrier
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Wolfsbane is a flowering plant consisting of over 200 species. A member of the buttercup family, the plant has many alternative names, including women’s bane, leopard’s bane, devil’s helmet, blue rocket, monkshood, aconite, and its official name, aconitum. The plant has laid claim to many diverse uses, ranging from herbal medicine to poisonous weaponry.

The structure of wolfsbane is relatively simple. The plant grows as a long, straight stem, and from this stem protrude dark green leaves and a helmet-shaped flower with anywhere from two to ten petals. Flowers come in a range of colors, from blue to yellow to pink. As a perennial plant, wolfsbane is hardy and can typically live numerous years. It naturally grows in damp, high elevations.

While wolfsbane can be found in many flower gardens, it also has other non-traditional uses. For example, many species of the plant contain roots that are poisonous. As a result, humans have often harvested the roots and synthesize them into a poison for use on weapons in hunting and war. This practice is particularly common in certain rural tribal areas of China and Japan. Even a small amount of exposure to the roots can produce tingling and numbness, and large-scale exposure can induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, and even death.

In contrast, Chinese herbal medicine finds many beneficial uses for the plant. Herbalists have claimed successful treatments for the following ailments: general pain, fever, chills, urinary issues, colds, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and appendicitis, to name a few. The herb’s purported capability to numb and slow body functions generates these treatments. Due to its possible toxic effects, however, herbal medicine specialists typically prepare only small doses, and in many treatments the wolfsbane is diluted with ginger and other substances. Traditional physicians also occasionally utilized the plant in the early 20th century as a numbing form of anesthesia applied to skin or respiratory areas.

Wolfsbane has found its way into supernatural lore as well. Its name derives from the plant’s storied capabilities with werewolves: either as an agent of transformation or an agent of death. In addition, the word frequently appears in witchcraft spells. Famed playwright William Shakespeare even referenced the plant as an evil hypnotic drug with dangerous powers of suggestion.

The secret of successfully growing wolfsbane is close imitation of its natural conditions. Seeds should be kept in a wet, cold state for several weeks before planting. When handling seeds, one should be careful as they contain poisonous elements. The seeds should be sown in temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), and the plant should be kept out of direct sunlight. A healthy wolfsbane plant will bloom in the summer and can grow up to 98 inches (about 250 centimeters) tall.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.