Aconitum & Mythology Relating to Werewolves


In 1×01 Stiles reads the following on a website when researching werewolves in the middle of the night:

Aconitum vulparla (lycoctonum)

WOLFSBANE has long been ascribed with supernatural powers in the mythology relation to werewolves and other lycanthropes, used to either repel them or in some way induce their lycanthropic condition. Aconite was often an important ingredient in witches’ potions and brews. Aconite was also said to turn a person into a werewolf if it is worn smelled or eaten.

Crude aconite is an extremely lethal substance but it is also looked upon as a therapeutic entity. Marked symptoms may appear instantaneously, and large doses almost always guarantee death. Death usually occurs within a few hours in fatal poisonings. Treatment of poisonings is mainly supportive. All patients require close monitoring of their pressure and cardiac rhythm. The major antidote is atropine, which is used in most cases. Poisoning may occur following touching the leaves without wearing gloves. The aconitine toxin is easily absorbed through skin. The sap oozing from the leaves will cause cardiac symptoms for a few hours. Tingling will start at the fingers, then move from the arm to the shoulder, after which the heart will be affected. The tingling…

It is important to note here that aconitine refers specifically to the plant known as monkshood which as we know becomes relevant in episode 1×04 while aconite refers to the plant genus wolfsbane in general.

Also of potential note is the differentiation of werewolves and other lycanthropes. It is not clear what they mean here because generally speaking lycanthropes are werewolf,  although it could refer to other shape-shifting creatures but that would technically be a misuse of the term. Read some theories here.

Equally intriguing is the reference to witches.