Blue rocket is a flowering plant primarily utilized in Ayuvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Though its scientific name is Aconitum, blue rocket is widely known by an array of other designations, including aconite, devil's helmet, leopard's bane, monkshood, wolfsbane, and women's bane. Blue rocket is highly poisonous, but when used in natural medicine, its toxicity levels are diluted and used only in exceptionally small doses.
The roots and leaves of the blue rocket plant are employed for medicinal purposes. The aconite levels are processed through scientific means in an attempt to dilute the poison as much as possible. Blue rocket can be lethal even in small dosages; a single teaspoon of the herb can cause death. This has led to the highly limited use of blue rocket in modern times, and most forms of natural medicine have found viable alternatives to using blue rocket.
In earlier practices of Ayurvedic medicine, blue rocket was prescribed to help reduce fever, allay stomach irritability, and heal diarrhea. Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine first practiced in India and still in wide use today. It operates on the principles of the body's elemental energies, or doshas: the vata, or air dosha, pitta, or fire dosha, and kapha, or water and earth dosha. Blue rocket is believed to stimulate pitta and facilitate the healing of conditions related to this dosha.
Traditional Chinese medicine considers blue rocket to have three distinct benefits. It serves as a pain reliever, heart tonic, and nervous system stimulant. Blue rocket was typically combined with ginger and licorice and given to patients with nausea, colds, and flu. It was also blended with cinnamon and licorice and utilized in the treatment of anorexia, chest discomfort, edema, hernia pain, and even uterine cancer.
Homeopathic strains of blue rocket can be used to treat gout, a condition marked by repeated instances of inflammatory arthritis. When an individual is suffering from swollen and achy joints, blue rocket has been shown to relieve some of the discomfort and inflammation. It can also be used during an unexpected flare-up to quickly reduce pain.
Blue rocket is thought to possess properties beneficial to the heart. Medical professionals note, however, that any pain or suspected problems relating to the heart should be checked out immediately by an expert. There are homeopathic varieties of blue rocket that are typically given by alternative health practitioners to allay chest pain, calm anxiety and fear, and quell restlessness.