Veratrum viride or album

Hellebore - Veratrum viride or album (in the Liliaceae or Lily family)

Parts used: Root.

Taste/smell: Acrid.

Dosage: 1-10 drops every 2-4 hours as needed until blood pressure is under control. Discontinue use if any of the side effects occur. See Contraindications below.

Mental picture and specific indications: Helleborus is indicated in full-blooded, plethoric persons with great prostration. The tongue is coated white or yellow with a red streak down the middle. The pulse is full and bounding.

Use: (a) Diaphoretic, (b) Hypotensive, (c) Expectorant.

Although used for inflammatory conditions of the respiratory tract, gout, and other inflammatory conditions, helleborus is best known for its use for hypertension with a full bounding pulse. It has also been shown to be useful in sunstroke and the congestive stage of pneumonia.

Contraindications: Overdose can depress the heart causing a weak and running pulse, dizziness, fainting, reduced temperature, cold, clammy skin, pupillary dilation, shallow breathing, sleepiness, coma and unconsciousness. Prompt emesis can prevents death by asphyxia. It can also cause gastrointestinal irritation in high doses or with prolonged use, resulting in gastric burning, nausea and vomiting. This herb should only be used under the supervision of a qualified health care practitioner. It is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.