Hellebore white

Melantiaceae – Melanthiaceae (formerly: Liliaceae – Liliaceae).

Common name: lice grass.

Parts used: rhizome with roots.

Pharmacy name: hellebore rhizome – Veratri rhizoma (formerly: Rhizoma Veratri).

Botanical description. This perennial plant reaches a height of more than 1 m and has a short, fleshy rhizome, from which numerous roots extend up to 20 cm in length and 2-3 mm in thickness. Leaves sessile, alternate, 25-30 cm long, entire-extreme, broadly elliptical below, becoming narrower above. They are located unevenly, grouped by 3, making hellebore easy to distinguish from yellow gentian. Flowers about 1 cm in size, sit in bunches at the top of the stem, forming a long multi-flowered panicle; their color is white to greenish white. Blooms from July to August. Hellebore white – a plant of highlands. It grows in groups in alpine meadows, rising to a height of 2000 m, and is also found in the Jura Mountains. Hellebore is deadly poisonous, you should not collect it yourself!

Side effects. Hellebore is a deadly poisonous plant! Taking 2.0 g of pharmaceutical raw materials can already lead to fatal poisoning. Nausea, vomiting and slow pulse are the first signs of poisoning. In this case, it will be necessary to remove the poison from the body as soon as possible. Fortunately, hellebore poisoning is not common, since the plant is not consumed directly inside. However, this should be known in order to protect babies from poisoning. Schneeberger snuff (it contains some hellebore) can be consumed safely in small quantities. Those who inhale it too often or in large quantities sometimes get nosebleeds.

Active ingredients: various alkaloids; especially a lot of them in the rhizome.

Healing action and application. Hellebore is no longer used in scientific medicine, but is used in homeopathy and traditional medicine.

Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic remedy Veratrum album is often used in dilutions D6-D 1 2 for depression and other mental ailments, migraine and bronchitis in the elderly, circulatory disorders due to infectious diseases, low blood pressure with collapse and myocardial infarction. B3-B6 dilutions are given for diarrhea, food poisoning, sciatica, calf muscle cramps and neuralgia. Usually it is enough to take 2 times every day for 5-10 drops. Start with a more frequent dose (several times a day), later reduce the number of doses to 2 every day. And here I want to warn against attempts of self-treatment. The dose and treatment regimen should be determined by the doctor.

Application in folk medicine. In mountainous areas, where there is a lot of hellebore, both people and animals are treated with it. I give this information for the sake of interest, but not for amateur experiments. Root powder is given for depression, asthma, dropsy, rheumatism and lichen, also for colic. Hellebore ointment is considered effective for skin rashes, scabies and psoriasis. A decoction of hellebore is used for compresses and washes for skin diseases.

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