Botanical Description & Habitat
Indigenous to the forest of southern and central Europe.
It is a poisonous perennial subshrub which can grow up to 50 cm high. The plant contains a black-brown rhizome, which is collected and dried in autumn.
The white flower is reddish on the outside with a greenish margin, and there are numerous yellow stamens. The seeds are ovate and black.
Rhizome- dried with or without roots
Underground parts- fresh
Historical Properties And Uses
Method Of Action
Drug Interactions & Precautions
Safety Factors & Toxicity
Due to the saponin effect of the drug, poisoning may result in irritation of the mouth and throat, salivation, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, shortness of breath, asphyxiation, and possible spasm. The dry powder derived from the plant can cause violent sneezing.
Due to the digitalis like effect, cardiac problems may result including cardiac arrhythmias, when large amounts are taken.
Preparation & Administration
Black hellebore is considered dangerous and should probably be avoided for self-treatment.
Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.
Brinker, Francis Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.
Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal. Penguin Books Ltd, 1984
Gruenwald, J, Brendler, T & Jaenicke, C (Eds.): PDR for Herbal Medicines. Medical Economics, NJ. 1998
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996
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