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Home :: Hellebore, Black

Hellebore, Black Herb - Uses And Side Effects

An ornamental garden plant, black hellebore also is used as a homeopathic herb. "Hellebore" comes from the Greek elein (to injure) and bora (food)-which describes the herb's toxic nature. Active components of black hellebore come from the dried root of the perennial called Helleborus niger. The herb sometimes is called Christmas rose because it produces white flowers in the winter.

Hellebore, Black is a native of the mountainous regions of Central and Southern Europe, Greece and Asia Minor, and is cultivated largely in this country as a garden plant. Supplies of the dried rhizome, from which the drug is prepared, have hitherto come principally from Germany.

Common doses of Hellebore, Black

Black hellebore comes as a fluid or solid extract and a powdered root. Some experts recommend the following dose:

  • As a laxative, 1 to 10 drops of fluid extract taken orally, I to 2 grains of solid extract taken orally, or 10 to 20 grains of powder taken orally.

Uses of Hellebore, Black herb

  • Anxiety
  • As an anesthetic
  • Cancer
  • Constipation
  • Epilepsy
  • Fluid retention
  • Heart failure
  • Intestinal worms
  • Lack of menstruation
  • Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Psychoses and other mental disorders
  • Skin sores
  • Sleeping sickness
  • To induce abortion
  • Toxemia of pregnancy (eclampsia)

Side effects of Hellebore, Black

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of black hellebore:

  • abdominal pain
  • nasal irritation
  • burning sensation in the mouth
  • salivation
  • shortness of breath
  • diarrhea
  • skin inflammation
  • eye irritation
  • slow heartbeat
  • irregular heartbeats
  • sneezing
  • vomiting

Using contaminated black hellebore can cause respiratory failure.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.

Important paints to remember

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.

What the research shows

Although some cancer patients apparently use black hellebore to help stimulate their immune systems, researchers haven't tested this effect on people. In fact, medical experts warn against using this herb because it's a poison with no proven benefits.

Other names for Hellebore, Black: -

Other names for black hellebore include christe herbe, Christmas rose, Easter rose, and melampode.


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