This section is from the book "A Practitioner's Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Thos. S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: A Practitioner's handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Helleborus Niger, Snow Rose or Christmas Rose. This is a toxic agent, in large doses producing drastic, hydrogogue catharsis, sensorial depression, convulsions. weak heart, and muscular weakness. Very large doses are fatal. It has been considerably used in proprietary pills advocated for dropsy. The older eclectics used it combined with bryonia, in hydrothorax, but if so used it should be carefully watched.
In small doses (ec. tr., 1/4 to I I. at frequent intervals) it is advocated by the eclectics in mental states in which the abdominal organs are seriously at fault and are a causative factor. The homeopaths make a very rational use of it in the state of effusion of hydrocephalus (IX to 3x), and small doses @ in mania of a melancholy type. In these doses it is a stimulant to all the glands of the gastro-intestinal tract. In adults, the lower dilutions (IX or 2X) probably have some effect in mental troubles associated with low states of vitality, but these effects are not very marked. With children, however, these small doses often serve a useful purpose, especially when they have disturbed sleep in the course of disease, screaming without awaking, boring the head into the pillow, and irregular respiration. It seems to equalize the circulation in 'the brain in these conditions. If there is fever or a flushed face give the little one small doses of Gelsemium in alternation with helleborus. Be very careful in giving large medicinal doses if given at all, as they are apt to suddenly depress the heart.