Veratrum Viride, of the natural order Melanthaceae, the officinal portion of which is the root, is indigenous to the swampy portions of the United States, and is prepared in the form of slices or fragments, of a dark or blackish-gray color externally, and of a grayish-white color internally. Its odor is peculiar, especially when it is moistened, and its taste is bitter and acrid. It is inodorous, but in the form of powder is sternutatory. It is similar in chemical composition to veratrum album - white hellebore and veratrum sabadillae. Like veratrum album, it contains a quantity of soft resin, and two alkaloids - jervia and veratroidia.

Medical Properties And Action

Veratrum viride is acrid and sedative, causing redness and heat when applied to the skin, and has a violent sternutatory effect on the Schneiderian membrane. Small doses stimulate the secretions and depress the pulse. Although a prompt emetic, its operation is attended with intense nausea and depression, and, violent, persistent vomiting. Large doses occasion great depression, with a weak action of the heart and pulse, vomiting, retching, cold surface of body, a cold perspiration, faintness, dimness of sight, dilatation of the pupils, great muscular weakness, slow respiration, and sometimes coma, insensibility and stertorous breathing, but notwithstanding such symptoms, fatal results are rare. The antidotes are free stimulants. The tincture - Tinctura Veratri Viridis - is the best preparation for internal administration.

Therapeutic Uses

Veratrum viride is not employed for its emetic effect on account of its violent action. Internally it is administered in diseases of the heart, active hemorrhage in the plethoric, to reduce the temperature and pulse in typhoid and other fevers, in acute mania and delirium, in puerperal convulsions, neuralgia, neuralgic headache, etc. Externally it is employed for neuralgia, myalgia, headache, rheumatism, paralysis, etc.


Of the tincture of veratrum viride, Dose 1482 to ; of the fluid extract of veratrum viride - Extractum Veratri Viridis Fluidum, to ; veratrina, gr. 1/50 to 1/10.

Dental Uses

In dental practice, the tincture of veratrum viride has been employed internally for neuralgia of the fifth nerve; also in periodontitis, as a sedative; also in severe hemorrhage from the extraction of teeth, to depress the heart's action.

Dental Formula

For Facial Neuralgia.

Da Costa.


Cerati adipis.............. .


To be rubbed over painful part, care being taken to see that there is no abrasion of the skin.

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