Veratrine (C32H52N2O8 = 588.02) is an alkaloid found in the rhizome and rootlets of Veratrum Viride, or Green Hellebore, a perennial herb of northern America, Europe, and Asia.


Central Nervous System. - Veratrine produces a stimulation of the medulla and spinal cord.

Muscular System. - Veratrine promotes muscle katabolism, increasing irritability and absolute strength, and prolongs the period of relaxation.

Respiration is slowed and made dyspneic; vagus stimulation, peripheral.

Heart. - The inhibitors of the heart are stimulated, producing a slowing of the heart-rate and a decreased output.

Blood-pressure falls because the lessened output of the heart is not adequately compensated by peripheral constriction. With small doses, the arterial constriction is sufficient for a slight raise.

Alimentary Tract. - Veratrine is irritant to sensory terminations. It produces purgation through some unknown action on the nerve filaments of the intestines.

Secretory glands of the skin are greatly stimulated by irritation of the nerve terminals.

Metabolism depressed.

Temperature is sometimes lowered from lessened circulation.

Absorption. - Comparatively slow.

Excretion. - Largely by bowel.

Local Action. - Irritant.


Therapeutic Doses.

Reduced force of pulse. Diminished frequency, becoming rapid on exertion. Lowered respiratory rate. Perspiration increased. Ileocolic uneasiness. Muscular weakness.

Toxic Doses.

Prickling in mouth.

Marked salivation.

Nausea and vomiting, with severe colic and purging.

Profuse perspiration.

Great muscular weakness.

Slow, soft, irregular pulse, becoming feeble and thready.

Slow, dyspneic breathing.


Respiratory failure.


Veratrine has practically the same indications as Aconite, being used to quiet circulation in the early stages of sthenic inflammations.


Fluidextractum Veratri, 0.06 to 0.2 mil. Tinctura Veratri, 0.6 to 2 mils.

Veratrine 76

Crimson = stimulation. Green = irritation.