Black Hellebore. Christmas Rose. Nat. Ord. Ranunculaceae. Linn. Syst. Polyandria Polygynia. Hab. Central Europe. Imported from Marseilles and Hamburg.

Med. Prop. and Action, The root and rhizome are drastic cathartic, in doses of gr. x. - gr. xx.; alterative, in doses of gr. ij. - iij. It may be given in decoction (gr. cxx ad Aq. Oj.) in fl. oz. j. doses, or in the form of alcoholic extract, or in that of Tincture of Hellebore (Pharm. Lond.) in doses of fl. drm. sa. - fl. drm. j. It has been regarded as emmenagogue and anthelmintic, but is so violent and uncertain in its operation that it is rarely employed. In large doses it is a powerful acro-narcotic poison. The fresh root, applied to the skin, causes inflammation and vesication.

Dose, gr. ij. - gr. xx.

1346. Therapeutic Uses

The ancients held Hellebore in very high esteem in Mania, Epilepsy, Melancholy, Scabies, Worms, and other diseases. It is occasionally used in the following diseases at the present time; but even in these, safer and more efficacious remedies may be had recourse to.

1347. In Anasarca and Dropsy after Fevers, the alcoholic extract is favourably spoken of by Dr. Darwell. He states that, under its use, he has seen the effusion gradually disappear, without any extraordinary increase of the secretions. It should be discontinued if poisonous effects manifest themselves, but may be generally resumed in a few days. Its use dates from the time of Avicenna.

1348. In Amenorrha And Dysmenorrha, Hellebore Was Strongly Advised By Dr

Mead; but, on the unfavourable report of Dr. Heberden,§ it fell into disuse. Recently, it has been advised by Dr. Chapman* (U. S.). He states that he found it serviceable when it purges, in painful menstruation, attended with torpor and constipation of the bowels, and perhaps with some degree of insensibility in the uterus itself. The Extract, combined with Conium, is the best form for administration. It should be given with caution.

* Diseases of Females, p. 135, et seq.

Med. Times, June 14, 1S62.

Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. i. p. 77. § Comment. de Morb. Hist., p. 261.

1349. In Haemorrhoids Or Piles, Dr

Burne states that no local application affords so much relief (after the first pain has passed) as an ointment composed of 3J. of Powder of Hellebore and j. of Lard.