Hellebore, or Hellclorus, L. a genus of plants consisting of five species, two of which are natives of Britain : the principal of these is the faetidius, Fetid Hellebore, Bear's-foot, Ox-heel, or Set-terwort. It grows in meadows, shady places, and hedges ; producing green flowers, somewhat tinged with purple at the edges, which blow in the months of March and April.
In a recent state, this species has an extremely fetid smell, accom-panied with a bitter taste, which is so remarkably acrid, as to exco-riate the mouth and fauces. A decooction of it is, by country people, employed as a cathartic, for which purpose one or two drams are fully sufficient. The dried leaves of the fetid hellebore are sometimes given to children as a vermifuge; but as their operation is so violent, that a large dose might easily prove fatal, this virulent plant ought to be employed only by farriers. - Beside immediate vomiting, the most proper antidotes to every species of the hellebore, are mucilaginous drinks in very large quantities; such as the deco6tions of oatmeal, pearl-barley, linseed, marsh-mallows, etc. or milk and water; after taking which, the poisonous matter will be most effectually counter-acted by diluted vinegar, juice of lemons, or other vegetable acids.