Ballestera, Ballestera Blanca, Eléboro Blanco, Ellébore Blanc, European Hellebore, European White Hellebore, Hellébore Blanc, Hierba de Ballesteros, Langwort, Rizoma de Veratro, Surbia, Varaire, Varaire Blanc, Vedegambre, Vératre Blanc, Veratrum album, Veratrum lobelianum, White Hellibore.
White hellebore is an herb that was used historically in Rome as a poison. Later, an extract was used as an arrow-tip poison.
Despite serious safety concerns, the bulb and root are used to make medicine. People take white hellebore for cholera, gout, and high blood pressure.
White hellebore is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for herpes outbreaks.
In manufacturing, white hellebore is used as an insecticide against flies and mosquitoes.
How does it work?
There isn't enough information available to know how white hellebore works.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- High blood pressure.
- Herpes outbreaks, when applied to the skin.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
White hellebore is UNSAFE to take by mouth or apply to the skin. All parts of the plant are poisonous. When taken by mouth, white hellebore can cause irritation and burning of the gut, vomiting, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, breathing problems, blindness, paralysis, convulsions, and death. When applied to the skin, it can cause skin irritation, and the poisonous chemicals it contains can be absorbed through the skin.
The appropriate dose of white hellebore depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for white hellebore. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Jaspersen-Schib R, Theus L, Guirguis-Oeschger M, et al. [Serious plant poisonings in Switzerland 1966-1994. Case analysis from the Swiss Toxicology Information Center]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1996;126:1085-98. View abstract.