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Veratrum album

White Hellebore

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Veratrum
Species: V. album
Binomial name
Veratrum album

Veratrum album, commonly known as the False Helleborine (but also known as White Hellebore, European White Hellebore, White Veratrum; syn. Veratrum lobelianum Bernh.[1]) is a medicinal plant[2][3] of the Liliaceae (lily family) which is native to Europe.

Additional recommended knowledge

Plant description

The plant is a perennial herb, with a stout vertical rhizome covered with remnants of old leaf sheaths. The stems are stout, simple, 50-175cm tall. They have been mistaken for yellow gentian, Gentiana lutea, which is used in beverages, resulting in poisoning.[4]

Medical uses

It is also used as a homeopathic remedy. The root however is very poisonous, with a paralyzing effect on the nervous system[1]. In two cases of fatal poisoning from eating the seeds, the toxins veratridine and cevadine were present in the blood at 0.17-0.40 nanograms/milliliter and 0.32-0.48 nanograms/milliliter, respectively. In 1983 sneezing powders produced from the herb in West Germany were reported to have caused severe intoxications in Scandinavia.[5]



  1. ^ a b Veratrum album at Plants For A Future
  2. ^ Felter, Harvey Wickes. (1922) The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
  3. ^ Felter, Harvey Wickes; Lloyd, John Uri. (1898) King's American Dispensatory.
  4. ^ PMID 15773425
  5. ^ PMID 6887310
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Veratrum_album". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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