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Helleborus Niger - General symptoms

Snow-rose, Helleborus, helleb, Hell.

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HPUS indication of Helleborus Niger: Pale skin

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Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Helleborus Niger in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.



Heaviness, heat, and pressure in the forehead, decidedly increased in the afternoon, and lasting till evening.

then towards evening violent pressure appears in the right upper arm, and the trouble in the head almost entirely disappears, but immediately returns as the pain in the arm ceases, and then the pain in the head alternates with pain in the knee, in the right leg, in the left hand, and in the upper arm.

with these symptoms the pulse is rapid, the hands cold, the head and face feel hot.

the trouble in the head is constantly predominant and does not leave till 11 P.M.

the following night was full of anxious dreams,.

Pain in the abdomen came on in the night of the eleventh day.

on the next morning after taking a drachm of the extract he walked as usual in the garden.

after some time his attendant noticed a remarkable paleness, with sunken features and staggering gait.

the patient complained of excessive colic and weakness.

he was found leaning against a tree, with his arms hanging down relaxed, hand cold, face pale, eyes deeply sunken, lids closed, pupils moderately dilated, scarcely sensitive to light, lips bluish, face covered with clammy sweat, pulse thready, 102.

the patient was immediately put to bed, but had scarcely lain down when he was attacked with very violent, painful diarrhoea, followed by retching, with vomiting, twice, a slimy, yellowish fluid.

the pain in the abdomen and the retching lasted three hours, during which time the patient had four liquid stools with violent tenesmus,.

Helleborus Niger produces a condition of Sensorial depression. Sees, hears, tastes imperfectly, and general Muscular weakness, which may go on to complete paralysis, accompanied by dropsical effusions. Hence, a remedy in low states of vitality and serious disease. Characteristic worse from 4 to 8 P.M ( Lycopodium Lycop.) Sinking sensation. State of effusion in hydrocephalus. Mania of a melancholy type.

A dark, dusky remedy; dark face; sooty nostrils; dark lips, hands, etc

Serous effusions

Gradual onset, with advancing weakness, blunted senses and sluggish responses; drops things, staggers, etc

Automatic acts

Lies on back with knees drawn up

Muscle pains, spasm or paralysis Feeble and delicate


Stupid, obtuse or apathetic

Brain symptoms, with anorexia

Blank, somber despair Won't eat or speak

Fixed ideas

Things look new

Heavy, numbing headache

Rolls head or bores it into pillow for relief



Stupid, staring or tired look

Eyes half open

Pale face

Chewing motions

Fetor oris

Numb, dry, trembling tongue or covered with yellow ulcers


Averse to vegetables

Distended abdomen

Watery or gelatinous stool

Urine, scanty, with dark flecks or sediment; retained




Amenorrhoea from cold

Small, soft pulse

Sopor; with cries or starts Coldness

Chill, with fever or heat; with sweat

Black Hellebore. Christmas Rose. N. O. Ranunculaceae. Tincture of dry powdered root. Juice of fresh root mixed with equal parts of alcohol.

Black Hellebore was one of the drugs used to produce the "Helleborism of the ancients," the subject of Hahnemann's famous essay.

but the drug most commonly employed was the While Hellebore, or Veratrum Album Veratrum album, which belongs to another family, the Melanthaceae. "Black" hellebore receives its name from the external colour of its root.

the root of Ver. alb. is extremely white.

Teste quotes Hahnemann as saying "I conclude from various observations that one of the first effects of Black Hellebore is a kind of stupor, a dulness of the sensorium commune, a condition where, with sight unimpaired, nothing is seen very fully, and the patient does not pay any attention to anything.

with the hearing perfectly sound, nothing is heard distinctly.

with perfectly constituted gustatory organs, everything seems to have lost its taste.

where the mind is often or always without ideas.

where the past is forgotten or little remembered.

where nothing gives one any pleasure.

where one's sleep is very light, and a really sound, refreshing sleep is not to be had.

and where one desires to work without having the necessary strength or attention required for it." Teste groups Hell. n. in the Chamomilla Chamomilla class, with Gratiola Officinalis Gratiola and Viola tric., all of which cause "a particular derangement of the cerebral functions and even of the whole nervous system.

a painful increase of the sentient action, followed by a considerable depression of the vital forces, and a certain disorder of the mental faculties." He cured with Hell. n. a case of epilepsy in a little girl five weeks old after the failure of Chamomilla Cham. Chamomilla Cham. was given to the nurse, Hell. n. directly to the patient.

The history was this The child, which was well formed, was constipated from the day of birth.

The mother, twenty-eight, dark, robust, but of irritable temperament, laid the child's sickness to a fear she had had towards the end of her pregnancy.

Helleborus Niger may have been the case, but the lady had lost a boy in convulsions, precisely similar, the previous year.

The little girl had every day five or six paroxysms, each lasting from one to three minutes, and almost always followed by sleep.

There was sudden inability of the body, without any marked stiffness; head slightly thrown back; repeated oscillations of tongue from right to left, the tongue being slightly protruded from the mouth.

Staring look, convulsive rolling upward of eyes when the paroxysms were very violent; a few acute cries followed by drowsiness, when the spasm was near its end.

During the paroxysm the child remained so perfectly sensible that a slight shock, as the shutting of a door, arrested the paroxysms at once, and then shortened them a good deal.

Hell. n. cured in two or three days.

From a purely nervous derangement of this kind, the action of Hell. n. goes on to actual inflammatory states of the brain and its meninges.

Such a condition is found when effusion has taken place from the inflamed membranes, and here the ancient reputation of Hell. n. in dropsical conditions is confirmed.

The forehead is wrinkled; there are automatic movements of one arm and leg, whilst the other is paralysed; the head rolls from side to side with screams; greedy drinking of water; chewing motion of jaws; urine scanty or entirely suppressed, sometimes with sediment like coffee grounds.

Helleborus Niger condition of urine is an indication for Hell. n. in many states, and a sign of the favourable action of the remedy is, as Nash points out, an increase in the amount of flow.

In post-scarlatinal dropsy with these indications it is of great service.

It has cured concussion of the brain resulting from a blow on the head after Arnica Arn. had failed.

In this case one pupil was larger than the other; the patient was drowsy, answered questions slowly; one leg dragged on walking.

In fever there is sooty appearance of nostrils; dry, yellow tongue with red edges; breath horribly offensive; drinks roll audibly into stomach; fever agg. 4 to 8 p.m.; face pale, almost cold; pulse faint, imperceptible; picks clothes and lips.

Guernsey sums up the remedy thus "In dropsical affections; dropsy of outer parts and of inner parts; parts which are usually white turn red; absence of thirst in all complaints; chilliness, heat, perspiration without thirst.

Discharge of urine too scanty; urine with dark sediment like coffee grounds.

top part is clear, but leaving this sediment. Nausea at the stomach.

rumbling and rolling in the bowels.

darting in the joints, also in the bones.

heat with shuddering." In addition to the "absence of thirst" there is "drinks with avidity, bites spoon, but remains unconscious," and "Thirst with disgust for drink," as there is also "Hunger child nurses greedily with disgust for food." Hunger, yet food is repulsive though it tastes natural. The hungry, nauseated, uneasy sensation at the epigastrium showing its profound action on the solar ganglion. Cooper, who has studied the Hellebores very closely, says that they produce the "sinking sensation" more intensely than any other drugs. The Winter Aconite Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), a close ally of Hell. n., "acts on the solar plexus and works upwards, causing dyspnoea." He quotes (H. W., xxx. 210) from Flora Historica an interesting account of how French prisoners of war at Norman-cross were suffering from an epidemic of night-blindness (nyctalopia), when for lack of snuff they took to using powdered Black Hellebore, with the result that they were cured of their blindness in a few days. Among the dropsies cured may be mentioned hydrocele from suppressed eruptions. The old use of Helleb. as an application to ulcers seems to have depended on its property of draining the tissues. In the pathogenesis of Hell. foet. is a symptom bearing on this profuse discharge from ulcerated surface." Cooper has cured ulcers with dropsical conditions with Hell. n. and Hell. v. given internally. The headaches of Hell. n. are stupefying.

sensation as though contents of head were bulging at forehead and eyes.

shocks pass through the brain like electricity.

boring and shaking in forehead and occiput.

bruised pain. heat in brain. Pains in occiput and nape of neck I have frequently cured with Hell. n.

also headache which the patient can only describe as a "stupid headache." There is vomiting and purging as with the other Hellebores, the vomit is apt to be green and the stools jelly-like. The pulse is slow and feeble, the respiration is slow and the temperature low. Torpidity and apathy run through the remedy. In this it approaches Opium. Apoplexy followed by idiocy. The symptoms are agg. 4 to 8 p.m., and in the evening and night (sees spirits; rolls head; dry cough; night-blindness).

agg. in cool air. from uncovering.

amel. in warm air. by wrapping up. agg. From exertion from motion.

from stooping. breathing easier when lying down lying perfectly quiet amel. pains in head. Touch agg. agg. When thinking of ailment.

amel. when mind is diverted.

Christmas rose. Hahnemann. Ranunculaceae.

Brain and mind in all the complaints of Helleborus stupefaction occurs in greater or less degree. Sometimes it is a complete stupor, sometimes a partial stupor, but it is always stupefaction and sluggishness.

Hellebore is useful in affections of the brain, spinal cord, the general nervous system and mind, but especially in acute inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord and their membranes, and in troubles bordering on insanity. There is a peculiar kind of imbecility or stupefaction of the body and mind.

Even early in the disease Hellebore lacks the wildness and acute delirium found is Stramonium Stramonium and Belladonna Belladonna It is passive. Again, it fits in after the wildness of the delirium has passed away and, the patient has settled down into a state of stupefaction. The patient lies upon the back, eyes partly open, rolling the head, mouth open, tongue dry, eyes lusterless, staring into space. Staring at the individual talking. Waiting a long time to answer, or not answering at all.

Violent attacks of brain trouble frequently come to a sudden end, but those that are more passive linger, and that is where Hellebore comes in. The Hellebore case will linger for weeks and sometimes months in this state of stupefaction, gradually emaciating.

He lies upon the back with the limbs drawn up; he looks pale and sickly. When questioned he answers slowly. The text says

"Stupefaction bordering on insensibility."

Another common expression is

"Diminished power of the mind over the body."

The muscles will not act; they will not obey the will. It is a sort of paralytic state, but "stupefaction" expresses it. Cannot project ideas; cannot rivet the attention, cannot concentrate the mind. The patient appears semi-idiotic.

Delirium is not common, and when present it is muttering. There is more stupefaction, more "do nothing," more "say nothing," than delirium.

Yet there is evidently confusion of mind.

he cannot think. In many instances, very late in the disease, the patient can be roused up, and he will act as if he were attempting to think, as if he were attempting to answer, attempting to move. But he simply stares at the doctor with eyes partly open, with a dazed expression on his face, and picks his finger ends.

When questioned the Hellebore patient is not able to tell you what he has in mind, unless considerably aroused and agitated. But when so aroused he will talk about spirits, or say that he sees devils. He sees in his imagination those images that he has read about, or seen pictured, as the devil, with horns and a tail. A young person who has never heard of the devil, or of spirits, would not have that form of hallucination in his delirium. The hallucinations are shaped in accordance with what he has been taught to imagine.

Hellebore has a peculiar quasi-hysterical condition - a form of insanity. She imagines she has sinned away her day of grace. Like Aurum, she believes that she is doing wrong, that she is committing an unpardonable sin. That is as near as the remedy approaches to insanity,

Child The most striking type in Hellebore is the sick child. It comes in especially in children between two and ten years of age. The staring -lying on the back and staring with half-closed eyes, is typical of the remedy. Sometimes the lips move without any sound. The lips move as if the child wishes to say something, but on further questioning the words he wished to speak are lost, forgotten.

In hydrocephalus there is a sharp scream, the brain cry. The child will cry out in sleep. He will carry the hand to the head and shriek, like Apis Mel Apis But the Apis Mel Apis hydrocephalus is far more active and acute.

The Apis Mel Apis patient kicks the covers off.

this patient does not mind the covers, he does not mind anything. He is not easily disturbed. He lies upon his back with the limbs drawn up.

often making automatic motions with the arms and legs. Sometimes one side is paralyzed, but the other keeps up automatic motions.

Rarely much disturbed by being touched, or by being covered too warmly, or by not being covered at all.

He does not seem to be sensitive to heat, or cold, or pricking, or handling or pinching. Listlessness. What is called in the text "stubborn silence" is more an apathetic silence, an inability to speak. It appears as if he refused to answer, but he does not; he does not know how to answer; he cannot think.

Fixed ideas in persons who are said to be just a little "off their balance," a little queer. And that fixed idea will stay.

It is an apathetic state.

she appears sad and melancholy, whereas perhaps she does little thinking. Any attempt at consolation, so long as the patient is able to think, only aggravates the trouble. Like Natrum muriaticum, the complaints are aggravated by consolation, but the complaints of Natrum muriaticum are not at all like these.

If the Hellebore patient is able to meditate upon his symptoms, they seem to grow better.

Sometimes there are convulsive motions in Helleborus Niger, but they are more likely to be automatic. Motions that seem to have nothing to do with the will. He simply makes motions, like one moving in an absent-minded state.

The Helleborus patient is benumbed everywhere. The whole sensorium is in a benumbed state, a stupefaction, a blunting of general sensibility. The text says

"Vision unimpaired."

Nevertheless he sees imperfectly; he does not regard the object his gaze is fixed upon; that is, his range of vision appears to be correct, yet if questioned a little as to what be saw, he has no recollection of it; it has made no impression upon his memory or his mind.

There is burning heat in the head; shooting pains; pressive pains in the head from congestion. Violent occipital headache. Dull aching in the occiput; benumbed feeling in the occiput. A feeling like wood fullness, congestion and pressure.

The headaches, the motions of the head and the appearance of the face are those occurring in congestion of the brain. I have seen children, after passing through a moderately acute but rather passive first stage, lie in this stupid state, needing Hellebore for weeks before they received it.

When it was given repair set in; not instantly, but gradually. The remedy acts slowly in these slow, stubborn, stupid cases of brain and spinal trouble. Some. times there is no apparent change until the day after the remedy is administered or even the next night, when there comes a sweat, a diarrhea, or vomiting - a reaction.

They must not be interfered with no remedy must be given. They are signs of reaction. If the child has vitality enough to recover, he will now recover. If the vomiting is stopped by any remedy that will stop it, the Hellebore will be antidoted. Let the vomiting or the diarrhoea or the sweat alone, and it will pass away during the day.

The child will become warm, and in a few days will return to consciousness and then what will take place? just imagine these benumbed fingers and hands and limbs, this benumbed skin everywhere. What would be the most natural, thing to develop as evidence of the rousing up of this stupid child?, it is necessary for you to know this.

It is not really a part of the teaching of the homoeopathic Materia Medica, but you must know what to expect after giving Helleborus Niger.

Zincum Metallicum Zincum is, if possible, even more profound in its dreadful state of stupefaction than Hellebore Well, that child's fingers will commence to tingle. As he comes back to his normal nervous condition, the fingers commence to tingle, the nose and ears tingle, and the child begins to scream and toss back and forth and roll about the bed. The neighbors will come in and say,

"I would send that doctor away unless he gives, something to help that child;" but just as sure as you do it you will have a dead baby in twenty-four hours. That child is getting well.

let him alone. You will never be able to manage one of these cases if you do not take the father into a room by himself and tell him just how the case will proceed.

Do not take the mother; do not tell her a word about it, unless she is an unusually excellent mother, because that is her child, and she is sympathetic, and she will cry when she hears that child cry; she will lose her head and will insist upon the father turning you out of doors.

But you take the father aside beforehand and tell him what is going to happen; explain it to him so he will see it for himself; and tell him that if this is not permitted to go on, that if the remedy is interfered with, he will lose his child.

It is not so much the awful pains, but it is the itching, tingling and formication that cause the appearance of extreme agony. Sometimes in every part of the child's body it is a week before all these symptoms go away of themselves but they will go away, if left alone.

All this will make you nervous. Do not stay and watch the case too long, because if you do you will change the remedy. I never heard of one solitary cure like, these in the hands of an Old School doctor,

The face has a very sickly appearance.

sunken, gradually emaciating. It has a sooty appearance, just as if soot had settled in the nostrils and in the corners of the eyes. You will say that the patient is going to die. Quite likely without Hellebore The remedy fits the kind of cases that the allopath knows nothing about and has no remedy for.

His prognosis is always unfavorable. The face, of course, expresses the mental symptoms. Wrinkled forehead, bathed in cold sweat. Paleness of the face and heat of the head. Twitching, of the muscles of the face.

We find that knitting of the brow and wrinkling of the forehead in just this kind of brain trouble. We find a similar kind of wrinkling in Lycopodium Lycopodium, but the trouble is in the lungs. In Helleborus Niger the nostrils are dilated and sooty. Nor much flapping, but extremely dilated. The eyeballs are glassy and the lids sticky.

There is violent thirst in these fevers, and unusual canine hunger. The nausea and vomiting are nondescript. In the early part of the proving there are diarrhoea and dysentery.

with copious white gelatinous stool.

stool consisting solely of pale tenacious mucus. And then comes paralytic constipation, and these prostrated, emaciated brain cases, such as described, will lie for days without stool, or any action of the bowels.

After a day or two they will not even respond to injections. Little, hard, dry stool. Again, when reaction comes, it very commonly comes with a diarrhea, or a sweat, or vomiting; perhaps with all three of these conditions.

The urine is retained or suppressed; sometimes it dribbles away passes unconsciously. Urine passed in a feeble stream; bloody urine.

The patient lies on the back, with his limbs drawn up; or slides down in bed. Great debility; great relaxation; the muscles refuse to act. Convulsions of sucklings. Epilepsy with consciousness. Traumatic tetanus. Constant somnambulism cannot be roused to full consciousness. Soporous sleep.

until the head is drawn back as far as it can go.

Another remedy of not very wide range, so far as we have any clinical knowledge, but so far so we do know is invaluable.

Symptoms Head rolling from side to side on the pillow, with screams; great stupidity or soporous sleep.

urine scanty or entirely suppressed, sometimes sediment like coffee grounds. These symptoms indicate a desperate condition, and the patient will soon die comatose or in convulsions unless the proper remedy can be found.

Helleborus niger can often cure such cases, as I have often observed, not only in my own practice, but in that of others. I have sometimes observed that the first sign of improvement in such cases was a decided increase in the urine, and following it a general subsidence of all the other bad symptoms. I have used it with most prompt and satisfactory results in the 1000th (B. & T.) and 33m. (Fincke's) potencies.

Helleborus is also an excellent remedy in post-scarlatinal dropsies, which come on very rapidly. Here the coffee-grounds sediment may or may not be present. The choice is sometimes not easy between Helleborus Niger and Apis Mel Apis mellifica.


observation It is a clinical observation which you will - see if you see Hellebore cases, and Zincum Metallicum Zincum cases.





Nerves; motor; sensory

Membranes Serous Mucous





Helleborus niger, Linn.

Natural order, Ranunculaceae. Common names, Black Hellebore; (G.) Schwarz-Christwurzel; (Fr.) La rose d'hiver.

Preparation, Tincture of the root.