Common Name: White hellebore, European white hellebore, false helleborine.
Veratrum Album (Verat.) is easily recognised by its pronounced mental-emotional state or intense physical symptoms. Those who do well with Veratrum are excessively ambitious, haughty, and generally unconcerned about the effect of their behaviours and attitude on others. Their mental restlessness can lead to mania or delusions of grandeur.
On the physical level, Veratrum is a remedy for severe or simultaneous vomiting and diarrhoea, cramps and spasms, profuse cold sweat, and weakness or collapse. Historically, it was used for cholera as a treatment or preventative when those symptoms were present. With or without physical symptoms, those needing Veratrum may complain about chilliness and crave sour flavours, salty things, cold drinks or ice.
Children needing Veratrum tend to be restless, precocious (advanced for age), curious or questioning. Easy frustration leads to repetitive behaviours such as nail-biting, stacking, cutting or tearing, and disobedience or behavioural problems with a lack of remorse.
- Boastful, proud, haughty, self-righteous, persistent.
- Hard, harsh, critical or rude.
- Ambitious – every possible means employed with no one spared. Lying, cheating and deception – with no remorse.
- Focused on their position in society – think they are a great person who deserves better and should be recognized.
- Insanity, megalomania and delusions – think they are Christ or a messenger from God. Excessive praying.
- Squandering of money.
- Digestive upsets – especially spring and autumn or during menstrual period.
- Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea (food poisoning, cholera). Projectile vomiting.
- Coldness and blueness of extremities, especially during collapse.
- Painful menstrual periods with coldness, vomiting diarrhea, and weakness or collapse.
- Profuse, cold sweat, especially on forehead or with weakness or collapse.
Where do I find it?
While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment also contact your healthcare provider during emergency situations or if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.
Dosage Instructions (suitable for babies to adults)
For the home treatment of acute and self-limiting complaints take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 minute to 4 hours (1 minute for intense or emergency symptoms (plus seek emergency help), 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.
Note: Chronic symptoms or complaints require a course of professional treatment by a qualified homeopath to manage the changes in potencies and remedies may be required.
From Past Masters
Homeopathy is a 200-year system of medicine. Early medical homeopaths recorded initial provings, remedy relationships, and their early experiences with each remedy in great detail.
These writings were then shared with others to advance homeopathic knowledge and practice.
Today, these same writings give a fascinating insight into the symptoms and clinical conditions for which each remedy was used.
The following extract, with minor editing, is one example.
Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics by E. B. NASH M.D.
Collapse, with general coldness and cold sweat, especially on forehead; hippocratic face.
Mania, with desire to cut and tear things, with lewdness, lascivious talk, religious or amorous.
Disposed to silence, but if irritated gets mad. Scolds, calls names and talks of faults of others.
Rice water stools, profuse, exhausting, cramps in calves, coldness, collapse.
Rheumatic affections < in damp weather; drives patient out of bed.
The pains are maddening, driving the patient to delirium.
Copiousness of discharges: stools, vomiting, urine, saliva, sweat; craving for acids or refreshing things.
* * * * *
Here is a remedy that has a characteristic “Cold sweat on the forehead“. It makes no difference whether it is cholera, cholera infantum, pneumonia, asthma, typhoid fever or constipation; if this symptom is prominently present, and the patient is in anything like a faint, collapse, or greatly prostrated condition, Veratrum album is the first remedy to think of. It is one of Hahnemann’s trio of remedies for Asiatic cholera, Camphor and Cuprum metallicum being the other two; and today his indications for its use stand as true as when he first gave them to the profession. It abides the test because it is founded upon a natural law of cure, which is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.”
Veratrum, alb. has some very strong mind symptoms. “Mania with desire to cut and tear things especially clothes, with lewdness and lascivious talk, religious or amorous.”
Here the choice will sometimes have to be made between this remedy and Stramonium. They are both very loquacious, and both strongly religious. Also both at times very violent; but the face of Stramonium is generally very red and bloated, while that of Veratrum is likely to be pale, sunken or hippocratic; again, there is greater general weakness with Veratrum. Sometimes the violent form of mania alternates with a “disposition to silence,” but if irritated gets mad, scolds, calls names and talks of the faults of others. These forms of mania are often consequent upon suppressed menses or the puerperal state. They may be acute or become chronic. In either case we may find the cure in Veratrum album.
If we were to describe in one word the general condition, as near as possible, for which this remedy was best, it would be collapse. Let me quote: “Rapid sinking of forces; complete prostration; cold sweat and cold breath.” “Skill blue, purple, cold, wrinkled, remaining in folds when pinched”. “Face hippocratic; nose pointed.” “Whole body icy cold.” “Cold skin, face cold, back cold.” “Hands icy cold.” “Feet and legs icy cold.” (Icy coldness of surface, covered with cold sweat, Tabacum.) “Cramps in calves.” All these are verified symptoms, and show to what an extreme degree of collapse a case may come and yet be cured. This condition may be found in rapidly progressing, acute cases like cholera, or it may be found in suppressed exanthemata; or, again, in the course of bronchitis, pneumonia, typhoid or intermittent fever. No matter where found, or in connection with whatever disease, if this collapse is present, and especially if the grand keynote, “cold sweat on face and forehead,” is present, we may give this remedy with full confidence that it will do all that can be done and much more than the old school system of stimulation with alcoholics. In choleraic diseases Camphor comes nearest to Veratrum, but with Veratrum the stools are profuse and like rice-water, while they are scanty or entirely absent with Camphor. The pains of Veratrum are very severe sometimes, driving the patient to delirium. It is said to be a good remedy for rheumatism, which is worse in wet weather and which drives the patient out of bed (Ferrum met.). Veratrum is a remedy of wide range, because it covers a condition which may be found in so many different diseases.