Syn.—Veratrum; American Hellebore.
N. H.—North America.
Properties: Arterial sedative.
Physiological action: In large doses it causes a marked reduction in temperature with rapid and feeble pulse, especially marked on the least exertion; respiration becomes slower followed by nausea, vomiting and a feeling of general weakness. In toxic doses all of these symptoms become more pronounced; skin gets cold and clammy, pulse is weak, there is headache, hiccough, vertigo, nausea, severe vomiting and great prostration. There may be dilated pupils. In severe cases there may be even convulsions. Veratrum viride is a very powerful cerebro-spinal depressant. However when given in large doses it will produce vomiting and thus avoid serious or fatal results. It does not accumulate in the system.
Indications: Frequent full, large bounding pulse, flushed face, fullness of tissue. Flushed face and surface a little more of a dark dull hue than the bright red flush.
Use: In sthenic fevers, especially in the onset. It is a powerful cerebro-spinal and heart depressant; slows heart's action and circulation and in this way reduces the temperature. When indicated it assists promptly to remove venous obstruction and arterial pressure. In active cardiac hypertrophy where pulse is forcible and strong, carotids pulsate, eyes are bloodshot, with headache and cough, it is of value. In peritonitis and metritis it is of special value and should be given in large doses alternated with large doses of echinacea. Useful in convulsions with active cerebral engorgement. In puerperal convulsions it-is our best remedy; here it should be given in from 5 to 12 drop doses and repeated as often as required, the effect being carefully watched. In orchitis we find veratrum viride a good remedy. It is of value as a local application in local inflammation in the early stage where the skin is unbroken. While the average dose of veratrum viride is from 10 to 40 drops in 4 ounces of water, a teaspoonful every 1 to 3 hours; in emergencies it may be used in large doses. In metritis it may be given in 5 to 10 drop doses, starting with the small dose and gradually increasing until pulse is controlled. In puerperal convulsions it may be given hypodermically in 5 to 10 drop doses. As it will abort exudation in the early stage of inflammatory conditions, but will not favor absorption of exudates after they have taken place, it is of most benefit in the earlier stages of inflammation. While veratrum viride is a powerful depressant in regular doses; when administered -in very minute doses, 1 to 2 drops in 4 ounces of water, teaspoonful 3 to 4 times a day, it is a stimulant, heart tonic, and improves digestion and appetite.
The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.