back Helleborus Niger

Synonym. - Helleborus Niger. Natural order. - Ranunculacese. Common names- Black Hellebore. Christmas Rose. Habitat. - A plant indigenous to the mountainous regions of southern and temperate Europe. Preparation.- Tincture from the dried root.

GENERAL ANALYSIS.

Acts especially upon the kidneys, producing scanty urine, and upon the serous membranes, giving rise to dropsical effusions of the brain, thorax, peritoneum and cellular tissue. The digestive tract is involved in a high degree of irritation, which may end in inflammation, especially of the stomach and intestines. Through the pneumo-gastric nerve the respiration is retarded, and cardiac paralysis is produced, while from the action upon the cerebro-spinal system, both cerebral and general paralysis may result. The chief therapeutic use of Hellebore is in the treatment of hydrocephalus when the stage of serous effusion has commenced.

CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS.

Mind. - Stupefaction, with slow answers; insensibility. Excessive anxiety and anguish. Silent melancholia (Ign.) homesickness (Caps.). oMust strongly concentrate the mind on what he is doing, or the muscles do not act properly.

Head. - Dullness and heaviness of the head. Confusion. Heat deep within the head. Congestion of the brain. Sensation of soreness of the head, as if bruised (Cupr.), especially in back part of the head, with stupefaction, worse on stooping. Pain in the occiput. oStupefied; head hot, heavy {Op.)\ boiling head in the pillows (Apis); rolls head day and night, with moaning. oDropsy of brain; post-scarlatinal.

Eyes. - Photophobia without inflammation. Pupils dilated (Ailanth., Bell., Hyos., Stram.); insensible to the light (Cic, Op., Hyos.). Eyeballs turned upward; squinting.

Ears.- Roaring and ringing in the ears.

Face.- Face pale; oedematous; distorted; sunken; red.

Nose.- Nostrils look as if smoked, sooty, dry and dirty. Frequently rubs the nose.

Mouth. - Tongue very dry, numb, swollen. oApthse in the mouth (Borax, Merc, Hep.). oLower jaw hangs down (Mur. ac). c Constant chewing motion of the jaws; grinds the teeth (Cic). Mouth dry, also the palate, with cutting and scraping in the palate on moving the mouth to swallow.

Stoniach.- Nausea and vomiting (Ant. tart., Ipec.) of food; of greenish black substances. Thirst. Fullness and distension of pit of stomach. oGreedily swallows the cold water; bites the spoon, but remains unconscious.

Abdomen. - Excessive distension of the abdomen (Cham.). Gurgling, as if the bowels were full of water (Crot. tig.). Griping, pinching colic (Bell., Coloc.); weakness, features sunken, face cold, pale, covered with clammy sweat; pulse thready.

Stool. - Consisting solely of clear, tenacious, colorless mucus (Colch., Rhus tox.). White gelatinous stool like frog spawn; tenesmus. Constipation.

Urinary Organs.- Frequent urging with scanty discharge Acon., Apis, Canth., Coloc, Digit.). Urine scanty, dark (Colch.); olike coffee grounds; profuse. oBladder overdistended; retention of urine from atony of muscular coats.

Respiratory Organs.- Chest constricted; gasps for breath, with open mouth; propped up in bed; ohydrothorax (Ars.). Sudden cough, constant hacking.

Pulse.- Rapid : small and tremulous; slow (Digit.); intermittent in hydrocephalus.

Lower Limbs.- Needle-like stitches in left hip. Legs Oedematous.

Sleep.- Soporous sleep, with shrieks and starts. Dreams confused, unremembered; anxious.

Generalities.- Convulsive twitching of muscles (Agar., Cic, Cupr.). oSlides down in bed (Mur. ac). Convulsions; with extreme coldness. Great weakness (Ars., Ferr., Phos.). oLies on back with limbs drawn up. Sudden dropsical swellings.

Fever.- Coldness over the whole body, with cold hands and feet (Camph.). Shaking chill; goose-flesh; pain in joints and limbs. Burning heat, with internal chilliness and aversion to drink; can drink but little at a time; evening in bed. Sweat; cold clammy; toward morning; temperature unchanged.

Conditions.- Often indicated in weakly, scrofulous children. In dentition (brain symptoms).

Compare.- Apis, Apoc, Ars., Bell., Bry., Canth., Colch.,Cupr., Digit., Hyos., Lyc., Merc, Nux v., Op., Phos., Puls., Khus tox., Strain., Sulph.

Antidotes.- Camph., Cinch.

THERAPEUTICS.

The chief use of Hellebore is in hydrocephalus during the stage of effusion, the patient always being in a state of stupefaction or insensibility, from which it is extremely difficult to arouse him; head rolling from side to side, and boring into pillows; sudden screams; pupils insensible to light; constant chewing motion of the jaws, grinding the teeth, automatic motion of one arm and foot, sometimes suppressed urine and violent convulsions, face distorted; albuminuria; during dentition or from repressed eruptions. Concussion of the brain after Arn. had failed. May be a valuable remedy in dropsical effusions of any part, especially of the chest or abdomen, the patient always presenting the characteristic stupefaction and mental torpor. Dropsy from kidney disease or following eruptive diseases; post-scarlatinal nephritis. A characteristic condition of Helleb. is the loss of control of the mind over the body; the patient must strongly concentrate the mind on what he is doing, or the muscles do not act properly. Useful in melancholia; silent, stupid or unintelligible muttering. Has been used in typhoid fever with the characteristic mental condition, feeble pulse, coldness of the body and cold sweat. Diarrhoea, with jelly-like mucous stools, sometimes profuse and watery during dentition, or with dropsical affections.


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