Veratrum album is a homeopathic remedy that is obtained from a poisonous plant belonging to the Liliaceae family that grows at high altitude, the white hellebore. For the preparation of the remedy is used the Mother Tincture of the plant obtained from the fresh root that is harvested before flowering.
The white hellebore plant
White hellebore is a very beautiful plant; with delicate traits but at the same time very poisonous, much more than other botanical poisons.
This grass is easily confused with the white gentian: they both grow in the mountains in the same biotopes and, at the beginning of the vegetative stage, have both rosette leaves. At full development, however, they can be distinguished as the gentian has opposite leaves and yellow flowers, while the hellebore has alternate leaves and greenish-white flowers.
The plant is a hardy perennial herb that blooms from June to August and commonly grows in the mountains of central and southern Europe. The stamen develops in height from 60 cm to 175 cm and holds on top an ear of small greenish-white flowers with six petals. The leaves are wide, ovoid and lanceolate while the root is tuberous, brown on the surface and with long white fibers at the base. All parts of the plant are poisonous, even when dried.
In the past, the ancient Romans used it to impregnate their arrows with poison and thus make them even more deadly.
Veratrum album: homeopathic remedy
The homeopathic remedy Veratrum album is prepared from the rhizomes of the white hellebore, which as we have just seen, is a poisonous plant.
The preparation process with dilution-dynamization, however, not only makes the veratrum album remedy incapable of harming but expresses many other healing properties that the raw substance not dynamized does not possess.
Veratrum album is used for the treatment of pathologies related mainly:
- to the digestive system: choleriform disorders characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, algid sweating and lipothymia.
- to the nervous system: tetaniform muscle cramps and manic and delirious manifestations.
Hahnemann was deeply interested in this remedy, particularly for the important modifications it induces on a mental level in particular forms of alienation. Veratrum album, not surprisingly, was one of the remedies that Hahnemann used for Klokenbring, a patient hospitalized for a long time at the Georgenthal asylum. The particular form of alienation of which Hahnemann speaks is characterized by a mania for greatness and honors, individuals who need such a remedy present a distortion in the perception of reality that often leads them to assume a dictatorial attitude. It is no coincidence that Veratrum album is often associated with historical figures characterized by extreme ambition and pride, such as Napoleon.
Veratrum album: what it is used for
This homeopathic remedy is indicated: in acute and chronic cases, in children, during puberty but also in women and the elderly.
It is also used as an intercurrent remedy in acute affections characterized by:
- cramping pains
- feeling of freezing cold
- algid sweating localized to the forehead
- cyanosis and collapse
But also in acute delirious psychoses, in self-centered subjects, very ambitious, megalomaniacs and unable to tolerate economic and prestige losses.
The veratrum album type
The constitutional type Veratrum album is characterized by very precise traits and corresponds to the following character properties of the remedy:
- agitation aimed at work
- manic manifestations
- suffering for misfortunes only imagined
- religious mania
- sexual heretism
The strong self-centeredness makes him proud, haughty and ambitious to the point that he can use any means to distinguish himself from others and thus be able to satisfy his strong narcissistic aspirations. The latent feeling of feeling unlucky or otherwise forced to fight against an unfavorable fate, stimulates his will and allows him to structure an energetic and dominating personality.
His lifestyle, centered on work, involves an existential impoverishment, a difficulty in meeting others and poor ability to adapt to situations. This causes in him strong frustrations that feed his anxiety and can activate hysterical neurotic mechanisms, depressive positions, manic type defenses or delusional psychoses.
The remedies of Homeopathy, as we have already seen in previous insights, are also described through the modalizations of the patient to whom they correspond. In particular, Veratrum album is indicated in patients who express the following symptomatic modalities:
- worsening at four in the morning
- worsening by taking cold drinks of which, however, he has a strong desire
- worsening before and during menstruation
- worsening with intellectual and/or emotional commitment
- improvement with the heat and covering
- improvement walking back and forth
- improvement by taking hot drinks
- improvement by eating meat and milk