Black Hellebore / Christmas Rose

Helleborus niger

The homeopathic remedy Helleborus is prepared organically from the plant called Helleborus niger (common names Christmas rose or black hellebore). This evergreen plant produces dark-hued, rubbery, palmately parted leaves that appear on stems which grow up to a height of 9 inches to 12 inches (23 cm to 30 cm).

This plant belongs to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, and is known to be toxic. The short flowering stems of Helleborus niger bear big, plane flowers that bloom during the period between the middle of winter to the beginning of spring. These flowers are usually white in color, but sometimes have a pinkish hue.

Helleborus has two sub-species - Helleborus niger subsp. niger and Helleborus niger subsp. macranthus. The second sub-species bear comparatively larger flowers that measure about 3.75 inches (9 cm) in diameter.

The subspecies H. niger subsp. niger is found to be growing naturally in rocky terrains, over a vast area stretching from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia to the northern regions of Italy. On the other hand, the subspecies Helleborus niger subsp. macranthus only grows in northern Italy and perhaps also the neighboring regions of Slovenia.

It may be noted that way back in 1400 BCE, Pliny, the famous Roman natural historian, had documented the use of black hellebore for treating mental problems. Even the ancient Roman and Greek philosophers used to drink an infusion prepared from this plant to augment their concentration prior to any long-drawn-out debate.

However, as mentioned earlier, this plant is extremely poisonous and is currently only employed by homeopathy. Other herbalists are of the view that this herb is extremely potent and toxic to be employed in a safe manner. Noted German physician and the founder of the alternative medicine homeopathy Samuel Hahnemann proved the remedy Helleborus and published the findings of his research with the medicine in his Materia Medica Pura (1821-34).

Individuals who receive maximum benefit from the homeopathic remedy Helleborus are typically uninteresting as well as lethargic. The homeopathic remedy is most appropriate for people who are generally confused and their mental process is quite slow. Usually, such people suffer from grief, lack of concern, tetchiness and depression.

Very often, such individuals have a feeling as if their brain is in confusion and they are unable to comprehend what is happening around them. While such individuals may sometimes ask for assistance, usually it is difficult to console them.

It has been found that the physical symptoms of such people usually deteriorate in the evening between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. On the other hand, they feel better when there is warmth and while they are lying down all covered up.

Precisely speaking, homeopaths normally prescribe Helleborus to treat mental conditions that are marked by lethargy and confusion. Using this homeopathic remedy may be effective in treating any severe inflammatory condition of the nerves.

In addition, Helleborus may also be useful for easing headaches, depression as well as digestive disorders. These symptoms may generally occur owing to any injury to the brain or the spinal cord; a brain surgery or an attack of encephalitis or meningitis.

The homeopathic remedy Helleborus is mainly used to treat depression. Patients who require this medication are extremely ill-tempered and become angry very easily. They prefer to be left alone and not disturbed by anyone. Such patients are extremely gloomy, desolate, mournful, silent or tremendously tormented.

Helleborus, as a homeopathic remedy, is particularly apt for girls during puberty or at time when they do not have menstruation periods after having them for once or a few times. In effect, many women take this homeopathic remedy on a regular basis with a view to regulate their menstrual periods as well as for aborting unwanted pregnancy.

The symptoms of the patients who require the homeopathic remedy Helleborus most deteriorate when they are consoled. Such individuals are also insensible as well as dull when they are questioned and usually answer very at a snail's pace. Helleborus is also effective in treating homesickness.

This homeopathic remedy is prepared using the leaves, roots as well as the rhizomes of the herb Helleborus niger. However, it is cautioned that while preparing this homeopathic remedy, one should not get baffled and mistake black hellebore with white hellebore.

Notwithstanding the concerns related to its safe use, many people are found to take black hellebore to treat kidney infections, nausea, constipation, queasiness and expel worms from their body.

Parts used

Leaves, root.


The homeopathic remedy Helleborus is widely used for disorders related to the nervous system, including confusion and insipidness and perhaps is also effective in treating conditions wherein the patients seem to show inanity or mental disorders. People who require this medication are usually very slow in answering questions and need tremendous efforts to respond to any query.

Their body has a numb sensation, while the brain does not have any control over the muscles, as a result of which objects held by them drops easily from their hand. They are also absentminded and have poor attentiveness, commonly accompanied by a condition where the memory becoming completely vacant.

Although black hellebore has been widely used in ancient times as a medicine, in present time it is not used much, except in the form of a homeopathic remedy. In earlier times, herbalists recommended this herb to patients for enhancing their concentration, but afterwards it was considered to be extremely potent for internal use.

Despite being neglected as a herbal medicine, the use of Helleborus has never ceased to increase as well as evolve in the world of homeopathy.

This is primarily owing to the fact that despite several toxic and other substances being used to prepare homeopathic remedies, they do not retain even the slightest trace of the original substance they are prepared from. Hence, the discovery of the therapeutic attributes of Helleborus is very significant considering the fact that today it has proved to have sweeping effects.

Before concluding the discussion, it may once again be noted that the homeopathic remedy Helleborus is prepared from the plant Helleborus niger and it has been an extremely popular medication for several years. The tincture is prepared from the freshly obtained root of the plant that is unearthed during the winter.

After digging up the root, it is cleaned, sliced into small pieces and permeated in alcohol. Subsequently, the resultant liquid is strained and succussed (shaken). The final product is the homeopathic remedy Helleborus that practically does not retain even the slightest trace of the plant.

As a homeopathic remedy, Helleborus works excellently for people who are characteristically inclined to be dreary and slow in temperament. Even people who usually have a very slow overall mental process also respond well to this remedy.

Such people have a propensity to be nervous, suffer from depression as well as agony regarding their medical condition and also owing to their helplessness to concentrate. Such people may be very inconsolable when life becomes really hard for them.

In severe conditions, the patients may also develop symptoms that are related to Alzheimer's disease, counting nervousness, losing their memory as well as stupefaction. Depending on the homeopathic remedy Helleborus is also likely to facilitate in reinstating some of the lost focus by the patients as well as their helplessness in concentrating.

Such people are generally not able to memorize much and they habitually drop items from their hands or suddenly become blank, without any forewarning. Some of the condition-specific uses of Helleborus are discussed briefly below:

Brain inflammation

Helleborus as a homeopathic remedy is very effective for brain inflammation, especially where the tissues of the brain are distended, perhaps owing to meningitis or encephalitis. The symptoms of this condition normally include seizures accompanied by an inclination of a sensation of hotness of the head and chilliness of the body.

In such situations, the patients have a sensation as if they are in a trance and feel very lethargic. Turning to the homeopathic remedy Helleborus in such cases may act to assist the body to naturally lessen the swelling of the brain tissues. In addition, it may be useful in easing the other symptoms like feeling extremely hot in the head and cold in the body as well as the semi-comatose condition.


People who suffer from headaches or migraine accompanied by mental insipidness, perhaps following any injury or surgery, may find Helleborus beneficial as a homeopathic remedy. Frequently, such headaches start on in the back side of the head or in the neck.

In such cases the sufferer may have a compulsion to pull down the head towards his/ her body for relief. The pain caused by the headache or migraine may be accompanied by vertigo and light-headedness that may result in vomiting.

Digestive disorder

As a homeopathic remedy, Helleborus is often prescribed for digestive disorders, wherein the patient experiences aching bowel impulses accompanied by watery diarrhea as well as mucus. In such conditions, the movements of bowel are so irregular and slow that the patient may even suffer from constipation. Generally, the patients do not experience thirst for any fluid and have a dry mouth.


People suffering from depression and requiring this homeopathic remedy usually have blank gazes, instinctive sighs and bad moods, particularly in the period between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. They may also be found to be fiddling with their lips and clothes.


The herb Helleborus niger, which forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy Helleborus, is found growing in the wild on the mountainous or rocky terrains in Europe. This plant blooms during the period between mid-winter to early spring and is cultivated extensively in the form of a well-accepted garden plant.


From Sadia - Apr-08-2013
I'm using this medicine and its very effective for my migraine as well as my headaches from any cause. This medicine works for me.
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