Black Hellebore

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What other names is Black Hellebore known by?

Christe Herbe, Christmas Rose, Christmas Rose Plant, Eléboro Negro, Ellébore Noir, Hellébore Noir, Helleborus niger, Herbe aux Fous, Melampode, Rose de Carême, Rose de Noël, Rose Noire.

What is Black Hellebore?

Black hellebore is a plant. The leaves, root, and underground stem (rhizome) are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse black hellebore with white hellebore.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take black hellebore for nausea, worms, kidney infections, colds, and constipation.

Women take it to regulate their menstrual periods and to abort a pregnancy.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black hellebore for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Black Hellebore work?

There isn't enough information to know how black hellebore might work for medicinal uses.

Are there safety concerns?

Black hellebore is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It contains chemicals similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin) that can cause a dangerously irregular heartbeat.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

While black hellebore is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use, some people are especially sensitive its harmful effects. Be particularly careful not to use black hellebore if you have one of the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use black hellebore if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It might cause a dangerously irregular heartbeat. It might also cause a miscarriage.

Disorders of the stomach and intestines: It's UNSAFE to use black hellebore if you have a disorder affecting your digestive system.

Heart disease: It's UNSAFE to use black hellebore if you have a heart condition. It might make your heart condition worse.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Antibiotics (Macrolide antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Black hellebore can affect the heart. Some antibiotics might increase how much black hellebore the body absorbs. Taking black hellebore along with some antibiotics might increase the effects and side effects of black hellebore.

Some of these antibiotics, called macrolide antibiotics, include erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin.



Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Taking antibiotics along with black hellebore might increase the chance of side effects from black hellebore.

Some antibiotics that interact with black hellebore include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Black hellebore also seems to affect the heart. Taking black hellebore along with digoxin can increase the effects and the risk of side effects of digoxin and black hellebore. Do not take black hellebore if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.



Quinine
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Black hellebore can affect the heart. Quinine can also affect the heart. Taking quinine along with black hellebore might cause serious heart problems.



Stimulant laxatives
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Black hellebore can affect the heart. The heart uses potassium. Laxatives called stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the chance of side effects from black hellebore.

Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Black hellebore might affect the heart. "Water pills" can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from black hellebore.

Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Black Hellebore.

The appropriate dose of black hellebore depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for black hellebore. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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