Green Hellebore (Helleborus viridis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Green Hellebore
Helleborus viridis
Ranunculaceae

A decoction of the roots is used as a parasiticide against body lice, fleas etc[76, 213]. This use is somewhat dangerous, see the notes above on toxicity.

Plants are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is anthelmintic, cardiac, cathartic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, irritant, violently narcotic and a drastic purgative[4, 9, 21, 46]. The dried root is used, it contains the alkaloids nervine, pseudo-nervine and veratridine[213]. It is best to harvest the root in the autumn[213].

    The plant is useful for reducing blood pressure in various conditions of hypertension[213].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant are poisonous[9, 10, 65], this poison can possibly be absorbed through the skin[76].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[1, 134]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible[1], it usually germinates in the autumn to spring. Seed can take 18 months to germinate. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This species produces flowering plants in 2 – 3 years from seed[200]. Division after flowering or in autumn. Take care since the plant resents disturbance[111, 200].
Cultivation of this plant is not always easy, it prefers a rich limy soil in partial shade[187]. One report says that the plant requires an alkaline soil[17]. Succeeds in any good garden soil[1], preferring a moist well-drained rich loam in a sheltered position in partial shade[1, 4, 31, 111]. Succeeds when grown in the shade of a north-facing wall[233]. Does not object to lime[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[200]. Dislikes drought. Slugs are very fond of this plant and it will probably require some protection from them[187]. The various species in this genus hybridize freely[95]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions whilst still small[200]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].
Central and western Europe, including Britain.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.