PBP – Hellebore

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Please note that hellebore is quite poisonous and should not be used by those who haven’t knowledge of how to work with poisonous herbs.

Latin Name:
Helleborus niger (black hellebore is the traditional magickal herb, called black for its roots, as the flowers are usually pink or white)

Common Names:
Christe Herbe, Christmas Rose, Winter Rose, Melampode

Parts Used:
Root, rhizome

Image from Botanical.com

Image from Botanical.com

Medicinal Uses:
Please do not use hellebore for medicinal purposes, the following is a recounting of historical medical practices concerning the herb.

Hellebore is a severe purgative, emmenagogue, and anthelmintic (rids the body of parasites), but is an extreme narcotic.

Previously employed quite frequently to treat dropsy and amenorrhoea,  as well as proved useful in the treatment of hysteria and nervous disorders. It was generally used in tincture form, but applying the tincture to the skin proved a violent irritant. 

Since it is so poisonous, foxglove and dogbane were used more often as they weren’t nearly as poisonous as hellebore.

Magickal Uses:
Associated with Saturn, Mars, and the element of Water.

Was once used to bless cattle against evil spells and baneful influences. In fact, there was a specific ritual performed whilst digging the roots, the details of which have been unfortunately lost with the passage of time.

An ingredient in incense meant to consecrate talismans of Saturn. It was, according to Agrippa, used as well to raise spirits of Mars.

Scatter hellebore that has been powdered in front of you as you move and you will be invisible.

At one time used to induce astral projection (but not recommended as again, very poisonous), along with exorcism rituals. It is also employed for banishing and necromancy.

Photo by  Archenzo Moggio.

Photo by Archenzo Moggio.

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