Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Veratrum album

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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2010 Nov;48(9):949-52.
Accidental poisoning with Veratrum album mistaken for wild garlic (Allium ursinum).
Gilotta I, Brvar M.

Ospedale di Cattinara, DUC di Scienze Mediche Tecnologiche e Traslazionali, Trieste, Italy.
INTRODUCTION: Veratrum album (white or false hellebore) is a poisonous plant containing steroidal alkaloids that cause nausea, vomiting, headache, visual disturbances, paresthesia, dizziness, bradycardia, atrioventricular block, hypotension, and syncope. It is regularly mistaken for Gentiana lutea (yellow gentian). We report accidental poisoning with V. album mistaken for Allium ursinum (wild garlic), a wild plant used in soups and salads in Central Europe.
CASE SERIES: Four adults (24-45 years) accidentally ingested V. album mistaken for A. ursinum in self-prepared salads and soups. Within 15-30 min of ingestion they developed nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. At the same time dizziness, tingling, dimmed and jumping vision, transient blindness, and confusion appeared. On arrival at the ED, all patients had sinus bradycardia and hypotension. Following treatment the patients were discharged well 24-48 h after ingestion.
CONCLUSION: In patients presenting with gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiovascular symptoms a history of wild plant ingestion suggests possible poisoning with V. album mistaken for wild garlic.

Neoplasma. 1998;45(4):243-7.
Evaluation of potential carcinogenicity of steroidal alkaloids from Veratrum album L. by the DC polarography method.
Vachálková A, Grancai D, Nagy M, Novotný L.

Department of Experimental Therapy, Cancer Research Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava.
The presented work is devoted to the study of polarographic reduction in the series of 13 alkaloids isolated from various parts of Veratrum album subsp. lobelianum. The used compounds were evaluated from the point of view of their potential carcinogenicity in anhydrous N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by the method of DC polarography. All compounds were reduced during an one two-electron irreversible step. Their potential carcinogenicity characterized by a parameter tg alpha value determined in the presence of alpha-lipoic acid ranged from the highest value 0.257 obtained for the solanidane skeleton containing rubijervine to the value 0.070 for jervine. The tg alpha value determined for rubijervine (0.257) is comparable with the tg alpha of naphto-(2',1',2,3)fluoranthene (0.270)-compound classified by IARC as possible carcinogen for human. The tg alpha values determined for other alkaloids were relatively low and they do not indicate any possible carcinogenic activity.

Planta Med. 1993 Dec;59(6):569-71.
Isolation of antihypertensive alkaloids from the rhizomes of Veratrum album.
Atta-ur-Rahman, Ali RA, Gilani A, Choudhary MI, Aftab K, Sener B, Turkoz S.