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Schwabe News Volume 5 | Issue 3-6 | March - June 2014

Adonis vernalis


It is a medicine of the day. Useful for cardiac muscles suffering from fatty degeneration.  It is known for regulating pulse and increasing the power of contraction of the heart.

Adonis vernalis Linn. of the family Ranunculaceae is a perennial herb upto 50 cm in height.  The stem may be simple or branched and longitudinally grooved, soft and weak; the leaves 2 to 4 by 1.5 cm are pinnately divided into several segments with terminal yellow flowers.  It is found in Northern Europe and Asia.1  In history & folklore, false hellebore’s botanical name refer to Adonis, a figure in Greek mythology associated with the seasonal renewal of plant life.  It signifies strengthening / revival of old.2

It contains cardiac glycosides similar to those found in digitalis purpurea.  These substances improve the heart’s efficiency, increasing its output while at the same time normalising its rate.  Unlike Digitalis, its effect on the heart is slightly sedative and it is generally prescribed for patients with hearts that are beating too fast or irregularly.  It is also recommended for certain cases of low blood pressure.  It is strongly diuretic and can be used to counter water retention, particularly in cases of poor circulatory function.  It is used in homoeopathic medicine as a treatment for angina.3

Homoeopathically it is indicated when there is a failing or broken cardiac compensation, the arterial tension is lowered and cardiac dropsy is present; the functions of the kidneys are interfered and anasarca results.  The urine is scanty, there is great dyspnoea, and the pulse is irregular.  There is often a headache, the pain extending from the occiput around the temples to the eyes and across the front.  It is of service in cases of mitral and aortic regurgitation, when there is a precordial pain with painful throbbing of the blood-vessels and headache.  It relieves the sense of increased intra-cardiac pressure, and is useful in interstitial myocarditis, when there is irregularity of the heart action, with dyspnoea and dropsy.  The cases of aortic regurgitation, in which it appears to answer best, are those in which the lesion is due either to a traumatic rupture of the valve, to a chronic aortitis, or where it has arisen independently of rheumatic endocarditis.  In case of fatty degenerations of the heart, pericarditis, simple hypertrophy and certain atheromatous conditions, or for its diuretic action, the tincture is used.4

Prescribed dose: 5-10 drops of the tincture (William Boericke). 10-60 drops of the tincture (Blackwood)

Caution: Should be used under professional supervision.

  1. P. N. Varma, Indu Vaid, Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, Updated edition 2007, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, Southeastern, PA, Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States (available by subscription at
  3. Andrew Chevallier, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, 1st Edition, 1996, Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. A. L. Blackwood, A Manual of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacology, Reprint Edition 1995, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.