By Kristina Gorden, RN
Helleborus Niger, also known as the Christmas Rose, is a winter-blooming evergreen perennial. Helleborus has been used since ancient times for its vast medicinal applications. Some of the pharmacologicallly active substances in Helleborus include beta-ecdysone, which have CNS effects as well as cytotoxic and apoptosis induction effects. Helleborus can help with the reduction of edema, and has been shown to have antitumor effects as well. Some patients may benefit from this treatment due to the immune modulating effects and anti-inflammatory properties.
Helleborus is used in the adjunct treatment of various types of cancers as well as chronic inflammatory diseases. The plant contains cancer-fighting properties as the result of specific apoptosis induction via the intrinsic mitochondrial signal pathway. Helleborus is ideally used in combination with other conventional or complementary therapies and can be used alongside chemotherapy and radiation. It can help improve quality of life by helping to improve sleep quality, reduce pain and inflammation, and fatigue. Helleborus can also be used as a support for anxiety, dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.
Here at Integrative Medicine of Central New York, we offer Helleborus niger through subcutaneous injections of the homeopathic solution. If one of our providers believes you may benefit from Helleborus injections, they may recommend this therapy for you. Injections are typically given once daily initially and then two times weekly. Injections are typically given on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Proper injection technique is taught in a series of two nurse visits. Injections are given in the abdomen as this is a highly vascular area that allows for optimal absorption of the substance. Patients typically do not experience any adverse side effects to Helleborus injections, but some local redness and itching may occur in rare cases. Helleborus can be used in conjunction with Mistletoe therapy, however, constitutionally Helleborus is cooling so it is advised to not give Helleborus on the same day as Mistletoe, as Mistletoe is warming.
We have recently started offering nebulized Helleborus treatments here at IMCNY as well. Patients that may benefit from this therapy include patients with lung cancer or pulmonary metastases, or patients who have an inflammatory lung or respiratory tract condition. Nebulized Helleborus has been shown to help with expectoration and the mobilization of mucus. In case studies, Helleborus has helped with hemoptysis (bloody mucus from coughing) and the treatment of pleural effusions (accumulation of fluid in the pleural space surrounding the lungs). Helleborus can help to reduce cough, and improve ease of breathing.
Initial nebulized Helleborus treatments will be done in office as our nursing staff will teach the patient how to safely administer the treatment. We will also monitor for any adverse reactions to ensure this treatment is appropriate and safe for the individual. Subsequent treatments can be given at home, 1 to 3 times daily.
If you are interested in learning more about Helleborus therapy, please contact our office at 315-741-5774 for more information.
The Compendium of Helleborus niger aquos Therapy reprint