Common Names: Pheasant's
Eye, False Hellebore
Parts Used: extract from the flowers
Sweet Vernal is a perennial which grows from south-east Sweden to the south of Europe and eastwards to western Siberia. It is a typical steppe plant, and it doesn't grow in too many places in Europe. Because of loss of habitat and too much of it has been collected for medical purposes, Sweet Vernal is becoming scarce there. More of it is starting to grow in eastern Europe.
This is a very special plant because it is a potent heart medicine. The plant contains something called glycoside Adonidin, which is used in remedies for chronic heart problems and as a tranquilizer. It works almost exactly like digitalin, which comes from Foxgloves, but is stronger and doesn't build up in the body. It is used especially in cases where people are also suffering from kidney disease, as well as heart problems. It does produce vomiting and diarrhea, however and is only used when digitalis fails.
Because Sweet Vernal can't be cultivated, plants have to be collected from the wild, which make them very vulnerable. A rare plant in most of its range, it has legal protection from gathering in most countries.
Sweet Vernal is a very beautiful flower. It blooms in early spring and has a rich, golden, buttercup-like glow. Its leaves are like filigree, and very delicate. Adonis vernalis is part of the Ranunculaceae family.
"Hellebore, False", http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/helfal15.html
"Species of Concern", http://www.traffic.org/plants/species-1.html