Definition of veratrine in US English:



  • A poisonous substance consisting of a mixture of alkaloids that occurs in the seeds of sabadilla and related plants, used, especially formerly, to relieve neuralgia and rheumatism.

    • ‘For therapeutic purposes, the amount of veratrine used ranged from one to five milligrams per dose, in the form of pills or mixed in syrup.’
    • ‘In cases of poisoning by veratrine the stomach tube should be used or an emetic administered.’
    • ‘Paeoniflorin inhibited the contraction induced by veratrine in both the epididymal and the prostatic portions of isolated mouse vas deferens.’
    • ‘We subcutaneously injected 0.5 mg/kg veratrine into the musk shrew.’


Early 19th century: from French vératrine, from Latin veratrum ‘hellebore’.