In pharmacy this name is given to the roots of both the black and white hellebore. The root of the black has a bitter acrid taste, and is a drastic purge and emetic; the white is more active in its operation. It was formerly used to cure gout, and was considered a specific for madness. For these purposes it has now fallen into disuse. A simple diet has replaced it in the one case, and attention and kindness in the other.