I firmly believe that if pharmacologists, instead of spending their time investigating commercial synthetics would direct their energies to more careful study of pharmacopeial remedies, the world would be greatly benefited. A splendid example of the general ignorance concerning drugs which we call "well-known" is found in the case of the veratrums. When the statement is made in standard works on pharmacology, that the active principle of Veratrum viride is veratrin, and that this plant is useful only as a local application, it becomes evident that there is room enough for more accurate knowledge even among those who devote their attention especially to the study of drugs.
Before considering the properties of Veratrum viride I would like to discuss for a moment the question of the identity of Veratrum album with this plant. The Eighth Revision of the U. S. Pharmacopeia has recognized Veratrum album as equivalent to Veratrum viride