Hyoscyamus aureus – Henbane

Hyoscyamus aureus - Henbane





Known as the henbanes – is a little genus of blooming plants in the nightshade. It involves 11 species, all of which are toxic. It, alongside other genera in the same family, is a source of the drug hyoscyamine (daturine). It is a biennial/perennial, growing to 0.6 m (2ft).  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). It prefers dry or moist soil.

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant are very toxic. Symptoms of poisoning include impaired vision, convulsions, coma and death from heart or respiratory failure.

Cultivation details:

Lean towards a hot dry position in a wall or rock crevice. Prevails in a well-drained fertile soil, preferably of an alkaline nature, in full sun. Grows well in maritime areas. Plants are potentially hardy to about – 10°c, they are probably not going to succeed in the colder ranges. Self-sows freely, it can be grown in wild informal areas of the garden. (2)


Seed – best sown when it is ripe, older seed rapidly loses viability. Either sow in situ or pot up the seedlings while still little since plants create a long taproot and older plants resent root disturbance.



Hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine are the primary active ingredients of Hyoscyamus niger. When the plant is harvested and dried, hyoscyamine is converted to atropine.

Trace amounts of aposcopolamine, cuscohygrine, littorine, norscopolamine, tigloidine, tropine and other tropane alkaloids are also present. (3)


– Medicinal Uses Of Hyoscyamus aureus:

  1. The primary healing properties of the herb are because of the calming, pain relieving and antispasmodic impact the substance hyoscyamine. Henbane was utilized particularly for torment in the urinary tract, especially in the case of kidney stones.
  2. The narcotic and antispasmodic impact makes it a profitable solution for Parkinson’s disease, where it diminishes tremors and stiffness in the beginning periods of the disease.
  3. The herb has also been utilized for a toothache and nervous disorders, for example, craziness and mania.
  4. The herb has been utilized as an herbal remedy for bronchitis because of its cough suppressant impact and the ability to clear the breathing passages from secretions.
  5. At one time the dried leaves of henbane were smoked as a treatment for asthma in the same manner as belladonna (Atropa bella-donna) and jimsonweed (Datura Stramonium).
  6. In modern medicine the substance hyocin is utilized to treat seasickness and as a quieting specialist in patients preparing for surgery.
  7. Therapeutic oil can be made by permitting the squashed dry leaves of the plant to be soaked in alcohol, blended with olive oil and after that warmed in a double boiler so that the alcohol will evaporate.
  8. The oil can be utilized externally to treat ear ache, or applied to the skin to relieve pain from neuralgia, sciatica, arthritis and rheumatic conditions. (4)


– Effects:

Hyoscyamus ingestion by people is taken after all the while by peripheral inhibition and central stimulation. Normal impacts of henbane ingestion include hallucinations, dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less basic impacts are tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension, hyperpyrexia, and ataxia. Beginning impacts regularly keep going for three to four hours, while eventual outcomes may last up to three days. The side effects of Hyoscyamus ingestion are dryness in the mouth, perplexity, locomotor and memory disturbances, and farsightedness. Overdosages result in delirium, coma, respiratory paralysis, and death. Low and normal doses have inebriating and aphrodisiac effects.

Hyoscyamus is toxic to cattle, wild animals, fish, and birds. Not all animals are vulnerable; for instance, the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including cabbage moths, eat Hyoscyamus. Pigs are invulnerable to Hyoscyamus toxicity and are reported for to appreciate the impacts of the plant. (5)


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