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Hyoscyamus albus - L.

Common Name White Henbane
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are very toxic[7, 10, 19, 65, 76, 200]. Symptoms of poisoning include impaired vision, convulsions, coma and death from heart or respiratory failure[238].
Habitats Dry, uncultivated ground, walls and field margins.
Range S. Europe.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Hyoscyamus albus White Henbane


Hyoscyamus albus White Henbane

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hyoscyamus albus is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; East Wall. In.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antispasmodic  Diuretic  Hallucinogenic  Hypnotic  Mydriatic  Narcotic  Sedative


Henbane has a very long history of use as a medicinal herb, and has been widely cultivated to meet the demand for its use[4]. It is used extensively as a sedative and pain killer and is specifically used for pain affecting the urinary tract, especially when due to kidney stones[254]. Its sedative and antispasmodic effect makes it a valuable treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, relieving tremor and rigidity during the early stages of the disease[254]. This species is generally considered the best for internal use, whilst the black henbane (H. niger) is the form most used externally[4]. All parts of the plant, but especially the leaves and the seeds, can be used - they are anodyne, antispasmodic, mildly diuretic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, mydriatic, narcotic and sedative[4, 9, 13, 21, 100, 165, 192, 218]. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, motion sickness, Meniere's syndrome, tremor in senility or paralysis and as a pre-operative medication[238]. Henbane reduces mucous secretions, as well as saliva and other digestive juices[254]. Externally, it is used as an oil to relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, dental and rheumatic pains[238, 254].The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower and they can then be dried for later use[4]. This is a very poisonous plant that should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[21, 238]. See the notes above on toxicity. The seed is used in the treatment of asthma, cough, epilepsy, myalgia and toothache[218].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a hot dry position[200] in a wall or rock crevice[187]. Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil, preferably of an alkaline nature, in full sun[200]. Grows well in maritime areas[200]. Plants are possibly hardy to about -10°c[187], they are unlikely to succeed in the colder areas of Britain. Self-sows freely, it can be grown in wild informal areas of the garden[200].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, older seed rapidly loses viability[200]. Either sow in situ or pot up the seedlings whilst still small because plants produce a long taproot and older plants resent root disturbance[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Detailed plant profile about this species which grows in the wild in the Maltese islands   Aug 19 2010 12:00AM

Wild Plants of Malta

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Subject : Hyoscyamus albus  
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