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Hyoscyamus niger - L.

Common Name Henbane, Black henbane
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are very toxic[7, 10, 19, 65, 76]. Symptoms of poisoning include impaired vision, convulsions, coma and death from heart or respiratory failure[238].
Habitats By the walls of fields, waste ground, near buildings and in stony places from low-lying ground near the sea to lower mountain slopes[7].
Range Much of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Hyoscyamus niger Henbane, Black henbane


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Hyoscyamus niger Henbane, Black henbane
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hyoscyamus niger is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

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;  Anthelmintic;  Antispasmodic;  Antitumor;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  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 the form generally considered best for external use, whilst the white henbane (H. albus) is considered the most appropriate for internal use[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]. There is an annual and a biennial form of this species, both can be used medicinally but the biennial form is considered to be superior[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]. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter, acrid taste with a neutral and poisonous potency[241]. Anthelmintic, antitumor and febrifuge, they are used in the treatment of stomach/intestinal pain due to worm infestation, toothache, inflammation of the pulmonary region and tumours[241].

Other Uses

Repellent.

The leaves scattered about a house will drive away mice[207].

Cultivation details

Prefers a sunny position[4] and a dry soil[19]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers an alkaline soil[200]. Plants succeed in sandy spots near the sea[4]. Cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant[57], only the biennial form is considered officinal[4]. Grows well in maritime areas, often self-sowing freely[200]. Older plants do not transplant well due to a brittle taproot[200]. The growing plant inhibits the growth of clover[18]. The flowers emit a sickly fishy smell[245].

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Propagation

Seed - sow summer in a cold frame and pot on as soon as possible before the taproot is too long[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

17200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

Ari-ullah Khan   Mon Dec 3 2007

I shall highly apperciate if you please tell me the page no. where the hyoscyamus niger is mentioned in the following book: Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London 1996 ISBN 9-780751-303148 With profound regards Arif

ibrahim alzuhd   Wed Oct 29 2008

from where can i get this plant?

Ian H   Wed Apr 22 2009

The smell of the flower is not fishy - it smells absolutely nothing like fish, the flower has a scent which smells like a across between rotten potato and tomato plant smell... with a hint sweaty feet. The flower smells pretty much the same as every other part of this plant.

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