|Botanical Nomenclature||Hyoscyamus niger|
|Common Name||Black Henbane, Henbane, Stinking Nightshade|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Hyoscyamus niger is an annual or biennial plant, growing by 40 to 120cm. The leaves are big and angled. The flowers, which form bunches, are yellow at the edge, with purple markings in the center. It blossoms from June to August and it is harvested between April and May.|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Leaves, seeds|
|Active Substances||(-) - Hyoscyamine, Atropine, Scopolamine (alkaloids), pesticidal substances, essential oil|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The priestesses of Delphi used to inhal smoke from the seeds of Ηenbane to reach ecstasy and to see visions. Hippocrates' students used to administer Henbane's seeds mixed with wine to treat fever, tetanus and paralysis, caused postpartum. Dioscorides in the 1st century AD attributes to Henbane hypnotic and analgesic properties and considers the plant as valuable but dangerous. Nowadays, the plant is used for its anticonvulsant properties (against intestinal and stomach spasms), to front the paroxysms of Parkinson's disease and the acute epileptic seizures. It is applied externally as analgesic and sedative against the rheumatic pains, severe inflammations of the skin, even against ear aches (otitis). It is also used as expectorant, antitussive, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, anthelmintic and stimulant. In homeopathy a tincture is recommended to smokers for the reduction of asthma attacks.|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered in the form of herbal tea (15-20g of dried herb in 0,5L of boiling water) for external and internal use. In the form of oil or cream is reccomended only for external use. In many areas, mainly in the past years, the people used to smoke the leaves due to its intense aphrodisiac properties (as it increases the sexual desire in women, while in men it causes impotence). It was known as "The herb of love"
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||Self healing should be prevented, because the whole plant is very active, and may cause visual disturbances, hallucinations, epileptic seizures, convulsions, cessation of respiratory and cardiac function and finally, it may result in death from cardiac arrest. The acute toxic reactions after taking any formulation of this herb are treated by gastric lavage and oral administration of charcoal in order the toxic substances to be expelled from the body.|
|References||1) Bιβλίο: Τα φαρμακευτικά βότανα και οι θεραπευτικές τους ιδιότητες, Λάμπρου Π. Σπύρου, Αγροτικός εκδοτικός οίκος, Αθήνα 1981, Β' τόμος, σελίδες: 531-532 2) Βιβλίο: Οδηγός των φαρμακευτικών φυτών, Paul Schauenberg, Ferdinand Paris, Εκδότης Μ. Γκιούρδας, Αθήνα 1981, σελίδες 34, 3)http://montana.plant-life.org/species/hyo_niger.htm 4)http://www.planethomeopathy.com/Hyoscyamus%20Nige.htm 5)https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/henban23.html 6)http://entheology.com/plants/hyoscyamus-niger-black-henbane/ 7)http://www.herb.gr/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/793/s/ioskiamos/|