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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are very toxic[1][2][3][4][5]. Symptoms of poisoning include impaired vision, convulsions, coma and death from heart or respiratory failure[6].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Hyoscyamus niger.

Material uses

The leaves scattered about a house will drive away mice[7].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Henbane has a very long history of use as a medicinal herb, and has been widely cultivated to meet the demand for its use[8]. 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[9]. 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[9]. 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[8].

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[8][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. 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[6]. Henbane reduces mucous secretions, as well as saliva and other digestive juices[9]. Externally, it is used as an oil to relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, dental and rheumatic pains[6][9].The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower and they can then be dried for later use[8]. 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[8]. This is a very poisonous plant that should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[12][6]. See the notes above on toxicity. The seed is used in the treatment of asthma, cough, epilepsy, myalgia and toothache[16].

The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter, acrid taste with a neutral and poisonous potency[17]. 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[17].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow summer in a cold frame and pot on as soon as possible before the taproot is too long[18].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Hyoscyamus niger. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a sunny position[8] and a dry soil[3]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[19] but prefers an alkaline soil[18]. Plants succeed in sandy spots near the sea[8].

Cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant[20], only the biennial form is considered officinal[8]. Grows well in maritime areas, often self-sowing freely[18]. Older plants do not transplant well due to a brittle taproot[18]. The growing plant inhibits the growth of clover[21].

The flowers emit a sickly fishy smell[22].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Hyoscyamus niger. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Hyoscyamus niger.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Hyoscyamus niger
Genus
Hyoscyamus
Family
Solanaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
1 x 1 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
  4. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.68.78.8 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  15. ? 15.015.1 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (1979-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.116.2 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.117.2 Tsarong. Tsewang. J. Tibetan Medicinal Plants Tibetan Medical Publications, India ISBN 81-900489-0-2 (1994-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.118.218.318.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  19. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  20. ? Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
  21. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
  22. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  23. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

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