A biennial plant covered with a velvety coating. The root is vertical, little branched, 2-3 cm in diameter, soft, with an expanded rhizome neck. The leaves of the plant have a very broad morphology: they are dark green from above, lighter from below, the lower root leaves are in a rosette, elongated ovate, notched-oval-skeleted, usually die during flowering. Stem leaves, sessile, ovate-lanceolate, notched-flattened, 3-25cm long, 3-10cm wide. The stem grows 20-60 cm long and more, cylindrical, covered with hairs. The flowers are large, 2.5-4 cm in diameter, slightly zygomorphic, sessile, placed on the upper leaves. Calyx grown, with a deep slit. Petals connate, funnel-shaped, with a dirty yellow shade and dark purple reticulation and the middle of the flower.

The fruit is a box, closed with an opening cap. The seeds are small (up to 1.5 mm long), brown-gray, round or slightly elongated and flattened.

Flowers from June to July, seeds ripen in August or September.

For medicinal purposes, the leaves and leaf-covered stems are harvested from annual plants that are harvested in autumn when leaves have developed at the rhizome; the leaves of biennial plants are harvested during the flowering period, but when the seeds are ripe, the whole plant is harvested.

Dry in a well-ventilated and shaded place, spread on sieves 1-2 cm thick, periodically stirring them, or in dryers at a temperature not exceeding 60C. Before drying, the plant is usually crushed.

Henbane is a highly poisonous plant that can cause severe poisoning, often with a fatal outcome. Children are more often poisoned. Therefore, you need to be very, very careful with this plant if it is harvested. After collection and any contact with it, it is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly. Because you can also get poisoned by parts of the plant that remain on your hands, for example by accidentally rubbing your eyes.

All parts of the plant contain alkaloids, mainly hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine: in roots (up to 0.18%), leaves (up to 0.10%), stems (about 0.02%), seeds (up to 0.10%). The maximum dose of alkaloids in the leaves has been found at the beginning of the flowering period.

Natural substances of glycosides have also been found in Henbane : hyposcipicin, hyoscyrin, hyoscyresin. The seeds of the plant contain up to 34% oil fat, usually light yellow in color. The composition of sheep fat includes oleic acid up to 22.4%, linoleic acid up to 71.3% and unsaturated acids up to 6.3%.

Medicinal significance

Preparations of Henbane are used as antispasmodics and analgesics, as well as sedatives in psychiatric practice and surgery, before a person is prepared for anesthesia.

The effect of the preparations of Henbane is determined by the alkaloids contained in it - hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine, which have anticholinergic properties that create a therapeutic effect. The atropine contained in the Henbane is used in the practice of eye treatment, as a remedy for myrrh. Atropine has a pronounced effect on saliva secretion, digestive and sweat glands, as well as on heart rhythm, intestinal smooth muscles, bronchial muscles. Atropine also causes pupil dilation.

An important medicinal property of Henbane is relaxation of bronchial musculature and reduction of secretion of bronchial glands, as well as anesthetic effect, together with chloroform in case of rheumatism and neuralgic diseases.

The possibilities of Henbane have been known to people for a long time, but due to the plant's toxicity, this plant is practically not used in folk medicine. There are cases when folk medicine uses an alcohol infusion of Henbane oil, which is used to externally treat gout-affected areas, relieve rheumatic and neuralgic pains, treat boils and carbuncles in the initial stage, rub in colds, coughs, pleurisy and other problems.

Henbane seed oil is applied alone to massage muscles and bruises. Very cautiously, decoctions of the leaves of Henbane are used to treat the stomach, to prevent asthma, to reduce liver and intestinal colic, to get rid of diarrhea, bladder spasms and toothache. However, it is recommended to choose other plants for this purpose and not to start the treatment with Henbane on your own.

Not recommended for use

This article is more informative, so that you can recognize the plant, which can be found in the entire territory of Latvia! Since this plant is very poisonous, it would not be desirable to collect it yourself and use its parts in treatment, but knowledge about its use in official medicine can be useful!

Under no circumstances should it be used orally in case of constipation, neurosis, glaucoma, paroxysmal tachycardia and cardiac arrhythmia, hypoacid gastritis and gastric ulcer with decreased content of gastric juice.

Poisoning caused by Henbane rarely ends fatally, but there are also such cases, mainly due to the peculiarities of the human body. The first symptoms of poisoning appear after half an hour. Dry mouth, increased thirst, agitation, hallucinations, increased pulse, breathing and visual disturbances appear. It is not uncommon for a person to start going crazy and behave recklessly. The skin becomes pink, hot and dry, the pupils dilate and the eyes shine. In severe cases, convulsions, loss of consciousness and death may occur.

First aid

In case of poisoning, if the person does not experience severe convulsions and loss of consciousness, then the condition will pass by itself after some time. However, in more severe cases, it is absolutely necessary to turn to doctors for help, at home, you will not be able to cope with a serious condition on your own.


Henbane powder

Henbane is convenient to use in powder form. The powder is made from the leaves of the plant and is used for gallstone disease, gastritis and stomach ulcers, various convulsions and severe bruises. Plant powder is used in 0.03 gr. no more than 3 times a day.

The setting of the Henbane

The poultice of the Henbane is used in case of nervous tics, neurosis, hysteria, neuralgia of the facial nerve, headache, bronchitis and pneumonia.

The proportion of plant and water is 1:20 or 1:30. The existing mass is heated in a water bath for 15 minutes (the water in the base container must boil). The resulting solution is cooled for 15-60 minutes and filtered through a cheesecloth. It is important to note that if the settling volume does not correspond to the original recipe, it is added to the original volume by adding boiled and cooled water.

Extract from the leaves of Henbane

An extract of Henbane is used for dysentery, chorea, spasmodic vomiting and epilepsy (as a sedative).

15 gr. crushed drugs sprinkled with 100 gr. 70% alcohol. Use 2 drops, diluting them in a tablespoon of water, no more than 3 times a day.

It should be noted that in small doses, the extract of Henbane has a calming effect, and in large doses it is stimulating.

Henbane extract is often used along with blue shoe extract to regulate blood flow to the brain.

Extract of Henbane and hemlock

Such an extract is used as a strong pain reliever in case of oncology. The extract is prepared from the leaves of Henbane and hemlock, taking them in a 1:1 ratio! Such a mixture already with 90% alcohol, in a ratio of 1:5. Use 2 drops per tablespoon of water, no more than 3 times a day.

Henbane oil extract

Such oil is used externally for gout, bruises, radiculitis and various skin diseases (psoriasis, scabies, etc.).

Mix one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds (it is most convenient to grind them in a pestle) with 10 tablespoons of vegetable oil and leave for at least 8-10 hours.

Henbane extract for external use

The extract of the leaves of the Henbane mixed with the extract of the seed oil is applied to relieve pogagris, neuralgic and rheumatic pains. Put as a compress on boils and carbuncles.

Smoking mixtures

A mixture of Henbane leaves, devil's apple leaves and sage is used for smoking in case of bronchial asthma. But you better not try, that will be another event.