Black henbane

Black henbane

Black henbane

Specification & Spread

Henbane leaves — folia hyoscyami
Black henbane — hyoscyamus niger l.
Solanaceous family — solanaceae
Other names: night blindness, buttercup.
It is a biennial, soft-stuffed, sticky herbaceous with an unpleasant odor. In the first year of life, only a rosette of basal long-petiol oblong-ovate or elliptical in outline leaves with few large teeth is formed. In the second year, it is formed a single branched stem 50–100 cm tall, with regular sessile semi-ample leaves.
The stem leaves are oblong-lanceolate, notched-lobed or incised with triangular laminas.
The flowers are slightly irregular, pentamerous with a double perianth, almost sessile, curl gathered into an inflorescence, which unwinds and lengthens as the fruits form. The corolla is dirty yellow colour with purple nerved, almost wheel-shaped.
The fruit is enclosed in a catyx remaining under the fruit pitcher-shaped multi-seed capsule that opens with a lid.
The seeds are small, rounded, brownish-gray with a fine-cellular surface.
It blooms almost all summer. The seeds ripen in August – September.
Spreading. It is widely spread in the European part of the country, in the Caucasus and in Siberia. The overgrowth is not formed.It grows absently or in small groups.
Habitat. It is a ruderal and weed-infested plant. It grows on the streets, garbage places, on the roads, in gardens, fields, interiors and pastures and near housing. It is cultivated in Ukraine and Krasnodar Territory (Russia).


The henbane leaves contain

  • the amount of tropane alkaloids (0.04-0.16%): the main one is hyoscyamine, as well as hyoscin, apogioscin, scopolamine, apoatropin;
  • flavonoids – spireoside, quercitrin, hyperoside, rutin.

In henbane seeds vitanolides are found.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The rosette leaves are cut with knives or sickles. The stem leaves are cut off manually in the flowering phase. The henbane herb is allowed to harvest, which is harvested during the end of flowering and the beginning of fruiting. It is not allowed to collect the leaves affected by powdery mildew, as well as dirty and wet from dew or rain. The leaves are laid loose in the container so as not to cause them to blacken when dried.
The plant is poisonous, so while harvesting and drying the raw materials must observe precautions.
Security measures. It is not allowed to pull wild plants from the root.
Drying. It is dried in attics with good ventilation, the raw materials are laid out in a thin layer (1-2 cm) and periodically agitated. Drying is possible in dryers with artificial heating at a temperature of 40-45 °C. The yield of dry raw of leaves is 16-18%.

Whole raw materials

he whole or partially crushed leaves are oblong-ovate, ovate or elliptical, pinnatipartire, pinnatilobate or whole with uneven-toothed margin.
The bottom sand leaves with a long petiole are covered on both sides with thick, long and soft hairs.
The stem leaves are without petioles, less pubescent. The hairs are located mainly along the veins and edge of the leaf plate. The leaf length is 5-20 cm, the width is 3-10 cm. The median vein is whitish, flat and greatly expanding to the base.
The leaf colour is grayish green. The smell is weak, peculiar and aggravated by moisture.
The taste is not determined(!).

Milled raw materials

The pieces of leaves of various shapes are passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm in diameter.
The colour is grayish green. The smell is weak, peculiar and aggravated by moisture.
The taste is not determined(!).

Properties and application

Henbane preparations have:

  • M-cholino blocking effect is associated with the presence in the plant tropane alkaloids.
  • Preparations reduce or stop spasms of the smooth muscles of the intestine, biliary and urinary tract, and to a lesser extent affect the smooth muscles of the bronchus.
  • Inhibit the separation of tear fluid, mucus and gastric juice.

Application of henbane

The leaves of henbane are included in the anti-asthmatic collection;
It is used to obtain oil extract, used externally as a distracting and analgesic agent for:

  • neuralgia,
  • myositis,
  • rheumatoid arthritis.
Black henbane preparations are contraindicated in glaucoma.
It is used with caution during pregnancy and lactation, as the henbane alkaloids penetrate the hemato-placental barrier and are found in milk.
It is applied according to strict indications in childhood.