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The healing power of henbane

  1. Henbane is a poisonous plant. It is slightly less poisonous in the spring than in the summer. In the first year of the plant, it is less poisonous than in its second. It often grows along roads. The plant has pale yellow flowers with purple veins. Henbane is known worldwide for its toxicity. It has been used to induce hallucinations for millennia. However, that is dangerous. As with many poisonous plants, this herb has a medicinal effect. Paracelsus said in the 16th century that the dose determines the difference between a poison or a medicinal herb.


  1. Henbane Myth Magic herb History use henbane Naming Active substances henbane Always consult a herbalist Henbane in Parkinson's and tremors of old age Henbane for cramps Henbane for gout and rheumatic pain Therapeutic Dose and Safety

Henbane Myth

  1. There is a myth about this plant. It would have arisen as follows: After the fall, God spoke to the serpent: You will crawl on your stomach and eat earth all your life. The snake furiously spat its poison on the earth and where the poison ended up appeared the henbane, the thorn apple and the celandine.

Magic Herb

  1. Wizards picked henbane on the 23rd and 29th days of the lunar cycle and kept it under barley or wheat. Then the plant was dipped in a well and began to sprinkle the dry land. That was an act that should cause rainfall. Furthermore, whoever carried henbane would always be merry and loved by the opposite sex.

History of henbane use

  1. Traditionally this plant has been used in small quantities as an analgesic. They made an infusion of the seeds and leaves against cramps. For a long time it has been customary to use this plant externally in rheumatism, but this also resulted in cases of poisoning. After all, the plant juice can penetrate into the skin and bloodstream. In Siberia they made an infusion of the leaves and mixed it with beer. This drink has intoxicating properties and triggers hallucinations. In the ancient days of Egypt, Nubia, and East India, the seeds were roasted to make a drink for the same purposes.


  1. Inedible henbane in development / Source: Pipi69e, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Active substances henbane

  1. The leaves are used from henbane. This sheet contains tropane alkaloids such as hyoscyamine and scopolamide, apoatropine, atropine, tropine, scopine and scopoline. It also contains flavones including rutin, amino acids, the minerals potassium chloride and potassium nitrate, fatty oil, essential oil and resins.

Always consult a herbalist

  1. The medicinal efficacy of henbane is similar to that of atropa belladonna but henbane generally has a milder action. The use of henbane should be done in consultation with a doctor or herbalist because the effective amount is close to the toxic value.

Henbane in Parkinson's and trembling of age

  1. Henbane has a calming effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. This nervous system originates at the site of the central nervous system and continues into the spinal cord. It is responsible for the regulation of internal organs and hormone glands. The vagus nerve is the most important part of the parasympathetic nerve. Henbane affects the vagal tone and thus the heart rhythm. For these medicinal properties henbane is used in phytotherapy for the following indications:

Henbane with colic

  1. Henbane has antispasmodic properties. It is mainly used for cramps in the digestive tract and urinary tract. It is less effective than belladonna, so slightly more should be taken when using henbane. Henbane also has empirically proven use in constipation and bedwetting but this has not been clinically proven. In herbal medicine henbane was used more often in the following indications than in current phytotherapy:

Henbane for gout and rheumatic pain

  1. Henbane can be safely used topically if the therapeutic dose is adhered to. In the past, people themselves experimented with the leaves, which could lead to dangerous situations. Henbane has a proven analgesic and relaxing effect. In phytotherapy it is used for:

Therapeutic dose and safety

  1. 100 To 200mg herbal powder at a time and a maximum of 400mg per day. Two to three times a day 30mg of a dry extract up to 100mg per day. One to four grams of tincture per day, where 1 gram is 57 drops. (The weight of a drop varies by type of tincture.) Henbane should never be taken if one is also taking medicines based on digitalis or foxglove as there is a risk of kidney blockage.

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