Hyoscyamus niger*


The Herb Museum. (2013). Black Henbane. Retrieved from: http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x368/absintheandapples/henbane.jpg

Botanical Name: Hyoscyamus niger
Common name: Henbane (Hui, Smith & Spoerke, 2001, p. 233)
Family: Solonaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 122)

Constituents: Tropane alkaloids incl. atropine, hyscyamine and hyoscine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 122; Hui et al., 2001, p. 233).

Of the Solonaceae herbs, Henbane tends to be weaker, containing only 0.4-0.15% stropine and hyoscyamine, however it contains more scopolamine, which is a sedative compound (McGuffin, Hobbs, Upton & Goldberg, 1997, p. 134)



  • Sedative (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. XXVII)



  • Asthma (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. RS 292)
  • Renal colic (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. RU 232)
  • Intestinal colic (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. GI 133)
  • Bilary colic (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. HB 161)


Interactions: Alcohol, antihistamines and hypnotics (Tsindos & Orrock, 1997, p. XXVII)

Cautions & Contraindications

  • Symptoms of toxicity include: vision disturbance, dry mucus membranes, flushed skin, headache, fatigue, delerium, thirst, difficulty swallowing and speaking, tachycardia, convulsions, coma and death (Hui et al., 2001, p. 233)

*Hyoscyamus niger containing more than 0.03 mg of total solanaceous alkaloids is schedualed in Australia (Australian Government, 2013, p. 40)

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