henbane

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henbane

or

black henbane,

herb (Hyoscyamus niger) native to the Mediterranean region and naturalized in parts of North America. It belongs to the family Solanaceae (nightshadenightshade,
common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species.
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 family) and contains a narcotic poison (similar to that of the related belladonna) that is extracted from the leaves for medicinal use. The drug, also called henbane, is composed of alkaloids, chiefly hyoscyamine and scopolaminescopolamine
or hyoscine
, alkaloid drug obtained from plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), chiefly from henbane, Hyoscyamus niger. Structurally similar to the nerve substance acetylcholine, scopolamine acts by interfering with the transmission of nerve
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. Henbane is produced chiefly in Egypt, Russia, and Hungary; the United States is a major importer. The name henbane refers to the fact that the seeds of this herb are very poisonous to poultry. It is sometimes also called nightshade. Henbane is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.

henbane

[′hen‚bān]
(botany)
Hyoscyamus niger. A poisonous herb containing the toxic alkaloids hyoscyamine and hyoscine; extracts have properties similar to belladonna.

henbane

a poisonous solanaceous European plant, Hyoscyamus niger, with sticky hairy leaves and funnel-shaped greenish flowers: yields the drug hyoscyamine