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Related to Hyoscyamus: hyoscyamine
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a type of mainly biennial and annual grassy plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae). There are some 20 species in Europe, Asia and Africa (outside the central portion) and on the Canary Islands. In the USSR there are eight species of which the most important is black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), a biennial that grows abundantly in empty lots, along roads, and sometimes as a weed in fields.

In the first year, only a rosette of root leaves develops, and in the second, a foliated, floriferous stalk, 20–115 cm high. The whole plant is softly furred, sticky, with an unpleasant odor. The crown is dirty yellow with violet veins. The fruit is a bilocular, ascidiform pod.

The fruit is prepared as a medicinal raw material in the Ukraine, in the Voronezh Oblast, in the Middle Volga region, and other regions. It has been put under cultivation. Several species of the related genus Physochlaina (puzyrnitsa), also called henbane, are found in the USSR. Siberian henbane (Physochlaina physaloides) is a perennial that grows on the stony steppe slopes of Western and Eastern Siberia, in the Far East, Middle Asia, Northern Mongolia, Northern China, and Japan. Its roots and leaves contain up to 0.25 percent alkaloids. The plants and seeds of all species of Hyoscyamus are very poisonous; they contain the alkaloids hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopalamine.

Extracts of henbane leaves (as powders or pills) are used for medical purposes as antispasmodics and analgesics in some diseases of the digestive tract and of the respiratory tract. Ground henbane leaves enter into the composition of Astmatol. Henbane oil, which is used for rubbing in as an analgesic in contusions and sciatica, for instance, is obtained from the henbane plant. Henbane poisoning is characterized by severe excitation, dilatation of the pupils, hallucinations, and delirium; death is possible. First aid in poisoning calls for irrigation of the stomach with a suspension of activated carbon and a potassium permanganate solution, then saline laxatives, and strong tea and coffee.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For this purpose cinquefoil root may be boiled in diluted wine, and hyoscyamus root either in vinegar and water, or in wine, with the addition of a little salt, also poppy-head skins not too dry and mandragora root in the same condition.
Amino acid sequences of ferredoxins from Atropa belladonna and Hyoscyamus niger: Their similarities to those in other tropane-alkaloid-containing plants.
--les especes du groupe C, fortement consommees et moyennement frequentes (Schouwia thebaica, Tribulus terrester, Hyoscyamus muticus, Heliotropium ramosissimum, Boerhaarvia repens et Fagonia bruguieri;
Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), belladonna or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), and thorn apple or jimsonweed (Datura spp.) are all members of the same plant family.
Henbane - Hyoscyamus Niger - has sticky serrated leaves, yellow, funnel-shaped flowers and a stale scent.
If it is desirable to procure a deeply unconscious state so as to enable the pain to be borne, place darnel-water into the wine; or administer fumitory, opium, hyoscyamus (half dram dose of each); nutmeg, crude aloes-wood (4 grains of each).
A regular sea sponge was soaked in a sleep-inducing mixture that contained opium, hyoscyamus (better known as henbane), mulberry juice, lettuce seed, hemlock, mandrake, and ivy.
(1, 13) There are many beautiful flowers and ornamentals as petunia and Angel's trumpet, luscious vegetables, important medicinal drugs, such as atropine (dilates eye pupil), belladonna (relieves spasms, stimulates heart), and scopolamine (in sleeping pills), tobacco, and the many poisonous plants, such as Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), deadly nightshade (Solanum nigrum), and the foul smelling henbane (Hyoscyamus niger).
Lang and Melchers (1943) demonstrated that long-day black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger L.) grown in noninductive short photoperiods flowered when all mature leaves were removed.