Saith Ffynnon Wildlife Plants
Select Currency
US DollarEuroPound Sterling
Forgotten your password?

  Home > Mediaeval Gardens

Henbane
Henbane
 

Henbane


Hyoscyamus niger, also known as stinking nightshade or black henbane, is a plant of the family Solanaceae that originated in Eurasia, though it is now globally distributed. IT IS VERY POISINOUS and should not be consumed. But it is a strange and pretty flower to add historical interest to a garden.

It was historically used in combination with other plants, such as mandrake, deadly nightshade, and datura as an anaesthetic potion, as well as for its psychoactive properties in "magic brews." These psychoactive properties include visual hallucinations and a sensation of flight. The use of henbane by the ancient Greeks was documented by Pliny. The plant, recorded as Herba Apollinaris, was used to yield oracles by the priestesses of Apollo.[1]

Recently evidence for its earlier use in the Scottish Neolithic has been debated (Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger L.) in the Scottish Neolithic, Journal of Archaeological Science (1999) 26, 45–52 ).

The name henbane dates at least to AD 1265. The origins of the word are unclear, but "hen" probably originally meant death rather than referring to chickens.[6] Hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and other tropane alkaloids have been found in the foliage and seeds of the plant.[1] Common effects of henbane ingestion in humans include hallucinations,[1] dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less common symptoms, such as tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension, hyperpyrexia and ataxia, have all been noted.

Henbane can be toxic, even fatal, to animals in low doses. Not all animals are susceptible; for example, the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including cabbage moths, eat henbane.

It was sometimes one of the ingredients in gruit, traditionally used in beers as a flavouring, until replaced by hops in the 11th to 16th centuries (for example, the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 outlawed ingredients other than barley, hops, yeast, and water).[7]

Henbane is thought to have been the "hebenon" poured into the ear of Hamlet's father (although other candidates for hebenon exist).

seeds available at present.

from Wikipedia

Bookmark and Share



Our Price: £2.00







Customer Reviews
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other shoppers!



« Back

  You Can Contact us by e-mail at Jan@7wells.org Site Map  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy & Cookies  
Newsletter Signup