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The binomial name for henbane is hyoscyamus niger. Henbane is a part of the solanaceae family. Other names it can be known for is black henbane, nightshade,hog's bean, and stinking Roger. It also grows up to one meter and produces a large amount of seeds.

Origin of Henbanehenbane.jpg

Henbane originated from Eurasia which is composed of Europe and Asia. Eurasia is located in the Eastern and Northern hemispheres. It's habitat is widespread across temperate climates.


Human use of Henbane

People use Henbane for the same reason a person would smoke marijuana or drink alcohol, to get intoxicated. It also has medical purposes as to why it is utilized which is for mild pain releif, antispasmodic, mild diortic, pupil-dilator and sedative. Going back into the time of the middle ages, Germany used henbane to make higher quality of beer by allowing it to become more potent. Henbane has been used for rituals and shamanic purposes.

Danger, Danger

henbn_f.jpgIn this section we are going to view a couple cases in which henbane was a factor.
According to Amy Stewart, in her book Wicked Plants:
This case took place in Turkey and it involved young children. The children were
engaged in a game where they had to eat parts of certian plants. A study
then showed that a quarter of the children who participated in the game that ate the
henbane, became extremely intoxicated. Five children went into a coma and two
died. (Stewart, 2009, p.55).

Staff at the Alnwick Poison Garden in northern England report that two guest have
fainted on hot days in the in the presence of henbane. The actual causaion of death
is undetermed but it is understood that henbane probably was a heavy inflence, given
its devilish persona. (Stewart, 2009, p.56).

Sacred Weeds:
Connecting witches with the use of henbane to enter a magical world.
The effects of henbane on real people.


Erowid.(2009,September,9).Henbane.Erowid Org.Retrieved November 26, 2012, from

Pokorny, M.(2010,August).Black Henbane: Identification, Biology, and Integrated Management.MSU Extension.Retrieved November 27, 2012, from

Stewart, A.(2009).Wicked Plants.New York, New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

wikipedia.(2012,September,19).Hyoscyamus niger. wikimedia foundation,Inc.Retrieved November 26,2012, from