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Hyoscyamus Niger






Botanical name: Henbane


Common name:  Hogsbane, Devil's eye, henbell, Jupiter's Bean.    Potato Family.


Medicinal Part The leaves, seed and root.


Description:-  Hyoscyamus Niger is a biennial plant.  It has a long thick spindal shaped corrugated root, which is of a brown color externally, but whitish internally.  The stem sometimes reaches the height of two feet, but often stops at an altitude of six inches. The  leaves are large, oblong, acute, alternate, and of a pale , dull green color.  They have long, glandular hairs upon the midrib. The flowers are funnel-shaped, of  a dull yellow color with purple veins and orifice. The sees are many, small obovate  and  brownish.


Hyoscyamus Niger is original with Europe and has been naturalized in America It grows in waste grounds, and flowers from July to September. The roots, seeds and the leaves medicinally used. The leaves are collected in the second year when the plant is in flower; the seeds are gathered when perfectly ripe. It grows more plentifully than elsewhere in America in the waste grounds of old settlements, and grave yards and around the foundations of ruined houses. Bruise the recent leaves and they emit a strong narcotic odor like tobacco.  Dry them and they have little smell or taste.  Their virtues are completely extracted by diluted alcohol. The active principle of Hyoscyamus or Henbane is called hyoscyamine. But all the recognized preparation are now known by the general name of Hyoscyamus.


Properties and Uses:-  Hyoscyamus is a narcotic and if improperly and injudiciously used is "dangerously" poisonous.  All narcotics are "dangerously" poisonous if dangerously administered.  Nature grows wild some of her most potent medicinal herbs, and these which, if used by persons who understand them, may be very useful and beneficial but which also may be destructive if applied and administered by parties who have not thoroughly studied their properties.  Medicinally used, Hyoscyamus  is calmative, anodyne, and antispasmodic and the  leaves make fine external preparations for various purposes .  Hyoscyamus is solely for the physician or skilled herbalist and should be avoid by all other persons.


Homeopathically,  Hyoscyamus is indicated to Sanguine temperament; irritable, nervous, hysterical individuals.


The key note symptoms  on which Hyoscyamus Niger is indicated are as follows:


(i)- High grade delirium(mental excitement,confusion)  similar to that of  Stramonium and Belladonna; alternative with low-grade delirium with stupor(inactivity of senses;dwowsiness), equal to that of Opium.  Face pale.


(ii) Grasping at flocks, picking the bed clothes and subsultus tendinum(a twitching of the tendons, especially noticeable  of the hands and feet as seen in low fevers.


(iii) Persistent cough, worse lying down, relieved on sitting up , especially in elderly people.


(iv)Dementia senilis;( a condition associated with deterioration of  intellectual faculties with concomitant disturbance  in old age).fears imaginary things, being poisoned etc. sees persons and things that are not present; foolish laughter


(v)General twitching of all the muscles of the body; in spasms or convulsions.


(vi)The mania often takes on the lascivious form.  The patient uncovers and exposes himself, sings and talks amorously.


 (vii) Fears being poisoned; suspicious and jealous.


(viii) constant staring at surrounding subjects, self-forgetful (fevers) .  Pupils dilated; insensible, small objects seem very large. Sordes on teeth; grating the teeth. Alternates well with Rhus tox (fevers).




The mental state is really the greatest part of Hyoscyamus.  Talking,  passive delirium, imaginations, illusions, hallucinations; talking, rousing up and talking with a delirious manifestation, and then stupor.

Hyoscyamus is as delirious as Belladonna, but the high grade of delirium alternates with the low.  With the Belladonna the violent form predominates, while the quiet or stupid form is the exception.     With Hyoscyamus it is just the other way.  The stupid muttering form predominates, with occasional outbreaks of the violent form.  The face of Belladonna patient is red, that of Hyoscyamus pale and sunken. The hyoscyamus patient is weak and the weakness increases .His violent outbreaks of delirium cannot keep up long on account of weakness. This is not so much so with either Belladonna and Stramonium.  The hyoscyamus patients may begin with the violent form or outbreaks of delirium, but they grow more mild and less frequent, and the low or stupid form increases until there is total unconsciousness; so much so that it sometimes becomes difficult to choose between it and Opium. 


. It is one of the most useful remedy in chronic manias.  If acute delirium passes on onto the settled form, called mania, this remedy is still one of our chief reliances. It is much oftener of use here than belladonna.  Again, if the mania comes on after an acute disease i.e. typhoid, scarltina etc. it is still one of our leading remedies.  In these forms of mania there are certain very marked symptoms calling for its use, such as the patient is very suspicious . He will not take the medicine because he things you are trying to poison him, or thinks some plot is being laid against him.  Suspicion runs through acute sickness, it runs through the mania in insanity.  Suspicion that his wife is going to poison him; that his wife is untrue to him. Imagines that he is pursued, that the people have all turned against him, that his friends are no longer his friends.  He carries on conversations with imaginary people. The Hyoscyamus patient is full of hallucinations.  He sees all sorts of things, indescribable things , he imagines all sorts of things concerning people , concerning himself, and he gets suspicious. Again the mania often takes on the lascivious form.  The patient uncovers and exposes himself, sings and talks amorously.  Hyoscymaus leads al the remedies for this form of mania.Dr. Kent says that Hyosyamus patient is a shameless  i.e  he appears to be perfectly shameless, but he has no thought of shamelessness, no thought that he is doing anything unusual, but he does it from the hyperaesthesia of the skin. He or she exposes the genitals to the view of everybody coming into the room. Dr. Kent says that there are instances where in violent attacks of salacity a women has gathered her clothing up under her arms to expose her genitals to the doctor as he walked into the room.

. Violent sexual excitement and nymphomania. Obscene things. Speech illustrated by urine, faeces and cow dung. And all sorts of things come out in this state of insanity and delirium - and yet this is only sickness.

Erotic mania, accompanied by jealousy. Lascivious mania(Exhibitionism). Sings amorous songs. Lies in bed naked, or wrapped in a skin during summer heat.  Not because he is cold but because of a fancy. Great hilarity, inclined to laugh at everything.


Head:  Vertigo as if intoxicated, Brain feels loose.  Inflammation of brain with unconsciousness; head is shaken to and fro with the usual  characteristic symptoms. Spinal meningitis with convulsions.


Eyes:  Muscular weakness of the yes, disturbances of the eyes, and congestion of the retina, and disturbances of vision.  Double vision. "Obscuration of vision.  Night-blindness. Distorted appearance of the eyes. Spasmodic action of the internal recti. Pupils dilated and insensible to light. Sometimes contracted, but in the low unconsious states of typhoid it is likely to be dilated. Strabismus, spasmodic closing of lids.Eyes are open but does not pay attention; downcast and dull ,  fixed. .


Mouth & Throat:

Mouth is very dry as dry as burnt leather. The tongue tastes like sole leather, because of dryiness.

Sometimes the patient will say , "My tongue rattles in my mouth, it is so dry.". Very great dryness of mouth, throat and nose, wherever the mucous membranes are.  Dry, cracked red, will bleed in low forms of typhoid.  About the second week going into the third , the teeth are covered with sordes or black blood, lips cracked and bleeding. Tongue cracked and bleeding. . Twitching of the muscles of the face upon attempting to put out the tongue. It trembles like it does in Lachesis.  Children either in convulsions, or between convulsions, grinding the teeth and in this comatose state.  It says in the text, "The tongue is red, brown, dry, cracked, hard.  The tongue becomes paralyzed. "Loss of speech.".  utters inarticulate sounds.  Talks with difficulty. The muscles of the throat, of the tongue, those that take part in swallowing, the muscles of the oesophagus, of the pharynx, become still and paralysed so that swallowing is difficult. flood taken into the throat comes up into the nose. Fluids come out of the nose, or go down into the larynx. The sight of water, or the hearing of running water, or the attempt to swallow water produces spasmodic constriction of

the oesophagus.


Stomach & Abdomen:

The next very important feature of this medicine is it stomach  and abdomen symptoms.Vomitting, Dread of water. Unquenchable thirst. Aversion to water, as it were, from the stomach; a mental fear of water .  The stomach is distended. Great pain in the stomach.  Vomitting with convulsions. Cutting pains in the abdomen- as if it would burst. Petechia (red spots) upon the abdomen, such as is found in a typhoid.


Stool and Bladder:  Generally after low typhonid state, the diarrhoea commences.  Bleeding from the bowels; Painless discharges from the bowels.  Hysterical females and young girls, who are subject to attacks of diarrhoea and bloody stools.  Paralysis of the sphncter ani. Paralysis of the bladder after labor, so that urine remains in bladder , with no desire to urinate. The routine remedy for retention of urine after labor is Caust. Caust., like Rhus , is a great remedy for the effect of strain upon muscles and parts and the violent effort that a women passes through in expelling the child in many instances leaves al the pelvis muscles tired, relaxed, paralysed. 


Male:  Impotency. Lascivious; exposes his person; plays with genitals during fever.


Female: Before menses, hysterical spasms. Excited sexual desire. Violent sexual desire in girls who never had that desire.  Coming on and manifesting itself only during the inflammation of the brain. Spasms of pregnant women. Puerperal mania.


Chest:   Dry spasmodic cough at nigh < lying down > sitting up, from itching in the throat, as if uvula were too long. Hysterical cough.  Sensitive, hysterical girls, or sensitive women with spnal irritation, have paroxysmal cough coming on periodically, coming on from excitement. Redness of the face, and suffocation during cough. > leaning forward if sitting in the chair < eating, drinking talking and singing .


Extremeties: Picking at bed clothes; plays with hands, reaches out for things. Spasms and convulsions.Cramps in calves and toes. Child sobs and cries without waking. Every muscle twitches .Spasms  of the entire muscles, without consciousness, very restless (with consciousness:- Nux Vomica)


Sleep: Many complaints come on during sleep.  The sleep is a great tribulation to this nervous patient.  There are times of sleeplessness.  Again, profound sleep.   "Sleepless, or constant sleep." Either awake or asleep, there may be muttering. Lascivous dreams. Lying on he back he suddenly sits up and then lies down again."That means that the patient wakes out of sleep, looks all around, wonders what terrible thing he has been dreaming about; his dreams seem real.  He looks all about and  sees nothing of the objects of his dream, he lies down and goes to sleep again.  He keeps doing that all night. Starts up in a fright. Jerks in sleep and cries out. Grates the teeth. Laughing during sleep. With so much brain trouble as belongs to this medicine we would expect the dreams and the fright, the disturbances the twitching and trembling in sleep.


Fever:  Its fevers are low forms of fever, the continued fever and the typhoid.




Worse: - At night, During menses, Mental activity, Jealousy, unhappy love, When lying down


Better Stooping.


Relations : Similar to Belladonna aatropa, Stramonium and Veratrum album. Also compare Agaricus,Gelsemium.


Follows belladonna atropa well in deafness aafter apoplexy.


Summary of indications:




Antidotes: Acetic acid, Nitric acid, Belladonna, Cinchona Off.


DOSE:  sixth  to  200TH potency .


N.B. Hyoscymus niger and Belladonna atropa are complementary as well as antidotes.



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