Botanical name: Henbane
eye, henbell, Jupiter's
Bean. Potato Family.
The leaves, seed and root.
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
Properties and Uses:- Hyoscyamus is a
narcotic and if improperly and injudiciously used is
poisonous. All narcotics are
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.
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.
(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
(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
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.
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
. 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.
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.
Muscular weakness of the yes, disturbances of the eyes,
and congestion of the retina, and disturbances of
vision. Double vision.
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
Sometimes the patient will say ,
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,
tongue is red, brown, dry, cracked, hard. The tongue
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
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.
Impotency. Lascivious; exposes his person; plays with
genitals during fever.
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.
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 .
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
Sleep: Many complaints come on during
sleep. The sleep is a great tribulation to this nervous
patient. There are times of sleeplessness. Again,
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.
Its fevers are low forms of fever, the continued fever
and the typhoid.
- At night, During menses, Mental activity, Jealousy,
unhappy love, When lying down
: Similar to Belladonna aatropa, Stramonium and Veratrum
album. Also compare Agaricus,Gelsemium.
belladonna atropa well in deafness aafter apoplexy.
Summary of indications:
Acetic acid, Nitric acid, Belladonna, Cinchona Off.
sixth to 200TH potency .
N.B. Hyoscymus niger and Belladonna
atropa are complementary as well as antidotes.