Monday, February 23, 2009

Hyoscyamus niger L.

English Name : Black or Egyptian Henbane and Henbane

Family : Solanaceae

Origin : Great Britain

It is an erect, annual or biennial, hairy and viscid herb with bad odour. Stem robust and grows up to few meters in high. Radical leaves are smaller, sessile, ovate, pinnatifid and passing in to bracts. Flowers appear from August- September, lower ones are in the forks of the branches, upper solitary in the axis of the leaf like bract, forming inside spikes roller back at the top before flowering, which ultimately forming elongated and straight. Calyx is urn shaped, shortly 5 lobed, limb funnel shaped and in fruit it is elongated. Corolla funnel shaped lobes 5, short, slightly unequal, purple in base, limb lurid green, purple veined and darker in the centre. Stamens are protruding out. Ovary 2 celled. Capsule globose. Seeds are compressed, many and scrobuculate.

Hills of northwestern Himalayas (up to 3700 m). Europe, the Mediterranean, Siberia and America.

Parts Used : Leaf and plant (including the flowers)

Herb Effects
Analgesic and alleviates spasms (leaf); dilates the eye pupil (plant juice); stimulates heart, followed by a sedative effect (in moderate doses); small doses act as a heart sedative and a tonic; induces sleep; induces delirium (in large enough doses).

Active Ingredients
Atropine, chlorogenic acid, gaba, hyoscine, hyposcyamine, tropine, rutin and cuscohygrine (leaf); choline, coumarin, esculetin, (plant); scopalamine (leaf).

Medicinal Use
Rheumatism (plant); diabetes and as an analgesic specifically used for pain affecting the urinary tract, especially when due to kidney stones(leaf); dilating the pupil of the eye (plant juice); alleviating spasms (including in the urinary tract), in treating Parkinson's disease, anxiety disorders, asthma, whooping cough, motion sickness, Meniere's syndrome and for inducing sleep. Externally, it is used as an oil to relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, dental and rheumatic pains. Hyoscyamus has anodyne, narcotic, sedative and mydriatic properties.

Extract: one to two grains.
Powdered leaves: 2 to 10 grains.
Fluid extract: 2 to 10 drops.
Tincture: B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Juice: B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Solid extract: 2 to 8 grains.
Hyoscyamine, 1/8 to 1 grain.


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