Addictive Potential: None
Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unkown
Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown
Mechanism of Action: blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, muscarinic receptor (M1) antagonist
Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), also known as stinking nightshade, is a plant of the family Solanaceae that originated in Eurasia. Henbane is weed that grows to 31 inches tall. It has sticky serrated leaves and dullish yellow, funnel-shaped flowers marked by characteristic veins and a stale scent. The fruits contain tiny black seeds. The plant and seeds contain hyoscine, hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine (tropane alkaloids). Henbane is cultivated as a source of alkaloids for the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs based on henbane alkaloids are applied in modern medicine as painkillers and antispasmodics.
Henbane can be toxic, even fatal, to animals in low doses. Its name dates at least to 1265 and means “killer of hens” in old English.
Side Effects and Adverse Reactions:
The origins of the word are unclear but “hen” probably originally meant death rather than referring to chickens. Common effects of henbane ingestion in humans include hallucinations, dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less common symptoms such as tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension, hyperpyrexia, and ataxia have all been noted.