The henbane is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant, mainly characterized by being entirely covered by a very soft and sticky hair. The leaves are alternate, toothed, slimy, in the armpits are gray-yellow flowers with purple veins,. The fruit is a capsule with a kind of cover that opens when ripe to drop seeds.
It is characterized as a very poisonous plant and frankly unpleasant odor.
Probably a native grass in some Mediterranean region but now grows throughout Europe and Asia, preferably at the foot of walls, rubble and along with pens and manure piles. In Spain it is more abundant the closer we get to the north, making his presence more low to the south.
The plant flowers from May, extending throughout the summer. The part that matters are its leaves and seeds, the leaves are harvested by hand, at the time of flowering. To collect the seeds must seek leave intact some kills, so that the following year for higher yields. As for the plants that were defoliated, should tear them to be renewed next year.
Once obtained leaves and seeds, dried as quickly as possible and can be used dryer, at temperatures above 35 grados CelsiusC.
The composition of henbane is very similar to that of belladonna, ie contains atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, although it is known that concentrations of these alkaloids in the poison, are significantly lower than in belladonna. It also contains abundant flavonoids.
Henbane alkaloids confer spasmolytic actions, anti-asthmatic, analgesic and local mydriatic. In addition, they exert a sedative action on the central nervous system, so it is considered and dosages, but we must not forget that these alkaloids are extremely dangerous, so the use of this plant should not be left to amateurs. Intoxication with high doses of henbane can cause drowsiness, delirium and convulsions. In folk medicine this plant should never be used. Only at the level of the pharmaceutical industry can develop ways of administering it can be very useful in treating certain diseases, in fact, the alkaloids of this plant are used in modern medicine to combat asthma, dilated exploratory purposes, to calm some senile tremor, and so on.
Homemade preparations of this plant are not recommended except on medical prescription.
Infusion. 0,5 gr. Of dry leaves in 200 cc of boiling water. It is filtered and drunk half of the preparation before bedtime, you can take the other half in case of not getting sleep.
There are other classic preparations, like the "oil of henbane" or "peaceful balm. These formulas are used externally to combat neuralgia and other pains external surface.
HABITAT: Northern and Central Spain
FLOWERING: Spring and summer
PART USED: Sheets
CASTILIAN: Veleño negro, hierba loca
CATALAN: Jusquian, tabac de paret
GALICIAN: Veliño, herba dos arengos
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