Read before the I.H.A., Bureau of Materia Medica, June 1930.



Henbane, or Hyoscyamus niger, was brought to this country by the English settlers in the seventeenth century. It now grows with us from Canada to New York. The seeds are most tenacious of life,as study plants have been grown from seed over fifteen years old. The greek and Arabian physicians discarded Hyoscyamus as being too highly poisonous.

Hyoscyamus is now quite generally used for its physiological action; as a sedative, in epilepsy, mania, hysteria, etc.; as an anodyne, in rheumatism, neuralgia,or arthritis; as an antispasmodic, in asthma, croup, for irritation of involuntary muscular organs as diaphragm, heart and uterus; and, as an hypnotic, in all cases where opium disagrees.

All parts of the plant are poisonous; even the effluvia from the cut or bruised leaves will cause vertigo stupor or syncope.

Hyoscyamus is a powerful narcotic poison, a severe cardiac and cerebral depressant, and produces general paralysis of the entire nervous system. the delirium is similar to alcoholic intoxication; a grotesque delirium. The patient talks, laughs, gesticulates,dances, etc.; then complains of vertigo; is confused; eyes red, wild and sparkling, pupil dilated; dryness of all mucous membranes; paralysis of tongue;difficult deglutition, nausea,vomiting, involuntary stools and retention f urine. Hearts action is rapid and irregular, trembling and weakness of limbs;convulsions; insomnia; chill, fever and sweat.

The first Homoeopathic proving of Hyoscyamus contains over one hundred symptoms from Hahnemann. Hahnemann says Hyoscyamus causes epistaxis frequent catamenia,and is of use in chronic haemorrhage. Hahnemann recommended the 12th dilution.

Hyoscyamus has as a red strand, convulsions of all types and grades: convulsions involving the entire body; l do conclusions of single muscles,m slight jerking and twitching, trembling and quivering; convulsions of children following fright; anger motion of arms, picking at imaginary objects and at bed cloths.

Very irritable and excitable. Complete prostration follows th3 attack.

The mental state is most characteristic, delirium, talking, mumbling, over changing from a state of hallucination to a state of illusion. Sees all sorts of in describable things in his hallucination,which he believes to be true, and then these hallucinations becomes delusions. Strikes darkness, wants a light so that he can see to work out patterns on the walls. Full of imagination, sees vermin, faces, soldiers,rates. Thinks he is not at home. Fears being left along , or being poisoned. Fears running water.

Involuntary discharge from bowels on hearing running water. Entire body very sensitive, ,cannot bear to have clothing touch the skin hence he takes his clothes off; wants to be naked; he appears to be shameless, but he has no thought of doing anything unusual.

Two cases will suffice to demonstrate the efficiency of Hyoscyamus, when administered in the potentized form according to my interpretation of our law.


Mr.R., American, age 67 years. In December 1922, Mr.R. met with a serious accident and sustained a fractured skull good health save for difficulty in expressing himself. July 3rd, 1929, at 10 a.m., while at work in the factory, he suddenly became dazed, speech, thick, unable to walk. He was removed to his home in a semi conscious condition, blood pressure systolic 165, diastolic 110-At one p.m., he had a severe convulsion which lasted for two hours, for which nitroglycerin 1/100 and amyl nitrate pearls were given.

July 4th, quiet, but unconscious.

July 5th, became violent, delirious, could not swallow, no action of bowels, and but slight secretion of urine (four ounces every twelve hours by catheter).

Hyoscine 1/100 hypodermically was ordered to be given every four hours.

It required three men and a trained nurse to control him. From the morning of july 5th to the morning of July 7th,ten hypodermics of hyoscine 1/100 and six hypodermics of morphine sulph. 1/4 grain were given. I was hurriedly called July 7th, at 7;30 a.m., and upon my arrival found Mr.R.in violent delirium, with one man holding each leg, one for each arm, and the nurse holding his head and watching his pulse, which she said was irregular and growing weak rapidly.

He was muttering,shrieking,biting,striking,writhing and reaching for imaginary things. A loud, sharp voice would case him to quite down for a few seconds. No nourishment for three days,and only three ounces of urine by catheter for the last eighteen hours.

I accepted the challenge to see what I could to, but gave a most grave prognosis. The family said they knew it was a matter of only a few hours, but wished I would see if I could make him comfortable. I ordered all medications discontinued, and at 7.30 a.m., july 7th, gave one dose of Hyoscyamus niger 1M on the tongue with much difficulty.

He quieted down in a few minutes, and in an hour was sleeping quietly. He awoke after three hours sleep; perfectly rational, and called for something to eat. Also asked for the urinal and voluntarily voided eighteen ounces of urine. No further medication was given, and he made a good recovery.

The family report that he has less difficulty in speaking than before the attack.


Mrs.C., American, seventy-eight years of age. For several years. Mrs. C.had been a sufferer from renal, hepatic and cardiac hypertension. Two years ago she lost the sight of the left eye as a result of haemorrhage on the retina. June 10th, she suddenly became violently delirious. In answer to a hurried call, I found this modest and quiet little woman delirious, requiring a nurse on either side of her bed to restrain her. ?She was talking, laughing,striking, pickling, biting and immodestly tearing her clothes from her body.

The nurse had given her, upon her own responsibility,a hypodermic injection of morphine sulph. 1/4., with no relief. At 10.40 a.m., I gave her one dose of Hyoscyamus 1M. I remained by her side for ten minutes, before leaving, Upon returning in three hours, I was met at the door by the nurse, who reported the patient sleeping quietly. When she awoke she was normal, and lived for four years after,without any recurrence of the attack.

“The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health”.

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