pause

CHITRAL HORTICULTURE SOCIETY

Local Practice:

Seeds are collected, slightly roasted in fry pan and then ground. By addition of butter oil, an ointment is made which is applied locally to boils, twice a day for 3-4 days. Seeds and dried leaves are burned, and children and their cloths are exposed to the smoke to ward off devils and ’evil eyes’(ghechawari).

Historical Use:

All parts of henbane are very toxic and it has caused rare poisoning in humans, cattle and poultry.
Henbane has a history of use as a medicinal herb, and has been widely cultivated to meet the demand for its use. All parts of the plant, but especially the leaves and the seeds, can be used - they are mildly pain-relieving, antispasmodic, mildly diuretic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, pupil-dilating, narcotic and sedative. The leaves and seeds are the parts medicinally used. The leaves are collected in the second year, when the plant is in flower; the seeds are gathered when perfectly ripe. If the leaves are bruised, they emit a strong narcotic odor, like tobacco. The active principle of henbane is called Hyosciamia, but all the recognized preparations are now known by the general name of Hyoscyamus. Henbane is a powerful narcotic, but, unless improperly and injudiciously used, it is only considered moderately poisonous. For sedative uses it is considered better than opium, as it does not produce constipation. It is used principally to cause sleep, and remove irregular nervous action. Combined with other preparations mentioned in many parts of this volume, it is most excellent for gout, rheumatism, asthma, chronic cough, neuralgia, irritations of the urinary organs, etc. The leaves make fine external preparations for glandular swelling or ulcers, etc. This plant should never be used, under any circumstances, without the advice of a good herbal physician.

Local Name Bang-e-Diwana
Botanical Name Hyoscyamus niger
Part used Seed and leaves
Locally used for Boils (kochai), Devil repellant