Hyoscyamus spp.



Hyoscyamus, known as the henbanes, is a small genus of 11 species. They are flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae, all of which are toxic. It, along with other genera in the same family, is a source of the drug hyoscyamine (daturine). The roots, leaves, fruits, and seeds of the plant contain atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscine. In ancient times, the plant used to treat pain and insomnia and as a local anaesthetic. In the Middle Ages, the use of hyoscyamus was associated with witchcraft, and later was used as an anaesthetic. Currently, the inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, and the antiparkinsonian properties of the plant are under investigation.
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