One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A poisonous Eurasian plant of the nightshade family, with sticky hairy leaves and an unpleasant smell.
Hyoscyamus niger, family Solanaceae
- ‘All that in a happier field and a purer air would expand into virtue and germinate into usefulness, is thus converted into henbane and deadly nightshade.’
- ‘He also identified certain plants with pharmacological action such as mandragora or nightshade, opium and henbane and gave various recipes for inducing both anesthesia and analgesia before surgery.’
- ‘Recipes of love stimulants frequently contained such plants, especially henbane, mandrake, and in later times thorn apple.’
- ‘Take two drams of each of henbane seeds, opium, gum-benzoin and galabum, one dram of pepper and one dram of fennel and apply onto the painful tooth.’
- ‘Eliza apparently found foxglove, henbane, and jimson weed growing in Serena's pleasant little garden.’
- 1.1mass noun A narcotic drink prepared from henbane.
- ‘With henbane, you would either wake up three or four days later without a leg, or not at all.’
- ‘Dissolve in the drink half a dram each of darnel, fumitory, opium and henbane and half a carat of myrobalan.’
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