One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A coarse and poisonous Eurasian plant of the nightshade family, with sticky hairy leaves and an unpleasant smell.
Hyoscyamus niger, family Solanaceae
- ‘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.’
- ‘Eliza apparently found foxglove, henbane, and jimson weed growing in Serena's pleasant little garden.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 A psychoactive drink prepared from the henbane plant.
- ‘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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