Hyoscyamus – Source, diagnostic characters, constituents, tests and uses


Source, diagnostic characters, constituents, tests and uses


At the
end of this lecture, student will be able to

Discuss the source, diagnostic characters, constituents,
tests and uses of


• Consists of matted leaves or leaves and flowering tops
with stem

• Pale greyish green colour

• Calmmy and resinous to touch


• Henbane, Folia Hyoscyami


• Dried leaves and flowering tops of Hyoscyamus niger


• Solanaceae


First Biennial henbane: (Specimen consisting of leaves

• Ovate to lanceolate

• More or less broken or crumpled

• 20-30 cm long, 7-10 cm wide

• Petiole- flat, 5 cm long

• Lamina- coarsely dentate

• Apex –acute, acute points at the lobes which are about 5-6
in each side

• Base – acute

• Midrib- broad,

• Trichomes-Glandular, abundant on midrib and principal

Second Biennial henbane or flowering tops:

• Consists of more slender parts of stem together with
leaves and flowers


• Hollow

• Light green

• Covered with glandular trichomes

• Furrows because of shrinkage

• Alternate leaf scars


• Sessile

• Oblong ovate

• Crumpled and broken

• 5-20 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, 2-5 coarse teeth or lobes on
each side Base-cordate

• Midrib- broad, flat, with 4-5 veins leaving at right
angles, pinnately arranged, terminates at the lobes or teeth


• Crowded together

• Pedicel short – 4 mm long

• Calyx – urceolate with 5 lobes each with an apical spine

• Corolla – funnel shaped, five slightly unequal, rounded
lobes yellow with purple veins

• Androceium- purple anthers

• Ovary- bicarpellary, 2 locules

• Ovules- Numerous

• Placentation – Axile

Annual henbane

• Mostly imported drug of poor quality

• Characters similar to that of biennial henbane, but stems
are more slender, leaves smaller



• Epidermis with smooth cuticle, anticlinal walls

• Stomata- anisocytic

• Trichomes:

– Covering- conical, uniseriate, 2-4 celled

– Glandular- uniseriate, 2-6 celled, ovoid multicellular and
some clavate glandular


• (Usually dorsiventral, occasionally isobilateral or

• Palisade- single layer

• Crystal layer – beneath the palisade layer (Tetragonal
prisms, cluster, sandy microsphenoidal)

• Midrib- Meristele surrounded by endodermis with starch

• Narrow arc of xylem, beneath which narrow band of phloem


Hyoscyamine and traces of scopolamine (hyoscine)

• Total alkaloid- 0.045-0.14 %

• Annual henbane – 0.03 %

• Seeds – 0.05 % (alkaloids present in testa only), 20 %
fixed oil


• Vitali morin test


• Cerebral and spinal sedative

• Does not excite as that of belladonna, hence given in
insomnia when opium cannot be given

• Relieves griping caused by drastic purgatives

• Seeds placed over hot coal and vapours produced allowed to
enter mouth, is domestic remedy for toothache 

Substituents and Adulterants

H. albus, Continental henbane

H. muticus, Egyptian henbane

H. reticulates, Indian henbane

• Leaves of dandelion, Taraxacum officinale (Compositae)
–substituted for henbane

H. aureus, H. pusillus- Hyoscine, principal

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