Henbane yields a poisonous alkaloid, hyoscyamine, which is stated to have properties almost identical with those of atropine, from which it differs in being more soluble in water.
Wirkung des Hyoscyamins, &c., Jena, 1874.) In small and repeated doses henbane has been found to have a tranquillizing effect upon persons affected by severe nervous irritability.
The extract of henbane is rich in nitrate of potassium and other inorganic salts.
The smoking of the seeds and capsules of henbane is noted in books as a somewhat dangerous remedy adopted by country people for toothache.
Accidental poisoning from henbane occasionally occurs, owing sometimes to the apparent edibility and wholesomeness of the root.