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Hyoscyamus muticus 01

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Solanales

Familia: Solanaceae
Subfamilia: Solanoideae
Tribus: Hyoscyameae
Genus: Hyoscyamus
Subgenus: H. subg. Hyoscyamus
Species: Hyoscyamus muticus
Subspecies: H. m. subsp. falezlez – H. m. subsp. muticus

Hyoscyamus muticus L. (1767)

Linnaeus, C. 1767: Mantissa Plantarum 1: 45.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Hyoscyamus muticus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: Egyptian Henbane
Türkçe: Mısır ban otu

Hyoscyamus muticus, the Egyptian henbane, is a shrub in the family of Solanaceae that is native to desert areas of North Africa. It contains alkaloids that are useful in pharmaceuticals. It is used locally as a painkiller and a recreational drug. In high dosages it can be fatal.


Hyoscyamus muticus, commonly known as Egyptian henbane, is native to Sub-Saharan Africa from Mauritania to Sudan and is also found in Saudi Arabia and the eastern Mediterranean. It grows in arid rocky localities, wadis and plains. The wild plants are used in traditional local medicine. It is sometimes cultivated in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and India for its medicinal alkaloids, which may be exported to countries such as Germany.[1] Ernest Ayscoghe Floyer (1852–1903) successfully cultivated Hyoscyamus muticus to obtain the alkaloid hyoscyamine.[2]

Egyptian henbane is a perennial herb or shrub with a height of up to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in).[1] It is a stout succulent, with long stems that have many branches in their upper parts. The lower leaves are broad, while the upper leaves are narrower. The flowers are formed in dense inflorescences up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long. They have white or green corolla and upper lips in deep purple-violet. The fruit is a capsule.[3]
Medical effects

The leaves are high in alkaloids including scopolamine, which is used in pharmaceuticals. When released slowly, scopolamine reduces the nausea of motion sickness or post-operative recovery. In eye drops it dilates the pupils and paralyzes the focusing muscles, which is useful in optical surgery.[4] The roasted seeds are used to make an intoxicating drink, and the leaves are smoked for their intoxicating effect, and to relive the symptoms of asthma. The leaves may also be applied as a poultice to relieve pain.[1]

The plant is toxic in higher doses, and deaths have been reported from eating locusts that had eaten Egyptian henbane. The Tuareg people use it as a fish poison.[1] An overdose causes symptoms such as an extremely dry throat, constipation, a rapid pulse, blurred vision, excitement, hallucinations, delirium and death. The wives of the Roman emperors Augustus and Claudius used the plant as a poison to eliminate rivals.[4] In February 1881 the survivors of the Flatters Expedition were approached by a group of Tuaregs who sold them milk, meat and dates at a high price. The dates turned out to be poisoned with a substance that caused dizziness and psychosis.[5] This came from the plant called Falezlez by the Tuaregs and El Bettina by the Arabs (Hyoscyamus falezlez).[6] The effect was to induce a burning sensation in the victims' lungs, and to cause them to rush about madly and fire off their guns.[7]

Fern 2014.
Cornish 1912.
Hyoscyamus muticus – EOL.
Wilkinson 2011.
Brower 2011, p. 240.
Ney 1891, p. 636.

Ney 1891, p. 637.


Brower, Benjamin Claude (2011), A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844–1902, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-15493-2, retrieved 2017-09-04
Fern, Ken (2014), "Hyoscyamus muticus", Useful Tropical Plants Database, retrieved 2017-09-06
Cornish, Vaughan (1912), "Floyer, Ernest Ayscoghe", Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, retrieved 2017-09-06
"Hyoscyamus muticus", EOL: Encyclopedia of Life, retrieved 2017-09-06
Ney, Napoleon (1891), "The Proposed Trans-Saharian Railway", Scribner's Magazine, Charles Scribners Sons, retrieved 2017-07-29
Wilkinson, Gordon (9 April 2011), "Sakaran سكران", Wilderness Ventures Egypt, retrieved 2017-09-06

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