Toxicity and historical usage
It was historically used in combination with other plants, such as mandrake, deadly nightshade, and datura as an anaesthetic potion, as well as for its psychoactive properties in "magic brews". These psychoactive properties include visual hallucinations and a sensation of flight. It was originally used in continental Europe, Asia, and the Arab world, though it did spread to England in the Middle Ages. The use of henbane by the ancient Greeks was documented by Pliny who said it was "of the nature of wine and therefore offensive to the understanding," and by Dioscorides who recommended it as a sedative and analgesic. The plant, recorded as Herba Apollinaris, was used to yield oracles by the priestesses of Apollo. Recently evidence for its earlier use in the Scottish Neolithic has been debated.John Gerard's Herball states: "The leaves, the seeds and the juice, when taken internally cause an unquiet sleep, like unto the sleep of drunkenness, which continueth long and is deadly to the patient. To wash the feet in a decoction of Henbane, as also the often smelling of the flowers causeth sleep."
The name henbane dates at least to AD 1265. The origins of the word are unclear, but "hen" probably originally meant death rather than referring to chickens.Hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and other tropane alkaloids have been found in the foliage and seeds of the plant. Common effects of henbane ingestion in humans include hallucinations, dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less common symptoms, such as tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension, hyperpyrexia, and ataxia, have all been noted.
It was sometimes one of the ingredients in gruit, traditionally used in beers as a flavouring. Several cities, most notable Pilsen, were named after its German name form "Bilsenkraut" in context of the production for beer flavouring. It fell out of usage for beer when it was replaced by hops in the 11th to 16th centuries, as the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 outlawed ingredients other than barley, hops, yeast, and water.
thats the medicine the dr just put me on !! LOL No wonder I am feeling better.