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Hyoscyamus Niger

by Ute Seebauer, DSHom Med


Remedy Source


Hyoscyamus Niger, common names “Black Henbane” or “Bilsenkraut”, belongs to the natural order of Solonaceae (nightshades). For the preparation of the homeopathic remedy, the tincture of the fresh plant is used.

Black Henbane is a native of Europe and Asia but also found in the north-eastern section of the United States. It has been cultivated as an ornamental and occasionally as a medical plant. Black Henbane is a common weed of wet grounds, fencerows, roadsides, and waste areas.

The plant itself is an erect, annual or biennial herb with coarse, hairy stems and leaves clasping, sinuate-toothed, and angled. The dirty yellowish flowers develop, in one-sided, sessile spikes in the axils of the 5-parted, greenish yellow or yellowish leaves with purple veins. The fruits are two celled capsules. The smell of this plant is very heavy, ill, soporiferous, somewhat offensive and narcotic.

It contains hyoscyamine and other alkaloids, which have caused occasional livestock poisoning. Henbane alkaloids have been used in the past, and are currently used, as medicines at controlled dosages. It is considered a poisonous plant to humans (Whitson, 1996).

All parts of the plant are highly toxic and may be fatal if ingested, the leaves being the most poisonous part of the plant - so much that the mere smell of the fresh leaves has been found to cause giddiness and stupor in some people. The action of Hyoscyamus is that of its alkaloid, hyoscyamine, which acts like atropine (e.g. Belladonna) but is less irritant and more calmative and hypnotic. The results of Hyoscyamus poisoning include dry mouth, dilation of the pupils, restlessness, then hallucinations and delirium leading to coma and ultimately death.

A case of poisoning by Hyoscyamus seeds was reported in 1892: Symptoms developed after 10 minutes including dizziness, paralysis, blurred vision, fainting and coldness. Furthermore difficulties to articulate, dilated pupils, parched tongue, rapid pulse and sensation of lightness and delirium.

The extract in the form of a suppository is frequently employed to relieve the pain of hemorrhoids, and a poultice made from the leaves may be employed to allay the pain of cancerous and other ulcers.

The name Hyoscyamus, also called ‘Hog-bean” finds its origin in the Greek words “hys, hyos” = pig and “kyamos” = bean. And indeed, the bean is toxic for both, man and pigs. But maybe, this name was given, because delusions and hallucinations occur after the ingestion of the beans, and one behaves “like a pig”?

The Greek mythology tells us this story: When Odysseus and his friends met Circe, the great sorceress, she welcomed them with a delicious meal in which she had mixed the extract of a plant, so all men were changed into pigs.  It’s assumed, that Circe used Hyoscyamus and the men had behaved like ‘pigs’. This would correspond with the remedy picture and the delirium of Hyoscyamus. Eventually Odysseus came to Circe,

this time protected by the herb “Moly”, given to him by Hermes. He now could enjoy any meals, without being poisoned. After a long time of intimate friendship, Circe granted Odysseus wish and changed his friends back from pigs into heroes.

In medieval medicine, the root boiled with vinegar, and the same held hot in the mouth, was used to relieve toothache. The seeds were heated over coal or charcoal until they produced fumes, which were then inhaled as a painkiller or other treatment for toothache. Whether this merely stupefied the patient so that he was unaware of the pain or whether it temporarily eased the pain while leaving him fully conscious is unclear. The ancient Egyptians are also known to have smoked henbane for their dental problems, though the native Egyptian henbane, Hyoscyamus muticus, contains higher concentrations of alkaloids and therefore produces even more powerful effects than our more familiar European variety.

In history, Hyoscyamus was used to steal chickens: the smoke of burned Hyoscyamus made the chickens fall of their rods, which brings us back to the very name of this plant – Henbane.  Hieronymus Bock also said it was a great help in fishing: as soon the fish had eaten of the seeds, they would come to the surface, jump out off the water and behave like mad, later swim belly up.

In all cultures at any times, Hyoscyamus was used to provoke the state of delirium or coma, hallucinations and illusions especially by magicians, adapts and shamans, to help with transcendental journeys, rituals and ceremonies of necromancy and the summoning of spirits and astral entities. In the old romaine bathhouses, Hyoscyamus smoke was used to increase the erotic atmosphere.

The main characteristics of an individual in need of Hyoscyamus are involuntary jerking and twitching, convulsions and spasmodic cramps with gradually increasing weakness that ends in coma.

The mental state will be found somewhere between excitability or foolish, silly behavior and total stupor: The excitability builds up to shrieking, raving, scolding in delirium until the patient falls into stupor. Different states may alternate, depending on the grade of insanity that took hold of the patient. He may talk to invisible persons, have illusions, hallucinations or delusions or may be delirious which will naturally alter his acting. (starring in the air, picking on bedclothes, fingers, air, whatever he can pick on, or raving).

So there are two great signs that point to Hyoscyamus: Convulsions, twitching and jerking from the eyes to the toes and insanity from childish behavior over raving to delirium. Both, physical and mental symptoms will build up to a maximum, to then slowly but surely give way to great prostration that then ends in coma.

Interestingly, there is great suspiciousness and fear of poisoning – just like the plant is so highly toxic, the patient that needs it is afraid of poisoning so bad, he might refuse even the medicine given by the doctor.

As the use in the antique bathhouses suggests, a Hyoscyamus individual can be very lascivious. There is nymphomania, lascivious mania and the great drive to uncover himself.

Hering describes the Hyoscyamus Patient with having light colored hair, mostly hysteric women, young girls, old men and drunkards, Allen as hysteric, irritable persons of sanguine temper.


Hyoscyamus might have a pale or bluish face, the teeth covered with sordes, mouth and tongue dry, the latter red or brown, cracked, hard and trembling so that talking is difficult.



Fear & Anxiety

Typical causes for Hyoscyamus-states are

- Sexual abuse

- Anger, grief, being scorned, disappointment

- Bad news, mental shock

- Rudeness of others

- Disappointed love and jealously

- Fright, anxiety, emotional excitement

- Business failure

All these possible causes suggest that the Hyoscyamus patient unexpectedly experienced an event, when he felt safe and secure. He was disappointed by something he deeply trusted in.

The insanity of Hyoscyamus has its origin in the feeling of suddenly being let down, by the one person, the patient is entirely dependent on or in a situation he thought himself safe. This leads to several mental symptoms that compose the central themes. The patient develops Jealousy, fear and Anxiety, attempts to be attractive or at least draw the attention toward him, he becomes sexual active, both mental and physical, which may even go as far as ending in erotic psychosis and he becomes quite aggressive and violent.


Hyoscyamus feels left alone, let down and now is afraid in having to master the world with all its problems, dangers and difficulties himself.

He becomes extremely fearful: “Mind - Fear” (2) especially of being alone: ”Fear - alone, of being” (3), which is so strong, that the patient falls into a state of stupid insanity. “Mind – stupefaction” (3), “Mind – Delirium” (3). He desperately tries to draw attention to him and any way that accomplishes that, is just right for him. “Mind – busy” (2) and “Mind - Loquacity” (3)

Out of his fear of being alone, he naturally becomes jealous. Too strong is the fear to loose his friend or partner and no matter how unlikely it is, that there is a reason for him, to be jealous, he cannot help it. “Mind – Jealousy” (4)

Sexual obsession is a great theme in Hyoscyamus and the erotic mania increases with the increase of the insanity. “Mind – delirium, erotic” (2) and “Mind – Shameless” (3). 

From the disappointment he experienced, a strong degree of suspicion develops. He was once let down, something unexpected happened and now he is not able to trust in anything or anybody anymore “Mind – Suspicious” (2) and can become quite violent, if somebody he strongly distrusts, comes to close to him. “Mind – violent” (3)

Probably out of the feeling he cannot trust anybody and the strong urge of not being alone by himself – of having somebody he can trust in and rely on; Hyoscyamus often becomes a strong religious attitude. “Mind – Religious affections – too occupied with religion” (3).

As mentioned before, the Hyoscyamus patient undergoes a process of transformation of the mind. Where he first started out with hyperactivity of the mind, with a rising level of

insanity he becomes delirious, later prostrated and comatose. “Mind – Delirium” (3), “Mind – Prostration” (3), “Mind – Unconsciousness” (3).

Another fear, quite common is the fear of running water. Hydrophobia got its name from the fear of water which is a striking feature of this disease and hydrophobia resembles Hyoscyamus in many aspects.


Hyperactivity / Loquacity

Hyoscyamus has marked Loquacity. The patient acts and speaks quickly and frequently changes topics, which is due to the rush of thoughts he experiences.

·          Mind – Thoughts – rapid, quick (2)

·          Mind – Speech – hasty (3)

·          Mind – Speech – wandering (3)

With increasing Insanity however, the confusion “Mind – Confusion” (2) gets so great and the rush of thoughts becomes so quick, that conversation becomes impossible, the patient, now in delirium, starts talking incoherent and makes no sense anymore. The loquacity takes on delirious forms,

·          Mind – Speech – incoherent (3)

·          Mind – Speech – prattling (3)

·          Mind – Speech – nonsensical (3)

·          Mind – Delirium – loquacious (3)

·          Mind – Delirium – loquacious • indistinct (2)

until finally Stupefaction sets in. he patient is in his own delirious world and if he can get aroused from this state of mind at all, he will most likely slip back very quick.

·          Mind – Stupefaction as if intoxicated) (3)

·          Mind – Taciturn (2)

·          Mind – Answering – aversion to answer (3)

·          Mind – Answering –stupor returns quickly after answering (3)


In the earlier stage of disease, the Hyoscyamus patient is quite active, cheerful, silly etc.

·          Mind – Activity, desires (2)

·          Mind – excitement (3)

·         Mind – Cheerful (3)

·         Mind – Cheerful - dancing • laughing, singing; with (2)

·         Mind – Concentration – active (1)

This is partly due to the before mentioned desire for attention and also due to the internal mental and emotional excited, confused state, almost as if intoxicated. While the level of insanity increases more and more, the active mind becomes confused, his activities turn into strange actions and concentration becomes difficult:

·          Mind – Concentration – difficult (2)

·         Mind – Antics, playing (3)

·         Mind – foolish behaviour (3)

·         Mind – Delirium – business, talks of (3)

·         Mind – Delirium – restless

·         Mind – Gestured, makes (3)

·         Mind – muttering (3)

·          Mind - Delirium – embraces the stove and wishes to climb upon it as on a tree (1)

Finally, when his mind is exhausted from the delirium, the patient slows down, falls into a state of stupor from which he at first might frequently return but sooner or later he remains in stupor or even become unconsciousness:

·         Mind – Sadness (3)

·         Mind – corner; brooding or moping in a (1)

·         Mind – Stupefaction (3)

·         Mind – Unconsciousness (3)



The jealousy of Hyoscyamus is a combination of attachment or desire and fear of loss. It can get so strong, that it totally dominates the life of the patient. It often is accompanied by rage. At times, it seems that the patient is entirely sane, but as soon he feels jealous, he turns into a “biting, kicking, screaming maniac” (Philip M. Bailey) and his jealousy is not confined to a sexual partner but might be directed to anyone or anything that gets more attention than him.

·         Mind – Jealousy (4)

·         Mind – Striking (3)

·         Mind – Rage (3)

·         Mind – Jealousy – rage with (3)

·         Mind – Jealousy – children • when the newborn gets all the attention )2)



The Hyoscyamus patient is sexually obsessed. Many of his actions and thoughts revolve around sex. He talks and thinks a great deal about sex, he is easily stimulated; he might masturbate very frequently or might complain about the lack of sex in his life. Interestingly, if he feels sexual dissatisfied in a partnership, he will most likely not search satisfaction outside his partnership, because he considers this as sinful, but if he suffers



sexual frustration a pressure builds up in him he just can’t resist to compensate for.  Here again, the sexual obsession grows in proportion with the level of insanity,

·         Mind – Amativeness (2)

·         Mind – Amorous (2)

·         Mind – lascivious, lustful (3)

·         Mind – Lewdness (2)

One reason that Hyoscyamus behaves insane erotic of course is his fear of losing his partner. For fear she will leave him in favour of somebody else, the Hyoscyamus man might excessively trying to court his wife, trying to appear more attractive – and he will do so, in exposing his naked body, especially his sexual parts, showing her, or even everybody, how “well equipped” he is. Thinking this might arouse her sexually as much as it stimulates him.

·         Mind – Naked, wants to be (4)

·         Mind – Shameless – exposing the person (3)

Peculiar and according to the Synthesis Repertory only in Hyoscyamus occurring are:

·         Mind – Naked – drunkenness, during (1)

·         Mind – Naked – exhibitionism (3)

·         Mind – Naked – hyperaesthesia of skin, in (2)

Another reason is for this erotic mania is that Hyoscyamus might feel not sexually attractive at all and tries to compensate for that by exposing his genitals, by publicly talking about sex, telling sexual jokes. He does not realize, how silly or obscene others think of his behaviour, he believes and hopes this will give him the attention of others.



Furthermore Hyoscyamus might very well be aware that some of his sexual fantasies are beyond ‘the rules’ which makes him feel oppressed so he needs this valve of public physical or verbal exposure, to get rid of the inner sexual pressure.

·         Mind – Delirium, erotic (2)

·         Mind – Lewdness – talk lewd (2)

·         Mind – Nymphomania (3)

·         Mind – Obscene (2)

The desire for exposure is not confined to the sexual plane though. For the patient it is a lustful moment, when he exposes just anything of himself and Hyoscyamus is one of the few remedies that is inclined to reveal secrets, especially of sexual nature

·         Mind – revealing secrets (1)

In the worst stage of delirium, Hyoscyamus is still sexual obsessed. Even when the degree of prostration already is strongly marked and conversation seems to be impossible the obsession gets quite visible in one peculiar symptom:

·         Mind – Speech – prattling - lies naked in bed and prattles (3)

Another reason, the Hyoscyamus patient desires to be naked should be mentioned here, though it does not have anything with erotic: He desires to be naked due to hyperesthesia of the cutanous nerves.



Hyoscyamus feels betrayed by people, let down and left alone. And even though he desires company “Mind – Company, desires” (3), he is very suspicious. It is the “once bitten, twice shy” motive, that’s behind this distrust, whether Hyoscyamus has a real


reason to feel disappointed or betrayed or whether this is just a delusion that – again – grows in proportion with the level of insanity. In early stages, the patient might be just overly distrustful or suspicious:

·         Mind – Company, aversion to” (2)

·         Mind – Suspicious (2)

Later he will develop a real fear of people, accuse others of trying to kill him and refuse any medication given to him by the doctor or his relatives.

·         Mind – Fear – people of (3)

·         Mind – Cautious (1)

·         Mind – Delusions – abused being (1)

·         Mind – Delusions – poisoned • he is about to be / has been  (2)

·         Mind – Delusions – injury • being injured; his surroundings, by his (3)

·         Mind – Fear – betrayed, of being (1)

The suspicious paranoia will take on forms in the end, where nobody can get close or even touch the patient who will then rage and get furious out of plain fear to die.

·         Mind – Delirium – maniacal  (3)

·         Mind – Delirium – raging (=raving) (3)

·          Mind –Delirium – bed • escapes, jumps up suddenly from bed (2)


Violence / Aggression

The Hyoscyamus can become quite violent, due to his great fears. As long the disease is not progressed too far though, he might express his aggression only verbally, by using a vulgar vocabulary.

·         Mind – Antisocial (2)

·         Mind – Cursing (2)

·         Mind – Morose (= gloomy, fretful, ill humour, sullen)

The closer he gets to the to the state of delirium and insanity, the more will he become physical violent though. This is because delusions take hold of him, and he is under the expression, everybody around him has only one thing in mind: to hurt him. He has to try to keep things under control, make people act after his wishes, before things turn around and he finds himself back in the role of the victim.

·         Mind – Abusive  (2)

·         Mind – Abusive – Children • parents; children insulting (1)

·         Mind – Violent (3)

The paranoia is growing and with it the fear of being in danger. He now fears others and desires solitude. When approached or even worse, tried to persuaded to do certain things as going back to bed, he strikes and kicks to protect his own life. The offensive aggression from the earlier stage of his disease turns into a defensive aggression now.

·         Mind – Rage, fury  (3)

·         Mind – Rage – kill people; tries to (3)

·         Mind – Striking (3)

·         Mind – Biting (2)

·         Mind – Kill – desire to (4)



Hyoscyamus has a strongly religious attitude. Probably because religion and god are the only things in the life of the patient, that seem to be trustworthy. He is suspicious of his


closest relatives, any authority, his doctor and everybody else around him that he channels his trust, believe and hope into religion.

·         Mind – religious affections – too occupied with religion (3)

·         Mind – religious affections – too occupied with religion – talking on religious subjects (2)

As he steadily looses his sanity, the religion beliefs become “a vehicle for the delusions and even hallucinations” (P. Bailey). They feel that their sexual impulses when talking to other people are unclean and occasionally they even have erotic fantasies about God, Jesus or other religious figures, which leads to a feeling of shame and fear of damnation.

·         Mind – Delusions – devil • after her, is (2)

·         Mind – Delusions – devil • possessed of a devil, he is (2)

·         Mind – Delusions – devil • he is a (2)

·         Mind – Delusions – religious (2)

·         Mind – Insanity, religious (2)


Delirium & Delusions

The Hyoscyamus-delirium is displayed in every one of the mental symptoms mentioned above. The progress of disease always follows one certain pattern: First there is the stage of hyperactivity of senses, action and emotions. An overall excitement. He behaves flamboyant, because his perception of the outside world starts to become distorted. Suspicion develops, aggression build up.

·         Mind – Foolish behaviour (3)

·          Mind – Laughing – silly (3)

·          Mind – Excitement (3)

·          Mind – Speech – hasty (3)

·          Mind – Restlessness (3)

In the second phase, the patient reaches the peak of power, aggression and activity. His senses, emotions and intellect become irrational. He might very well be aware his paranoia and develops anxiety, becomes afraid that he will go insane. This fear gives him the strength to rear up and try to defend himself against all his illusionary enemies.

At this stage his actions become foolish, laughable and solemn mingled with raving and possibly an improper dress. “He roves about senseless, naked, wrapped in fur during the heat of summer.” (Kent’) or “In a priest's gown over his shirt and in fur stockings he wishes to go to church, in order to preach and says mass, and furiously attacks those who endeavour to prevent him.” (Hahnemann)

·         Mind – Attack others, desire to (3)

·          Mind – Bed – get out of bed; wants to (3)

·          Mind – Delirium – naked in delirium, wants to be (3)

·         Mind - Delirium – violent (3)

·         Mind - Delusions (=imaginations) (3)

·         Mind –Barking, growling like a dog (2)

·          Mind - Delirium – wraps up in fur during summer (1)

One of the peculiar Symptoms of Hyoscyamus is the delusion of seeing peacocks. The peacock, one of the most colourful and attractive birds is a perfectly symbol for the desire of Hyoscyamus for erotic and sexual exposure.

·         Mind - Delusions – peacocks, chasing (1)

·         Mind – Delusions – peacocks, frightening away (1)

Another peculiarity in Hyoscyamus is the delusion of hens bound with chains.

·          Mind - Delusions – hens, bound with chains (2)


One might be remembered on the use of Hyoscyamus to catch chicken, but this delusion more likely is to understand as a sexual symbol again. Unlike the peacock that stands for courtship, attraction and erotic, I interpret the hens as a symbol for a less attractive but willingly sexual object (many chicken ‘share’ one rooster) that unfortunately is bound – it’s not in reach of the patient. The desire for erotic obviously is there, displayed in the attractive peacock or the easy-to-get hens, but because of the patient feels that is extreme desire is wrong, even sinful, so he is chasing the peacocks away, respectively sees, what he cannot and should not have: bound hens.

Then at the last stage, the physical strength diminishes, the patient slips into a state of delirious insanity. The symptoms of the Hyoscyamus delirium are numerous: The patient might be anxious, comical, almost hysterical, wild, violent, murmuring or raging. He ist caught in his own world of illusions, delusions and hallucinations and the contact to and sense for reality is almost gone, until he finally looses conscious completely. Typical for Hyoscyamus in this stage is to lie in bed, often naked, picking on something, muttering or counting imaginary things.

·          Mind – Delirium – picking at nose or lips, with (3)

·          Mind - Delirium – muttering (3)

·          Mind – Counting, continually (2)

·          Mind – Delirium – delusions, with

·          Mind – Unconsciousness (3)

Overall it can be said that while the physical activity builds up to a peak to then diminish to an opposite state of complete inactivity, the insanity develops linear, getting worse until the stage of total loss of conscious.



Interesting is, that the patient’s fear of going insane decreases with the increase of actual insanity.

·         Mind – Fear (2)

·         Mind – Anxiety (2)




The Symptoms of Hyoscyamus are



·          Touch

·          Lying down & rest

·          Movement & motion

·          Evening & night

·          Cold & cold air

·          From mental affections; jealousy unhappy love

·          Menstruation (approaching, commencing, during)

·          After eating

·          Motion

·          Sitting up

·          Warmth

·          Stooping



Motions, Positions & Touch


Inflamed ulcers, large pustules around ulcers of the skin and the sensitive epigastrium are < by touch. Sensitive areas and inflamed parts may certainly be expected. This feature also is conform to the mental state of the Hyoscyamus patient, who starts raging


himself, when touched by somebody. It’s like putting a finger on his wounds: He is suspicious and fears to be harmed, therefore doesn’t want to be touched.

Lying and resting generally have an aggravating effect. Especially gets the characteristic hacking or spasmodic cough < lying down < at rest and also < during sleep. Rest also aggravates the drawing in the thighs and the tearing in soles of feet. This may be one of the reasons, the Hyoscyamus patient does not want to remain in bed.

Walking, motion and movement aggravate vertigo, headaches, pain beneath the umbilicus, pain in the small of the back, drawing in legs; pain in tarsal joints and calves and the drawing on margins of fingers. The modalities < walking, < motion and < movement are in contrast to the aggravation by rest and sleep.

At least, there is relief for the Hyoscyamus patient, when he is sitting up or bending the head forward (stooping). The tickling sensation in the throat causing an incessant cough is > when sitting up. Meningitis and the shaking of the head are > stooping, so is the nausea. As exceptions however, pains in the abdominal muscles are < sitting, the waving in the brain, heaviness in forehead, throbbing, etc. in the frontal eminence however are < stooping, the latter ones due to congestion to the head, which while stooping naturally increases.

The use (movement / motion) of inner throat and respiratory organs brings on several aggravations: The cough is < talking, oppression of chest with internal stinging is < during inspiration and the yawning gets < on reading aloud.




Temperatures & Weather conditions

Hyoscyamus has a general aggravation from cold and amelioration from warmth. All head-symptoms are < cold, <becoming cold and < in cold air, so are toothache, tearing in gums and the cough.

In addition, open air aggravates the confusion of the head, lachrymation and stiffness of joint. ( < open air ). An exception here is the chilliness in the back, which is < in house.

Warmth and heat is general relieving. So are the ulcers and pustules > when getting warm, the tickling cough > in warm air and head-symptoms > from heat and > in room.


Daytimes & Seasons

All Symptoms localized in or on the head are < morning: Confusion and congestion of the head, headaches and even toothache, mucus on teeth, offensive breath, dryness of and bitterness in the mouth. In addition there can occur colic or pain in the abdomen < on rising.

Only the pain in the ankles and the fever increase during the daytime i.e.< afternoon.

As soon the day goes and the dark time of the day begins, the sufferings of the Hyoscyamus patient become worse. Again the congestion of blood to the head and the cadaverous smell worsen, inflamed ulcers and the large pustules surrounding them, purple discoloration of the face, nausea, fullness in the epigastric region, colic in the upper abdomen, pain in tibia, chill, heat over body are all < evening.

As the evening passes hiccough, cough, diarrhoea, coldness and fever become < night and especially < after midnight.

While most physical symptoms get worse during the second half of the day, the head and mouth symptoms are < in the morning and cough, fever and diarrhoea < at night.


Eating can worsen a lot of complains in the Hyoscyamus patient. There are the feeling of being intoxicated, anxiety, headache, the head shakes, pressure upon sternum, cough, hiccough and weariness in the legs, all < after eating.

Drinking however only aggravates the cough and the pressure in the stomach. (<drinking).

Coffee seems to have a dual effect on the Hyoscyamus patient: It aggravates nausea and vomiting, relieves but the head symptoms. (< & > coffee)

Though Hyoscyamus is constantly afraid of being poisoned, it has a voracious appetite and unquenchable thirst, but no particular food aversions or desires. Frequently, Hyoscyamus dreads any drinks – probably because of his fear of poisoning and because of the fact, that the classical poison murder is usually performed with drinks. Sometimes, Hyoscyamus has an aversion for alcoholic drinks.



Furthermore, there is a quite a number of emotions that can bring on or aggravate a Hyoscyamus condition:

Sexual abuse, anger, bad news, disappointment, grief, business failure, short: any emotional excitement especially when of negative character and on the top of the list jealousy and unhappy love.



As mentioned above, the most Hyoscyamus cases are brought on by emotional trauma like

·         disappointed Love (3) & Jealousy (3)           (à melancholy)

·         Anger (1), being scorned (1)

·         Bad news (1), mental shock (1)

·         Fright (2), Anxiety (1)

·         Excitement – emotional (1)

·         Grief (1), disappointment (1)

·         Rudeness of others (1)

·         Business failure (2)

·         Sexual abuse (1)


The few other causes for Hyoscyamus states are usually

·         Injuries, accidents (1)       (à mental symptoms)

·         Eating, after (2)   (à stomach complaints)

·         Pregnancy (2), delivery (1), lochia (1)           (à convulsions)

·          Suppressed menses (3), milk or lochia (3)



Hyoscyamus acts to a great extent on the Central Nervous System which becomes obvious on consideration of all these convulsions, the delirium, the somnolency, epilepsy and the unconsciousness.

Same as obvious is its effects on the mind. (mania, excitement, sexual excitement, phobias).



Furthermore Hyoscyamus acts well on the muscles and joints of the body (twitching, jerking, convulsions, stiffness of the neck, paralysis, spasms on swallowing, multiple sclerosis, chorea and rheumatism).

Hyoscyamus is useful for all sorts of respiratory troubles like cough, whooping cough, dyspnoea, bronchitis, pneumonia etc.

It also is valuable in typhoid fevers, urine retention, incontinence or paralysis of the bladder and toxic gastritis.


The tongue in Hyoscyamus looks cracked, hard, parched, like burnt leather, red or brown - sometimes white or clean. It doesn’t obey its owners will and can only protruded or drawn in with difficulties and trembles with every movement.

The teeth can be encrusted with brown mucus.





Acute disease in Chronic Remedies

In acute disease, Hyoscyamus can be of great value in

·         Bronchitis

·         Pertussis (whooping cough)

·         Cough

·         Measles

·         Scarlatina

·         Toothache

·         Diarrhoea


In emergencies Hyoscyamus most often used for

·         Epilepsy, Convulsions

·         Angina Pectoris

·         Apoplexy

·         Intoxications

·         Collapse

·         During childbirth


Bodily Functions and Discharges



The Menses in Hyoscyamus often is accompanied or preceded by hysterical symptoms like labour like pain and cramps not only of the uterus but of toes, fingers or any other muscle of the body, twitchings, fits of laughter (any of the typical mental symptoms of Hyoscyamus), cough, constipation, diarrhoea, profuse sweat etc. 

The menstruation might be suppressed or irregular and the flow typically is profuse, bright red and heavier with “every jerk of the body” (Hering). Metrorrhagia, if it occurs, is of pale blood and usually accompanied by the typical convulsions.



The symptoms during pregnancy, childbed and lochia are of the same hysterical character as the ones during menses:

·         Delirium, unconsciousness

·         Spasms – especially during confinement

·         Twitchings – especially limbs and face

·         Cold perspiration

·         Pale face

·         after confinement: Urine retention or painless watery diarrhoea

·         Suppression of milk or lochia

·         Puerperal spasms, shrieks and anguish

·         Puerperal fever or spasms



The abdomen in Hyoscyamus is very bloated, so distended, that it look like a drum (tympanitic) and naturally is very sensitive to touch, especially the pit of the stomach. There are also colicky pains.

There is nausea, aggravated by pressure on epigastrium or eating, that leads to a great deal of vomiting and retching with violent  pains of cutting or burning character, especially at the pit of the stomach, which make the patient cry out. The vomiting might be accompanied by convulsions or choking – again the symptoms hysterical character becomes obvious.

The patient vomits food, mucus and deep red blood and suffers from bitter, empty or incomplete eructations and frequent hiccough, though his appetite is usually great.


Excretions (skin, bowels, urinary tract)

In general, the Hyoscyamus patient is “dry” everywhere on the external and internal mucus membranes. This is due to the spasms that cause the bodily functions more or less being arrested, so that there are not very many excretions, because these just can’t get out.


Because there are oppositional states in Hyoscyamus, - one, where the body goes into spasms and convulsions, the other one, where there is relaxation - the following states of dryness due to constriction and their opposite excretive, relaxed states occur:


- Nose

·         Nose dry, but there can be nosebleed


- Mouth

·         Mouth, lips, tongue, hard palate dry, like glazed

·         Teeth encrusted with brown mucus

·         Foam at the mouth

·         Salivation, bloody or of salty taste


- Throat and air passages

·         Dry, burning, inflamed throat, fauces

·         Constriction of larynx and pharynx

·         Spasms of throat

·         Dry cough

·         Much mucus in larynx

·         Voice husky from mucus

·         Much mucus in air passages

·         Expectoration of saltish mucus, bright red blood mixed with coagula or blood streaked mucus

·         Rattling in chest


- Stomach

·         Dryness and burning in stomach (T. Kent)

·         Vomiting of white mucus or deep red blood

·         Bitter, empty or incomplete eructations


- Urine

·         Paralysis of bladder

·         Retention of urine

·         Atony of bladder

·         Clear, watery and inodorous urine

·         Frequent urination especially at night

·         Involuntary urination


- Stool

·         Paralysis of rectum or sphincter ani

·         Constipation, hard stools

·         Involuntary, unconscious stools, especially while urinating

·         Frequent desire for stool

·         Watery, painless diarrhoea

·         Watery, mucous, nearly odourless, yellow stools

·         Small stools

·         Haemorrhoids that bleed profusely

- Skin

·         Small, knotty (miliary) eruptions

·         Dry pimples

·         Herpetic spots or abscesses (neck)

·         Gangrene and gangrenous spots and vesicles (lower limbs)

·         Varicella, vesicles, large pustules (lower limbs)

·         Large boils

·         Bleeding ulcers


- Perspiration

·         Almost no perspiration, except during sleep (Hahnemann)

·         Increased perspiration, especially during sleep

·         Cold, sour sweat

·         Clammy moisture, especially hands (palms)


It can be concluded that the excretions largely depend on which state the patient is in and that excretion almost exclusively occurs during the relaxed phase and that there are quantities of mucus and blood excreted.


Sleep & Dreams

The patient is either “wakeful, quiet, and usually pleasing delirium, with illusions of the sight” (T. Allen), or  he is so excessive somnolent, that he cannot keep his eyes open and when aroused, “lapses again into a dreamy sleep, broken by occasional mutterings and slight jerking of the limbs” (T. Allen)

As every remedy as a duality of opposite symptoms or a primary and a secondary reaction, in Hyoscyamus we have the opposites of sleepiness and sleeplessness, the sleeplessness being the more marked characteristic.

There is mental activity that keeps the patient awake all night; his brain is full of ideas, figures and bewildering images and maybe shortly before daybreak he can manage to sleep a little.

On the other hand we find the picture of very deep slumber, attended maybe by picking on bedclothes, muttering or convulsions. The somnolency is so great, that Hyoscyamus can be aroused only with difficulties and if, then the patient dozes off with a half-finished sentence on his lips. He cannot keep his eyelids open and falls asleep with even ever so interesting literature. No wonder, the patient often is inclined to frequent yawning.

As deep and continued the sleep is – it can even last for 2 or 3 days, we still see the excitability of the patient. Sleep and dreams are of “wild” character and there are quite a few interesting sleep-symptoms, one should remember, that are the causes for the sleep being very unrefreshing:


·         Starting up from sleep in affright

·         Sitting up suddenly

·         Laughing, calling sobbing or crying during sleep

·         Jerking

·         Grinding teeth in sleep

·         Awakening with screams

·         Muttering

·         Carphologia


The dreams of Hyoscyamus usually are heavy, anxious, frightful. The patient may e.g. “dream and talk of war in his sleep” (T. Allen). Sometimes the patient has lascivious dreams though.


Characteristic Sensations

In Hyoscyamus, the complaints are mainly of convulsive and spastic character. The convulsions affect the whole body and can lead to unconsciousness.

Trembling, tremor and choreic movements can be observed everywhere, as well as contractions, quivering and jerking of muscles or muscles groups. The patient is in a state of excitability and irritability.

In contrast to this delirious phase of Hyoscyamus, there is but another phase of the disease that alternates the convulsions and excitability, and this is stupor and great nervous prostration. The weakness increases gradually, which causes the whole patient “slide down in bed” (T. Kent) or single parts, as e.g. the jaw simply drop down. Unconsciousness, somnolence and prostration occur during this passive delirium.

No matter, what part of the body is affected, the complaints in Hyoscyamus have either of these characters. E.g. the patient might suffer profuse diarrhoea (overactive) or constipation (extreme passivity). Or the mind might be affected by either stupor or delirium.

Considering the violence of the delirious phase of Hyoscyamus, the pain naturally is violent itself. Tearing, jerking or pulsating, cramp like and colicky.

During the passive, weak phase, the patient suffers oppressive, constrictive pains as well as stiffness, numbness, tingling or buzzing and weakness.

Hyoscyamus also has a lot of heat and dryness in all affected parts.



Hyoscyamus is said to be suited especially to nervous, irritable, excitable, sanguine people with light hair.

Hyoscyamus acts well in pregnant or hysterical women, young girls, old drunkards (especially in cases of pneumonia) and old men

Hyoscyamus can sometimes be recognized by the staring look in the patient’s eyes or by his continuous picking at things. Be that at bedclothes or imaginary things that are tried to pick out of the air. The face might be bluish pale


Physical Symptoms


Alternating Symptoms

·         Alternate difficult breathing with anxiety or oppression

·         Concussive startings alternating with tremblings and convulsions

·         Alternate convulsions of upper and lower extremities

·         Chill, alternating with heat

·         Delirium alternating stupor


Concomitant Symptoms


·         Brain inflammation with unconsciousness

·         Spinal meningitis with convulsions or jerks of muscles

·         Hydrocephalus with stupor

·         Congestion to head with heat all over the body.

·         Face bluish with wide open mouth in approaching cerebral paralysis

·         Eyes staring and distorted with spasmodic closure of lids, bluish face, clenching of teeth, foaming at mouth and constriction of throat

·         Hemeralopia with shooting pains from eyes into nose

·         Tearing, beating pains in eyes, with lachrymation

·         Violent toothache with sense of strangulation and difficulties in swallowing

·         Complaints of the throat with hiccough, nausea, stiff neck and inability to swallow fluids

·         Cough with vomiting and retching,  colic and crying out loud

·         Nausea with vertigo, vomiting and stiff neck

·         Inflammation of intestinal organs with hiccough, spasms and rumbling

·         Vomiting of blood or bloody mucus with convulsions

·         Stomach complaints with hiccough

·         Contraction of stomach with difficult breathing

·         Involuntary stool during urination

·         Cholera infantum with staring eyes, muttering delirium, teeth encrusted with brown, dilated pupils and difficulty in swallowing liquids

·         Constipation with epilepsy

·         Uterine cramps with pulling in loins and small of back

·         Complaints related with menses accompanied by convulsions, muscle jerking and trembling

·         Profuse menses with heavy perspiration, nausea and headache

·         During labour convulsions and spells of suffocating

·         Palpitation of heart with great anxiety on moving, or apprehension of suffocation or swooning

·         Epilepsy with purple face, shrieks, teeth grinding and urination

·         Cold body with burning redness of face or burning heat without external redness

·         Fever with red, cracked tongue

·         Scarlet fever with marked mental symptoms  or acute inflammation of brain


Characteristic, peculiar Symptoms

·         Children have hiccough while breastfed

·         Vertigo from smell of flowers, gas, etc.

·         Sensation as if water was swashing in head

·         Small objects seem very large

·         (A flame of) One light seems smaller, than another of equal size.

·         Nosebleed with salivation

·         Fever and delirium with black lips


Hyoscyamus is antidoted by vinegar, citric acid, Belladonna, China and Stramonium and Camphor

It antidotes Ether, Bell., Stram., Mercurius.

It follows well Bell., Nux Vomica, Opium and Rhus Toxicodendron and is followed well by Bell., Pulsatilla, Stram., Veratum Album and Phosphorus.


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