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What does it feel like to use henbane?

Beyond being used topically for pain or other physical ailments, the effects of henbane can be described as grounding, calming, and trance-like when used in correct amounts.

Henbane can be used to facilitate ritual, ceremony, or meditation.
It can also aid in sleep as it creates a deep state of whole mind & body relaxation through its soporific properties.
The topical use of henbane is effective for easing physical pain caused by muscular spasm and/or soreness, and tendon or joint inflammation.

The more you read into the use of the deadly nightshade plants, you'll come across information about flying ointments, or the witches ointment. The use of such ointments in antiquity was quite common (depending on the locale), often for the purposes of reaching soul flight or intense visionary experiences, which would involve hallucinations. 

If growing henbane yourself or using an ointment or topical liniment, use this page as a reference for safety information, do your own research into the effects of black henbane, and monitor your body's response closely. 

To read more about the long history about henbane's use in medicine and spiritual practice, check out the Online Resources and Recommended Reading listed below. 



Henbane Safety

Any preparation you make containing henbane is toxic if ingested, and is only to be used topically (externally on the skin). Do not consume. Keep away from children and pets.


  • You are allergic to nightshade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.)

  • You are allergic to salicylates 

  • You are pregnant or breast feeding 

  • You have liver, kidney, or heart issues, or if you have glaucoma

  • You are using anticholinergic medications -speak with your health care professional before using products containing henbane if you are on medications or are unsure. 

  • Don't use for 2 weeks before undergoing surgery, and don't use for 1-2 weeks after surgery

Read this article on anticholinergics and how they function for more information on safety.

The possible undesirable and/or potentially dangerous side effects of henbane include sensations of serious drowsiness, mental confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, fast or irregular heartbeat, dry mouth, breathing difficulty, increased body temperature with flushed skin and an inability to sweat, urine retention, and hallucinations. 
If you experience any of these symptoms, you've used too much and should immediately and thoroughly wash the ointment/oil/liniment off with soap, and water seek medical attention. 



BANE FOLKan apothecary supplying nightshade ointments and flower essences, to the USA only, and a more thorough collection of information on the subject. 

THE POISONER'S APOTHECARY see also The Poison Path Herbal under recommended books. The website of the author of the book, who has an extensive blog and a lot of incredible insights.

EMPORIUM BLACK - a producer of edible nightshade truffles. There are a lot of resources on this site as well; Seamus writes beautifully about the use of entheogens and nightshades. I use these truffles myself and love them.

KATHRYN SOLIE - This link will take you to podcast episodes about the use of poisonous plants, but I recommend exploring the work of Kathryn Solie further!

Image by pisauikan

Online Nightshade Resources

Recommended Henbane Readig
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Recommended Reading

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, only the books I can personally recommend. Sarah Anne Lawless over at Bane Folk has a pretty extensive recommended reading list.

The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name - Brian C. Muraresku

(I don't have enough words to describe how important this book is.)

The Witches' Ointment - Thomas Hatsis 

The Poison Path Herbal: Baneful Herbs, Medicinal Nightshades, and Ritual Entheogens Coby Michael

Poison Prescriptions: Power Plant Medicine, Magic & Ritual - The Seed Sistas

*I have yet to read this one but I've heard lots of good things about it! 


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