Sacred Weeds - Henbane The Witches Brew

  • Published 1 year ago
  • Not Rated

Henbane is a herb linked with so many legends and mysteries. According to some sources, Egyptians smoked the plant, witches used it, and it is the poison chosen by Shakespeare for Hamlet’s father.

Henbane is a plant known for its hallucinogenic and psychotropic role. During the Middle Age, henbane was widely known as “insane seed that breed madness”. Today, henbane is part of the formula for many modern medical painkillers.

The Latin name of the plant is “Hyoscyamus niger”, and is part of family of flowering plants. The group includes innocent plants like tomatoes and potatoes, but also other poisonous plants like belladonna.

Some legends link henbane with witches. According to the legend, witches used its magical qualities for recipes for the “flying ointment”. German folklore also contains legends as henbane used for witchcraft and witches. In German folklore, witches used the plant to raise rainstorms or curse people and their lands with sterility.

Another interesting legend is linked with beer, a tradition that has history in Celtic culture and tradition. Before hops was adopted as the flavor for beers and ales, Celtics used henbane as a flavoring and enhancer to beer. The legend says the plant made beer more intoxicating.

As for Hamlet, if you read the play, you’ll see that Shakespeare chose it for the poison to kill Hamlet’s father. The text reads “hebenon or hebona”, and the line quotes it “with juice of cursed hebenon”. Many scholars have linked the reference to henbane.

In this documentary, Dr. Francoise Barbira-Freedman, medical anthropologist and lecturer at University of Cambridge talks about the effects of henbane.

From Around the Web

Related Videos

Nature
climbing everest
youtube icon
20:44
New

There are more than 200 dead bodies on that can be found towards the peak of Mount Everest. It is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Hi...

  • 49
  • 1 day ago
  • Not Rated
Nature
rare animals
youtube icon
41:42
New

Every year, more and more animals get added to the endangered species list. Due to changes in habitat, environmental reasons, and of course, human reasons, animals in a const...

  • 91
  • 2 days ago
  • Not Rated
Nature
animal cruelty documentary
youtube icon
02:00:00

We are living in the 21st century, and we are still talking about animal rights and animal cruelty. In the 21st century, we have yet to rise to the occasion and understand an...

  • 327
  • 3 weeks ago
  • Not Rated
Nature
ants documentary
youtube icon
01:08:57

Ants are some of the more interesting insects in our world. They are small, and almost non-noticeable, but they are there.Ants have been part of many television shows, and pop...

  • 334
  • 1 month ago
  • 8(1)
Avatar

3,848 Videos / 8,165,507 Views
Tags

Related Articles
The island is home to between 3,000 and 4,000 deadly snakes. Visiting the island is banned by the Brazilian government
  • 5,383
  • 1 year ago
Deep in the earth beneath the anticent city of Hierapolis lies a vast source of water that is heated by volcanic lava
  • 30,787
  • 3 years ago