nightshade family

Black Henbane - Users and Victims

The best known report of the effects of Black Henbane came from Gustav Schenk - author of ‘The Book of Poisons’. He decided to take an experimental dose of Black Henbane, roasting the seeds and inhaling the fumes they gave off. 

His initial symptoms were of physical discomfort. He reported a feeling of extreme pain, and swelling in his head, dizziness, extreme dryness of the mouth, shaking limbs, disturbed eyesight, increased heart rate, flushed skin and huge dilated pupils. He also reported that his memory was effected, and at the time he struggled to understand why he was in such a condition. 

“To comprehend the power of Black Henbane, the reader must picture the following condition. The ears become deaf, the eyes almost blind; they see in a haze only the bulk of objects, whose contours are blurred. The sufferer is slowly cut off from the outside world and sinks irretrievably into his own inner world.” Gustav Schenk, The Book of Poisons.

Staggering around, sweating profusely, he began to experience terrifying visions of impending doom and of horrifying, contorted creatures and beings. He described a flowing river of blood above him, and of being carried along with it, though in reality, he was barely moving. At this point he began to feel a sensation of his body coming apart and seperating and became terrified that he was going to die as a result. But at the same time, that fear was counterbalanced by a pleasant and enjoyable sense of flying amongst clouds and leaves. 

“As the delusions come to an end they are replaced by the consciousness of pain and nausea. The grey misery that fills the mind is enhanced by the precarious state of the body and the derangement of the senses. Sight, hearing, smell and touch do not obey the will and seem, still entirely under the influence of the Henbane, to be going their own ways”. Gustav Schenk, The Book of Poisons.

Accidental Victims 

Accidental poisoning from Black Henbane is rare, but there have been cases. 

A 34 year old woman suffered horrific symptoms after drinking a Henbane tincture she wrongly believed to be draught. She quickly developed a dry throat and mouth, extreme thirst, weak and burning limbs, a purple rash around her neck and a swollen face. By the time 7 hours had passed she was delirious and unable to see, speak or move. Her condition began to improve after 28 hours, but it was six days before she regained use of her legs, and short term memory loss was permanent. 

Similar symptoms were experienced by nine people who accidentally ate the roots in a soup. The mother had mistaken them for parsnips! 

Way back in 1750, 7 people ate the leaves in a broth and as a result suffered delirium, slavering and hallucinations. All reported a sense of falling and impending doom and were unable to recognize their friends whilst under the influence of the Henbane. 

A group of nine people who accidentally ate the roots suffered similar symptoms, and three of them reported that everything appeared scarlet in colour for several days after the other symptoms had passed. 

In the middle ages, Henbane was widely used in Germany as a ingredient of beer, to augment the inebriating qualities. Its use was finally banned after many years, due to numerous cases of poisoning. 

Fun Fact

Shakespeare put a tincture of Black Henbane in the hand Hamlet’s murderer. 

I, in no way, encourage or support the use of Black Henbane, for any purpose. This information is intended for your interest only.

Hex and Curse Breaking

Note, there are hundreds of other methods and ingredients. This is merely a selection I’ve used personally. Some come from sources and some I’ve just come up with on my own. The numbers denote which sources the item comes from (well, I tired. I’m sure I missed one or two but you get the idea)

Herbs and ingredients to help break curses:

  • Cayenne pepper (2, 3)
  • Black pepper (2, 3)
  • Chamomile (2)
  • West Indian Elm (2)
  • Salt (2, 3)
  • Ash (1, 2, 3)
  • Bamboo (2, 3)
  • Willow (1, 2, 3)
  • Rue (2, 3)
  • Oak (1, 2, 3)
  • Hazel (1, 2, 3)
  • Angelica root (2, 3)
  • Sweet flag/calamus (2, 3)
  • Licorice root (2, 3)
  • Peppermint (2, 3)
  • Vetiver (2, 3)
  • Sandalwood (2, 3)
  • Frankincense (2, 3)
  • Myrrh (2, 3)
  • Agrimony (2)
  • Deadly nightshade (poisonous) or related family (2, 3)
  • Dragon’s blood (2)
  • Ginseng (2)
  • Mullein (2, 3)
  • Citrus (lemon, limes, oranges, etc) (2, 3)
  • Bay leaves (2, 3)
  • Rosemary (3)
  • Basil (3)
  • Hydrangea (2, 3)
  • Cinquefoil / Five finger grass (2, 3)
  • Mandrake (2, 3)
  • Wisteria (2, 3)
  • Stinging nettle (2, 3) (caution)
  • Blackthorn (2, 3)
  • Mugwort (2, 3)
  • Wormwood (2, 3)
  • Broken chains (2, 3)
  • Iron (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • White candles (2, 3, 4)
  • Black candles (2, 3, 4)
  • Fire (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Living bodies of water (2, 3, 4)
  • War Water (2, 3)

General non-specific methods to break hexes or curses

  • Take a bath with any of the above non-poisonous herbal ingredients (4)
  • Burn incense or herbs with any of the above non-poisonous herbal ingredients (4)
  • Infuse water with any of the above herbal ingredients and wash the home with it. (4)
  • Infuse oil with any of the above herbal ingredients and coat objects and areas of the home with it. (4)
  • Go to the ocean stand in the water while the sun rises. The waves should hit you as many times as you need to feel better and cleansed (3). Some sources say the waves should hit you seven times (2)
  • Make a poppet or sympathetic image of the curser


Sources: 1- Crone’s Book of Magical Words by Valerie Worth (page 89), 2- The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes (page 594-), 3-personal experience, 4- general advice that just makes sense and may appear in any and all sources but may not have been specifically seen in the above sources

The history books tell us that when first discovered, people thought tomatoes were poisonous. And when the history books say “people,” they mean “white people.” By the time Columbus landed in the Americas, the Aztecs had been eating tomatoes for centuries. Europeans then showed up saying, “Don’t eat that! It’s poison! We know because of our advanced scientific knowledge. Now hold still while I leech the bad blood out of you.”

There were two main reasons Europeans thought tomatoes would kill you. First, the tomato plant is indeed poisonous. It’s a member of the nightshade family, which includes deadly nightshade, a plant so poisonous two of its berries can kill a human adult right in the face. Oh, and did I mention the berries of the deadly nightshade are sweet and also look like blueberries? It’s basically a plant that proves nature is actively trying to seduce-murder you. That was enough to discourage people from experimenting with its larger cousin, the tomato.

4 Things Everyone Thought Would Kill Us … But Didn’t

🍅 Tomatoes: Magical Multitaskers 🍅

Tomatoes are one of those ingredients witches like to forget in lieu of fancy and more expensive or exotic ingredients.

This is stupid.

Tomatoes can be used for extra oomph where apples are called for, and that’s usually all you hear.

Tomatoes add a kick to any aphrodisiacs, as well as to spells regarding marriage and domestic bliss.

Domesticity not your thing? Cringe at the idea of sex? Tomatoes are also members of the nightshade family…that’s right, cousin to the nightshade everyone talks about and says DO NOT EAT (with very good reason)!

But if you want to make a hex you can consume to cast, or something to symbolically spit, TOMATOES. If you’re preparing to ride the winds or do hedgecraft and eating beforehand, make a tomato sauce, have a tomato soup, or pop a few cherry tomatoes raw!

Look at all those seeds! Look at them! Think of how much intent and energy you can pack into them.

And all you green witches who grow things, imagine the power you can develop in a line year after year!

Next time you consider your fridge or want to do something a little different…remember the overlooked tomato.

(Guess what I was making this morning. Hint: ⬆️)

(gif by @itsokaysammy)

As soon as these flowers showed up on screen, I wanted to know what they were. Cue a visit to my dad today, a professional landscaper and botanist. He looked carefully at the gifs, and decided this flower is a type of nightshade.

Nightshade is a family of flowers, but it’s well known because of it’s tendency to be deadly, as well as the fact that the toxins cause delirium and hallucinations. Sound familiar?

(gif by @dancewithmejensen)

Dean woke up in a field full of deadly and hallucination-inducing flowers, right after he had a meeting in that field with the Darkness. You know, just in case you needed further evidence that she’s a villain.

Tomatoes, A History

Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato, is an edible nightshade in the Family Solanaceae. 

The tomato first appeared in Europe in the 16th century as they explored new lands and brought it back to European kitchens. It was readily eaten in the Southern European nations but the British thought it was poisonous like other nightshades. It also had a similar appearance to the ‘wolf peach’ which helped to define it’s species name: lycopersicum. And the British had good reason to fear this now-a-days common fruit. All parts of the tomato are poisonous except the fruit itself. To make matters worse, in the 1500′s upper-class Europeans used pewter plates that had a high lead content, the tomato, being acidic in nature would cause the lead of the plate to leech into the food and in turn cause lead poisoning. 

For being a traditional staple of Italian and European cooking, tomatoes actually originated from South and Central America where natives readily ate these large red berries. The first tomato is hypothesized to have originated in Peru and wild tomatoes can still be found in the mountains of Peru. By the time conquistadors arrived, tomatoes had already been cultivated by the native people. 

The name “tomato” originates from the Nahuatl or Aztec “tomatl” and today a tomato can be found growing in nearly every garden in the world. 

Creepypasta #738: A Good Boy With The Tenderest Of Hearts

Length: Medium

The boy looked into the mirror longingly. The lady was so beautiful, so kind. Her hair flowed like an underwater dream within the old floor-length mirror. He touched the cold glass, moving closer to try and get a better look at her.

“Only a good boy with the tenderest of hearts can break the spell.”

He leaned closer. His heart was pure. He was a good boy. He could free the pretty lady.

“Bring to the mirror Solanum tuberosum, of the family nightshade, and Allium cepa, and offer it to free me.”

Such big words, but the boy was smart, and knew the special leather-bound books his Daddy had on the shelf - the ones with all of the wondrous picture from all the land - would have all the answers. Soon, a small excursion with his mother to the market, and he had what he needed. With joy and excitement, the boy ran to the mirror in the attic, and placed the objects in front of it. The beautiful lady soon appeared, smiling at him.

She reached out, laying her hand against the mirror.

The boy placed his hand against the glass, almost as if…

Their hands touched! The boy smiled big. He was a good boy.

She clasped his hand in hers.

“Ah, the boy with the tenderest of hearts… it will be perfect with these onions and potatoes.”

Credits to: Muppets_Attack

4

Naturalist Journal:  TX Wildflowers

T - Carolina Wolfberry (Lycium carolinianum) aka Christmasberry, Nightshade family - Solanaceae, Smith Point, TX

ML - Meadow Pink (Sabatia campestris), aka Texas Star, Gentian family - Gentianaceae, Galveston Isld State Park, Galveston, TX

MR - Pleat-leafed Iris (Herbertia lahue) aka Prairie Nymph, Iris family - Iridaceae, Houston, TX

B - Meadow Violet (Viola sororia), aka Missouri Violet, Violet family - Violaceae, Bellaire, TX

photos by Paxon Kale-Covarrubias

Black Henbane

            

External image

Let’s start with a personal favourite of mine - Black Henbane, a member of the Nightshade family, also known as the ‘insane root’ and with good reason! Throughout history, it has been used as a poison, and to induce hallucinations and clairvoyancy. Black Henbane poisoning can cause all of the following symptoms - headaches, nausea, trembling of the limbs, severe disturbance of thoughts, hallucinations, giddiness, a drying of the mouth, difficulty in swallowing, warm flushed skin, dilated pupils, photophobia, urinary retention, confusion, fear, delirium, slurred speech, convulsions, agitation and violent behaviour, and, in extreme cases, death. 

Victims have reported contortion of the limbs, and even the inability to speak, resulting in howling and other animal like sounds. The world around the victim becomes scarlet in colour and fluid, often giving the impression of being immersed in blood. The hallucinations are vivid and intense and a sense of catastrophe is ever present, often accompanied by the sensation of flying or falling.  

Although death from Black Henbane poisoning is rare, it’s effects can be devastating, and though the memory is also affected, victims are haunted by the terrifying visions they experienced long after the physical symptoms have subsided. 

The Science

Black Henbane contains tropane alkaloids called, hyoscine (scopolamine), hyoscyamine (L-atropine), and atropine (DL-hyoscyamine). The plant is highly toxic and even smelling it’s flowers can cause dizziness and confusion. 

The Folklore

Black Henbane is most notorious for it’s use in witches ointments and potions. The modern day vision of a 'witch’ flying upon a broomstick originates from the use of Black Henbane (mixed with other plants and ingredients) in their 'flying ointments,’ which caused them to experience and later report, the sensation of flying. We will take a closer look at flying ointments and their uses and effects in a future post. 

In my next post, we will meet some of the experimental users of Black Henbane, and also some of it’s accidental victims. 

I, in no way, encourage or support the use of Black Henbane, for any purpose. This information is intended for your interest only.

i think i’ve mentioned before that there’s a line in the fo4 art book which makes a big deal about there being no plant life in the commonwealth that hasn’t been touched and changed by radiation which is like, fine, whatever

but god, tadd halvard, you fool, why did you decide that apples don’t exist.

they’re snacking on fresh apples and pears - pears! - over on the west coast and the ncr are dealing with recovering and rehabilitating a totally hosed water table and a skullfucked ecological balance all across california. meanwhile you’ve got your people scrabbling in the dirt for a nightshade family hybrid that the locals basically describe as completely inedible and some lumpy purple fruit that maccready rubbed his unfortunately shaped penis against.

it’s weird enough that there’s no domestic farm animals other than brahmin when, again, those west coast fuckers are wearing knitted ugly xmas sweaters made from the finest ornery bighorner wool.

my fav bit about jumping into a new bit of fallout media is looking at what people are cultivating in the game and extrapolating that into what kind of food they’re preserving, cooking and eating. like, after two hundo and change surly someone came back from a trading trip with some mealy old apples in the saddlebag, threw the seeds in the back mudpit and realised that they could get some tart granny smiths in a few years.

(also i’ll never forget the delightful time that a Canon Literalist said that it would be impossible to have butter, milk or cheese because there were no in-game consumables for them AND most home fridges don’t really work all that well without maintenance, despite the fact you can point to cultures all around the world stretching back lit thousands of pre-westinghouse years eating a whole bunch of various quick or aged cheeses, delicious butter, and chugging on milk).

‘Sunberry’

After the odd few offered what they had seen the pairing called, I looked up the one that had caught my eye. Sunberries are also called Wonderberries and part of the nightshade family. From what images I could find, they have lovely star shaped flowers with some having leaves with a blueish tinge around the edges and dark purple berries. 

I’ll be tagging the pairing under Sunberry on my blog from now on for easy sorting, thanks @the-pupcake and all who kindly replied. ^^

Carolina Horse-nettle on the prairie…

Reminiscent of the dinosaur that killed Dennis Nedry… Found throughout North America… actually a member of the Nightshade family, which means it contains solanine, which is quite poisonous to mammals including humans… the tomatoes it yields are poisonous and referred to by some as Devil’s Tomatoes… the stems are covered with tiny spines that will lodge painfully in the skin… Stay away from this nasty customer