Black Henbane is found throughout Europe and in Western Asia and has since naturalized in North America and South America. In the Solanaceae family, Henbane has large, deeply lobed leaves with pronounced mid-veins. Funnel shaped flowers which appear from spring all the way into autumn. They have a unique scent and are cream colored or light yellow with deep purple centers. Pods containing hundreds of seeds develop along the stem.
Though this plant was brought to the Americas as medicine, this is a very poisonous plant that should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It is important to note though that in proper dosage (which is very small), Henbane has a very long history of use as a medicinal herb and has been widely cultivated to meet a demand for its sedative and pain killing properties. Henbane was once specifically employed for pain affecting the urinary tract, especially when one has kidney stones. It is sedative and antispasmodic and shows promise in helping those stuggling with Parkinson's disease as it relieves tremors and rigidity during the early stages of the disease. During the Middle Ages, henbane was used by sorcerers and witches who integrated the plant into various magic spells and charms.