Citation: Hanna. "A Low Dose: An Experience with Hyoscyamus niger (ID 106330)". Erowid.org. Mar 17, 2016. erowid.org/exp/106330
While pruning my young henbane, I cut two fresh leaves from the plant. These were the lowest on the stalk, the earliest growth left over from sprouting, and were oval in shape and not toothed like the leaves that grew as the plant reached maturity. At this time some of the flowers had begun to bloom. Some sources say the leaves should be harvested while the flowers are blooming.
I began by taking steps to REDUCE the dosage. I took my two leaves and weighed them on my kitchen scale, which only measures to the gram. Together they weighed at least one gram but less than two. I brought a pot of water to boil and added in a dash of 100 proof vodka for good measure. Sometimes it's good to double up on your extraction methods, but I admit I was working intuitively here. The alcohol may have cooked off by the time I dropped the leaves in.
My other reason for boiling the leaves was because the sight of the prickly hairs on them intimidated me, and I hoped that boiling would make them more tender in case I accidentally ingested any of them.
I boiled the leaves for five minutes, then took them out of the water and discarded the water. I put the boiled leaves into a single serving infusion bottle (It's basically just a bottle with a removable wire mesh over the top and a watertight cap) and poured in a bottle of my favorite hard cider. I put this in the refrigerator for a few hours.
After a few hours I filtered the cider twice. Once, using the built in wire mesh on my infuser bottle, and again using a reusable coffee filter which had a finer mesh.
I began very cautiously. First, I took a large sip of the cider, and waited for effect. After about an hour nothing had happened, so I took another, slightly larger gulp. Half an hour after that I still hadn't felt anything, so I threw caution to the wind and chugged the rest.
Total duration was less than two hours.
The first thing I felt was my face felt warm. Now, I had just chugged almost an entire bottle of hard cider, and not being a heavy drinker, I figured that feeling could be chalked up to just the alcohol.
But soon I began to feel effects that are not typical of having drunk just one bottle of hard cider.
soon I began to feel effects that are not typical of having drunk just one bottle of hard cider.
On and off, I felt alternately extremely sleepy or energized. The sleepiness was not like physical exhaustion, but just a pleasant urge to curl up in that warm feeling and drift off. The energetic moments were exhilarating. I felt so ALIVE. I remember thinking that I felt like a teenager again. And speaking of feeling like a teenager, I was overcome with thrilling tactile sensations. At one point, my hand brushed my ear, and suffice to say I understand now why some of the sources say that henbane can be used as an aphrodisiac! Also, my hands, which are normally cold due to poor circulation, seemed to radiate heat.
Being excited that it was actually doing something, in that spirit I decided to reread the introduction to one of my books on psychoactive plants. When thinking back on it, however, it seemed as if the information had been dictated to me. I remembered opening the book and seeing it in front of me, but I didn't remember actually reading anything. Instead, I remember hearing the words spoken to me, at times by a male voice and at times by a female. It was like remembering a conversation from a dream, except the content of the information was perfectly clear and easy to recall.
The only other thing of note was a distinct change to my temperament. While the entire two hour experience turned out to be a pleasant one, there were a few times when negative thoughts intruded. This is a normal occurrence for me. I often have negative thoughts that intrude on my daily activities and normally I find it nearly impossible to dismiss them. However, the night I tripped on henbane, any negative thoughts that entered my mind were immediately and easily expelled. This part of the experience alone was well worth it for me personally.
I admit I was nervous going into this. While I've done more mainstream substances in the past, and have taken a number of risks, I knew from my reading that the nightshades are generally not to be played at. Throughout the experience, from time to time, I wondered if there was going to be some price exacted from me. To be honest, there was a moment after drinking the infusion that I thought, 'I don't know what will happen, maybe I'll die,' despite the efforts I'd taken to ensure a very low dose. Maybe, like with many things it was beginner's luck. The first time's always free. But I think that come-what-may attitude is essential going into any trip. Beginner's mind. Maybe it's a zen thing. But I lucked out and had a very positive experience, and I hope that future experimentations may be equally enjoyable in their own ways.
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