Hyoscyamus niger: insomnia, nervousness and delirium

Hyoscyamus niger is used in homeopathy for the treatment of insomnia and nervousness. It is also used to treat a high temperature with delirium, hiccups, asthma and ongoing night time coughs.

Hyoscyamus niger is a hallucinogenic plant that contains scopolamine. In large amounts, scopolamine brings on hallucinations.

It is used to treat rare psychopathologies where the patient has hallucinations and delirium. In homeopathy, three plants can be compared to each other: Hyoscyamus, Belladonna and Datura stramonium.

The delirium is recognisable by a short, excitable phase followed by a long, despondent phase. The Hyosyamus niger patient in this state has a tendency to remove his clothing and behave in an exhibitionist manner.

He has sensory hallucinations, sees strange occurrences, things and people that are not really there. He moves his hands constantly because he is “pushing” things (i.e. snow…) out of the way. The patient views objects or body parts larger than they are in reality.

How do we recognise the Hyoscyamus niger individual?

When they are unbalanced, they can’t stand being touched. In children, we can prescribe the homeopathic medicine when there is nervous insomnia – they are usually agitated children that wake with a start.

They suffer from night terrors and need to have the light switched on to be able to sleep. The child is often imaginative and sees things that aren’t there (i.e. a shadow, a witch…). They are nervous, fearful children.

On the other hand, the elderly Hyoscyamus niger patient suffers from delirium is weak, pale, tired, suspicious and envious. He rejects the care that is offered to him by his family or carers.

He is nervous and has insomnia, laughs in his sleep and has nightmares or erotic dreams. He may have uncontrollable nervous laughter, trembling hands and feet. They are frequently jealous and fearful of water.

His head is congested and feels worse when it is moved. The mucous membranes are dry, especially the tongue and pharynx. He feels pain upon swallowing.

What are his likes and dislikes?

Hyosyamus niger patients worsen with strong emotions, fears and with envy. He is consumed with envy. He can’t stand being touched. If he has a cough, it improves when sitting up and is aggravated by lying down.

When do we prescribe Hyoscyamus niger?

We prescribe it when the patient has nervous exhaustion from mental exertion, stress, insomnia or worries that have magnified over a long period of time.

What do Hyoscyamus niger patients feel?

When they are unbalanced, they feel as if they are hallucinating. They feel like they are “levitating” and imagine that all objects are red and larger than they are.

When they read, letters seem to move or jump. They feel like they are being watched or controlled and that someone wants to poison them.

Hyoscyamus niger individuals have congestion in the head that feels worse when it is moved.

The main clinical indications

Any human being could need Hyosciamus at some stage of their life, particularly during times of stress. This medication should be controlled by a homeopathic doctor. It will be prescribed in cases of:

  • Insomnia in nervous, agitated children that scream in their sleep and wake with a start.
  • Nervousness or insomnia, erotic dreams due to an attack of jealousy or a relationship issue
  • Spasmodic coughs that improve when the patient sits upright
  • Hiccups
  • Acute feverishness with delirium

Did you know that…?

Hyoscyamus niger is a plant that has been well known since ancient times for its painkilling and hallucinatory properties. In the middle ages witches used it in the potions and ointments that they used to concoct.

Foto: Anneli Salo, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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