Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Henbane - Weed of the Berserks?

  1. #1
    Moderator "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Sigurd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    5 Days Ago @ 06:57 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Bavarii, Saxones, Suebi, Alamanni
    Subrace
    Borreby + Atlantonordoid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    Location
    Einöde in den Alpen
    Gender
    Age
    30
    Zodiac Sign
    Libra
    Family
    Engaged
    Politics
    Tradition & Homeland
    Religion
    Odinist
    Posts
    9,079
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    50
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    174
    Thanked in
    101 Posts

    Henbane - Weed of the Berserks?

    I was discussing this topic a fair while ago with a friend at home, and we had some interesting ideas upon this topic, which I will provide, with reference to folklore, ethnobothany and general ethnology.

    Basically - the use of henbane amongst ancient Germanics has long been documented - and as such it perhaps one of the stronger "herbal aids" of use to the ancient Germanic, be that for medicinal causes, for intoxicating causes, or for shamanistic causes.

    This highly psycho-active nightshade has a wide-spread and rich natural habitat in the larger "Germanosphere" as it were, its use was therefore very likely, considering its common growth, was perhaps even more wide-spread than other psycho-active drugs whose spiritual use has been established, such as cannabis or psychadelic mushrooms: Even though herbal folk-medicine considers it an important ingredient for many solutions - like any psychoactive poison, it also has intoxicating properties, which undoubtedly found their use in ritualistic-shamanistic ways.

    This use of henbane as both a pyscho-active drug and a source of healng has been documented in various other cultures, especially in Asia - according to Chinese ethnobotanist LI, the Henbane Seeds - if prepared in the right way and ingested for a longer period, allow one to undertake uncharacteristically long marches.

    In our own folk-medicine, we see Hildegard von Bingen recommending this psycho-active weed as a type of "hangover cure" - "Damit aber ein Betrunkener wieder zu sich kommt, lege er Bilsenkraut in kaltes Wasser und er befeuchte seine Stirn, Schläfen und Kehle (damit), und es wird ihm besser gehen." (trans: So that a drunken man shall recover, he should put henbane into cold water, and moisten his forehead, temples and throat, and he will feel better).

    From this we assume that its medicinal use has strengthening properties, which supports our theory. More importantly, however - according to German ethnobotanist Christian RÄTSCH - higher doses of this poison can not only lead to a revitalised feeling, but it can cause the ingestor to embark upon a long-lasting rage, whose immediate only antidote is death.

    Considering this piqante little detail, it sounds very likely that Berserks could have used this property to embark upon one of their rages. This thesis is supported by its medicinal use to improve stamina - it would appear logical that the capability to feel pain is compromised in more than just one way.

    Furthermore, henbane comes in handy when considering its recreational use: such as its mixture with alcoholical beverages - it could well be possible, that our ancestors did indeed use henbane to strengthen their mead or beer, to instill courage, dexterity and rage in the warriors.

    It use as an alcoholic ingredient is further supported by the accepted theory in ethnological and ethnobotanical circles, that the Bohemian city Pilsen - from which the Pilsner beer-type is derived - could take its name directly from systematic plantaging of Henbane, whose German name is Bilsenkraut. It is thus well possible that the use of henbane to strengthen the effects of beer could have been widespread prior to the introduction of the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 --- especially since it is an integral ingrediet of grut, which was used as flavouring in beer prior to the more wide-spread cultivation of hops.

    So you have: Widespread use in beer (perhaps what made beer popular in the first place? ), used as a medicine to reduce pain, causes restlessness and hallucinations, allows the ingestor to embark upon a rage --- all properties which are known of the berserks.

    Muslim writer Ibn Fadlan even stated that it was "drunk by the Vikings" - so perhaps, after long last, this very common weed could be the simple answer to the unexplainable restlessness and rage of the berserks? Who knows.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Last Online
    Thursday, June 4th, 2009 @ 01:46 PM
    Ethnicity
    English
    Ancestry
    English
    Country
    England England
    Gender
    Posts
    10
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Henbane is used in modern medicine for insomnia, as a sedative, for rheumatic conditions and seasickness. However as it is deadly poisinous I wouldn't think that is use in the past would have been overly common.

  3. #3
    Moderator "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Sigurd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    5 Days Ago @ 06:57 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Bavarii, Saxones, Suebi, Alamanni
    Subrace
    Borreby + Atlantonordoid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    Location
    Einöde in den Alpen
    Gender
    Age
    30
    Zodiac Sign
    Libra
    Family
    Engaged
    Politics
    Tradition & Homeland
    Religion
    Odinist
    Posts
    9,079
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    50
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    174
    Thanked in
    101 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Englishwoman View Post
    However as it is deadly poisinous I wouldn't think that is use in the past would have been overly common.
    Any nerve-poison, in fact any ingestible substance in general (including water, though we're talking of unreasonable amounts there), can be lethal at large doses, intoxicating at medium doses, and have medicinal uses in smaller doses. It all depends on the toxicity of the substance.

    Of course, we would be talking about minute amounts of henbane being sufficient to create intoxicating effects, perhaps no more than 10 grams per 50 litres, the existing documentation however does suggest its use.

    And with Deadly Nightshade having been documented and that being a few times more poisonous than henbane, well ...
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

Similar Threads

  1. Canada: Weed President to Jail Tranny Haters
    By Nachtengel in forum Canada
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Thursday, June 9th, 2016, 01:21 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: Monday, February 13th, 2012, 07:23 AM
  3. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Thursday, February 5th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  4. Initiative Aims to Weed Out Illegal Aliens
    By Dagna in forum Immigration & Multiculturalism
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sunday, January 18th, 2009, 03:24 PM
  5. "Berserks": Indo-European Mad Warriors
    By Vanir in forum Germanic & Indo-Germanic Origins
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Saturday, June 2nd, 2007, 12:44 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •