Belladonna (Deadly nightshade / Atropa belladonna) medicinal uses & images
Belladonna plant also known as Deadly nightshade, is a perennial, herbaceous plant. It is a rhizomatous hemicryptophyte. It belongs to the family of tomatoes. The plant is very toxic as it contains poisonous elements called as tropane alkaloids. The toxins such as scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine present in the plant can cause delirium and hallucinations. Thus, they are used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. Belladonna grows up to 2 metres high and has ovate leaves of 18 centimetres long. The flowers are light purple with green hints. The berries are green but turn into shiny black when they ripen. The fruits are 1.5 centimetres in diameter. The root is thick and juicy.
This plant is also called as deadly nightshade.
Botanical name and family
Botanical name – Atropa belladonna
Geological area where Belladonna (Deadly nightshade) grows
Belladonna was first found in the Southern and Central Europe. It is now cultivated in other parts of the world such as Sweden, Britain, North America, Asia, etc. In many countries, it is considered as a poisonous weed. In India too, belladonna is grown widely.
Medicinal use of Belladonna
Though This plant (Deadly nightshade) is a very poisonous plant, yet it has many medicinal benefits if used in proper proportions and way. For this, you will need an expert. It is used to treat many health issues such as –
- Belladonna has been used for centuries as a painkiller, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory agent.
- It can treat menstrual problems, histaminic reaction, peptic ulcer disease and motion sickness.
- In the ancient times, This plant was used as an anesthetic for surgery.
- Ancient Romans used it as a poison. Poison tipped arrows were made using Belladonna.
- The Extract of Belladonna herb was used as an eye drop by women todilate the eye pupils and look seductive.
- This plant is used in making tinctures and powders to heal wounds.
- Deadly nightshade is also used for mild sedation.
- Deadly nightshade is also used in adjunctive therapy for treating irritable bowel syndrome and acute enterocolitis.
- Deadly nightshade is also used in homeopathy to treat many diseases such as stomach ulcers treatment, spastic colon, motion sickness, diverticulitis, pink eye, Parkinson’s disease.
- It also used as a recreational drug as it causes hallucinations and delirium.
- Very tiny doses calm the cardiac palpitation. Plasters of belladonna are applied to the cardiac region to remove pain and distress.
- Deadly nightshade controls intestinal colic and used for spasmodic asthma treatment. It can also cure a whooping cough and false croup.
- It also has curing effects on pneumonia, typhoid, and fever.
- It can also cure an acute sore throat.
- It is effective on local inflammation and congestion.
- Some studies show that it is also effective in curing cancer.
- Belladonna plasters are very useful if one falls, injures or sprains a body part.
As Deadly nightshade is a very poisonous plant, the dosages of intake must be monitored very carefully. No amounts of Deadly nightshade must be taken without consulting the experts. It is preferable that you take this herb in very little amounts so that there are no ill effects or problems. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid the usage of belladonna.