Belladonna, or belladonna

Deadly poisonous!

Solanaceae – Solanaceae.

Popular names: crazy cherry, crazy berry, sleepy cherry, damn berry, drunken bush.

Parts Used: Leaves, sometimes the whole herb, root.

Pharmacy name: belladonna leaves – Belladonnae folium (formerly: Folia Belladonnae), belladonna root – Belladonae radix (formerly: Radix Belladonnae).

Botanical description.A perennial plant with a very long main root, from which numerous straight, obtuse-faced, strongly branched shoots grow annually, reaching 1.5 m in height. The leaves are placed in the upper part of the shoot in pairs (one large and one small) oppositely. Between the leaves on long pedicels sit single drooping flowers, brownish-violet on the outside, and dirty yellow on the inside with purple-red veins. Ripe fruits are glossy black juicy berries the size of cherries. Blooms from June to August. It grows in Europe and Asia Minor on light edges, prefers limestones and soils rich in calcium. Belladonna is a deadly poisonous plant! Hobbyists should neither collect nor use it! All parts of the plant contain poisons! For babies, its shiny blue-black berries are especially dangerous, which in no case should be eaten, because just a few berries can be a lethal dose for a baby. The fact that thrushes, starlings and other birds eat “mad cherries” does not mean at all that it is not poisonous to humans.

Active ingredients: atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine and other alkaloids close to them.

Healing action and application. It should be convincingly warned about the inadmissibility of the independent use of belladonna. Nevertheless, it can be argued that we are talking about an extremely important medicinal plant, which in the hands of doctors, mainly in the form of finished products, is truly irreplaceable. Preparations of belladonna (extracts or tincture) are used to treat gastrointestinal diseases associated with convulsive pain. Doctors also prescribe these products for bronchial asthma and all kinds of neuralgia; in the treatment of eye diseases, pure atropine is used.

Use in homeopathy. Homeopathic product Belladonna is prepared from the whole fresh plant. The agent is used mainly in degrees of dilution D 1 -D6 with spasms of all abdominal organs, with asthma, stomach ulcers and colic. With periodic heart pains, all kinds of neuralgia, and especially with gout, belladonna is also prescribed.

Application in folk medicine. В наше время в народной медицине отказываются от употребления столь опасного лекарственного растения, однако раньше экстракты и вытяжки красавки с вином и соками принимали как внутрь, так и в качестве наружного средства при болях разного происхождения. Поистине удивительно, что мы почти ничего не знаем из античных источников о использовании красавки в медицине, хотя совершенно очевидно, что ее ядовитые свойства были известны. Подробно об этом лекарственном растении рассказали лишь авторы средневековых травников. У Табернемонтануса-Баугина мы обнаруживаем в травнике (Базель, 1731), что нарезанная и приложенная трава красавки лечит все язвы и опухоли, воспаленные желудок и печень, утоляя при всем этом жар. Хотя имелось еще и другое – бесславное – применение красавки. Из нее готовили мазь, которую использовали во время судов над ведьмами. При ее втирании действующие вещества попадали в кровь, что вызывало галлюцинации, и жертвы под пыткой говорили все, что от них требовали. Из красавки делали также яды и приворотные зелья.

Side effects. Signs of belladonna poisoning are dry mouth, scratchy sore throat with difficulty swallowing, feeling thirsty, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. Then hallucinations are found with attacks of violent insanity, after which death begins after 3-15 hours. A very characteristic sign is sharply dilated pupils, which increase very soon after being poisoned by belladonna. At the first sign of poisoning, first aid should be provided immediately.

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