Atropa belladonna seems to have a relationship with opium. Somebody suffering from opium poisoning can be treated with belladonna and somebody suffering from belladonna poisoning can be treated with opium.

Atropine, a chemical in belladonna, is an anecdote for parathion which is a deadly insecticide. This was found out in 1967 when bread became contaminated with the insecticide and the doctors used atropine to save many of the patients lives. 

Atropine was also the only anecdote to a nerve gas developed by the Germans in World War II. Fortunately it never had to be used.

Atropine is used by eye doctors to dilate patients pupils.

Extracts of Atropa belladonna are used in drugs taken for asthma, colds and hayfever.

Some laxatives contain belladonna extracts.

Humans can be poisoned eating rabbits or birds that have eaten the berries of the plant.

Modern medicine uses the compounds Atropine, Hyoscyomine, Scopolamine, and Tinctures which are all isolated from Atropa belladonna.

During the Renaissance Italian women used to put drops of the juice from the berries of the plant into their eyes to make their pupils dilate and make themselves look more beautiful.

This was thought to be the favorite plant of the Devil by people in the Middle Ages. Sorcerers and witches would add the juices of the plant to their ointments and drinks as well. Witches rubbed the ointment on their skin and believed that it would make them fly.

Europeans coming to the New World new of the toxic properties of belladonna and were afraid to eat crops like tomatoes and potatoes which are in the same family as belladonna.

People would frequently use this herb to poison people and kill them. 

It is said that this plant poisoned troops of Marcus Antonius during the Parthian wars.

Mandrake, a close relative of belladonna was once used as anesthetic for operations

If you wish to learn more about the make-up of chemicals in Atropa belladonna please visit the Adaptation page.

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