Belladonna: Medicinal Uses Oct 14, 2013 18:00:07 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 14, 2013 18:00:07 GMT -5
Medicinal Uses of Belladonna
Belladonna belongs to the Solanaceae family, which is known by various names: nightshade, atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade and devil’s cherry. Atropa belladonna is one of the most poisonous plants known with all parts of the plant containing toxic atropine alkaloids. Atropa belladonna extracts have been used since ancient times as a cosmetic agent for dilation of the pupils, which made the eyes of ladies look beautiful, hence the name “belladonna,” which means “beautiful lady” in Italian.
Belladonna is still used today because of its valuable alkaloid atropine, extracted from the roots of the plant. Atropine is a useful drug in different fields of medicine such as toxicology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology (as a painkiller), stomach cramps, etc.
Belladonna is also used in medicine for its anti-inflammatory and sedative effects, as a muscle relaxant, relief from morning sickness and stomach cramps, for colds (dries up mucous membranes), and the treatment of some cardiac problems. It reduces irritability and pain and is also used as a lotion, ointment, plaster or liniment in cases of neuralgia, gout, arthritis, rheumatism sciatica and throbbing headaches. As a drug taken orally, it specially affects the brain and bladder and is used to check excessive secretions, allay inflammation and check the sweating of phthisis and other exhausting diseases. The plant can also be used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, reducing tremors and rigidity whilst improving speech and mobility.
It is a powerful antispasmodic in intestinal colic and spasmodic asthma. Atropine is used in the treatment of pneumonia, typhoid fever and other acute diseases. It increases the rate of the heart by some 20 to 40 beats per minute, without diminishing its force. It is of value in acute sore throat and relieves local inflammation and congestion.
Taking belladonna orally isn't safe unless you know what you're doing and must be used with extreme caution by a qualified practitioner.
Possible side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision, fever, fast heartbeat, inability to urinate or sweat, hallucinations, spasms, mental problems, convulsions, and coma. In addition, belladonna may produce serious complications when taken by pregnant women and people with certain health conditions.
Homeopathic belladonna, however, is safe to use as it is diluted to the extent that it does not contain any residual of actual plant juice to show any toxic side effect.
Source: The Remedium.