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Atropa belladonna (Deadly nightshade)

  • Rowan McOnegal
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Credit: Atropa belladonna (Deadly nightshade). Rowan McOnegal. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Herbal medicine. Atropa belladonna (Deadly nightshade). Tall erect stems with ovate leaves and opening purple bell-shaped flowers. Contains alkaloids including atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, once used as antispasmodics and narcotics. Atropine is a cycloplegic used to dilate the pupils. It is grown commercially for this purpose. The word Belladonna (beautiful woman) derives from its historical use for this purpose. The berries are deadly poisonous.


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