Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Atropa
Botanical name: Atropa belladonna
Sanskrit: : Suchi
Hindi: Angur Shefa, luckmuna, Luckmunee
English: Deadly nightshade, Belladonna, Devil's Cherries, Naughty Man's Cherries, Divale, Black Cherry, Devil's Herb, Great Morel, Dwayberry Malayalam: Belladona, Balladona
Deadly nightshade is a branching herbaceous perennial, often growing as a subshrub, from a fleshy rootstock. Plants grow to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) tall with 18 centimetres (7.1 in) long ovate leaves. The bell-shaped flowers are purple with green tinges and faintly scented. The fruits are berries, which are green ripening to a shiny black, and approximately 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in diameter. The berries are sweet and are consumed by animals (seeToxicity) that disperse the seeds in their droppings, even though the seeds contain toxic alkaloids. There is a pale yellow flowering form called Atropa belladonna var. lutea with pale yellow fruit.
The plant is believed to be narcotic, diuretic, sedative, antispasmodic, mydriatic. Belladonna is a most valuable plant in the treatment of eye diseases, Atropine, obtained during extraction, being its most important constituent on account of its power of dilating the pupil. Belladonna has been used in herbal medicine for centuries as a pain reliever, muscle relaxer, and anti-inflammatory, and to treat menstrual problems, peptic ulcer disease, histaminic reaction, and motion sickness. At least one 19th-century eclectic medicine journal explained how to prepare a belladonna tincture for direct administration to patients.
Deadly Nightshade
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