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Atropa belladonna Linn
It comes from two Latin words belladonna, which means the beautiful lady, from the circumstance that the Venetian ladies of old used it as a cosmetic to brighten the eyes and flush the cheeks, and atropa one of the three Parcas whose decided upon the duration of the human life.
The freshly expressed juice of the whole plant at the commencement of its flowering, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Lamiidae / Tubiflorae; Scrophulariales; Solanaceae - Tomato / Potato Family
The first homeopathic proving was made by Samuel Hahnemann.
Description of the substance
Atropa Belladonna is a perennial herb, with a thick, branched, fleshy, creeping root, and annual, erect, round, dichotomously branched, leafy, slightly downy stems, about 3 feet high. The leaves are lateral, mostly two together, of unequal size, ovate, acute, entire, soft, of a dull-green color, smooth and borne on short petioles. The flowers are imperfectly axillary, solitary, stalked, large, drooping, dark, dull-purple in the border, paler downward. The calyx is green, 5-parted, permanent, and nearly equal. The corolla is campanulate, with a short tube, and limb divided into 5, shallow, nearly equal segments. Stamens 5; filaments nearly as long as the corolla tube; anthers cordate and 4-lobed; stigma capitate and 2-lobed. The fruit is a 2-celled, many-seeded berry, subtended by the enlarged calyx; it contains reniform seeds (L.-Smith). When bruised the whole plant exhales a fetid odor.
Widely distributed over most of Southern Europe and parts of Asia and North Africa.
These plants normally grow in calcareus soils (containing chalk or limestone), and under the shade of large trees,Belladonna also prefers an alkaline, calcareous ( lime or chalk ) soil with lots of organic matter and a copious supply of water. The soil in the plants natural habitats is often also stoney and somewhat porous.
These plants naturally colonize inhabited areas around hedges and old buildings, and can easily escape cultivation and naturalize.
"Belladonna leaves, compared to the other official leaves of the Solanaceae, are comparatively smooth and the margin is entire. The upper surface is darker than the lower surface. The undeveloped fruit, a calyx with an unripe berry, is often present.