Deadly nightshade from Köhler’s Medicinal Plants / Atropa belladonna

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File: Jpg
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License: Standard OPA license (commercial use allowed)


The old illustration of Atropa belladonna, or deadly nightshade, from Köhler’s Medicinal Plants (1887), shows a stunning image of the plant’s captivating but potentially dangerous beauty. Atropa belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is a powerful poisonous plant that has been used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments ranging from migraines to ulcers. It can be found in parts of Europe and North Africa, growing as a partially woody shrub and bearing black berries with yellow insides. While most consider this plant dangerous, it has historically been employed through tinctures and ointments to combat illnesses like neuritis, whooping coughs and even vertigo. In lower doses though, Atropa belladonna can cause lightheadedness, blurred vision, headache and facial flushing; higher doses can lead to delirium and coma.