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Botanical Name:     Atropa Belladonna

Common Name:- Deadly nightshade, Black Cherry.


Medicinal Part:-       The leaves.


Description:-  This perennial herb has a thick, fleshy, creeping root, and an annual erect leafy  stem about three feet high.  Leaves ovate, acute, entire on short, petioles, and of a dull green color. The flowers are dark purple, and fruit a many-seeded berry.


This plant is common to Europe, growing among ruins and waste places, blossoming from May to August and maturing its fruit in September.  The leaves should be gathered while the plant is in flower.  They yield their virtues to water and alcohol.


Properties and Uses:-  Belladonna is an energetic narcotic(`Narcotics are those substances having the property of diminishing the action of the nervous and vascular systems and of inducing sleep).  It is anodyne(analgesic), anti-spasdomic, calmative, and relaxant.  In the hands of skilled herbal physicians this botanical has great virtues, but it is too powerful and dangerous for general or home use.


We now come to consider what Dr. Nash call the trio of delirium remedies- Belladonna, Hyocyamus and Stramonium.  Many other remedies have delirium, but these three deserve to head the list.  Belladonna may also be called pre-eminently a head remedy.  In most complaints where this remedy is indicated, head symptoms preponderate.  The blood seems to be rushing to the head. (Amyl Nitrite, Glonine, Melilotus.).  The head is hot while the extremeties are cold. The eyes are red and blood-shot.  The face is also red, almost purple red. The carotid arteries throb so as to be plainly visible.  There is either great pain, pressure or sense of fullness or an almost stupid condition.  The wide terrible delirium, if present, may be found with pain, or even with no complaint of pain. In delerium the patient "imagines he sees ghosts, hideous faces and animals and insects." Fears all sorts of imaginary things an wants to run  away from them; breaks out into fit of laugher or screams and gnashes his teeth; bits or strikes those around him, in short, performs all sorts of violent act and is controlled with great difficulty. No remedy has more persistently violent delirium than Belladonna.  One of the characteristic features of Belladonna in delirium as compared with the other two remedies is the decided evidence already mentioned of  a surcharge of blood in the brain.  When the throbbing of the carotids , the heat, redness and congestion of face and conjunctive go away, the delirium subsides in proportion.  Belladonna may  have delirium with pale face as its alternate, but it is the exception.   Even the upper lip is congested and swollen.


In inflammations, which localize, Belladonna is in the first stage as often the leading remedy as any other.  It does not make much difference where they localize, whether in head, throat, mammae, or else-where if they come on suddenly, pursue a rapid course, are red, painful and especially  throbbing.  It is astonishing how many local inflammations, even a carbuncle or boil, will so disturb the general system and circulation, as to produce the general inflammatory fever, with the characteristic head symptoms calling for Belladonna and no less astonishing how this remedy controls the whole  condition, both local and general, when indicated.  What!   Exclaims the believer in local applications, give Belladonna internally for a boil on th hand or foot? Yes, indeed, not only Belladonna, but Mercurius, Hepar Sulphuris, Taractula Cubensis, and many others,  and you will not have any need for local medication at all. It is only in the first or congestive or active inflammatory stage that this remedy is in place; but if properly administered then, it will often abort the whole thing and never leave it to finish all its stages, or if not, so modify as to make it comparatively insignificant.


Belladonna is one of our best remedies in the diseases of children, even vying with Chamomilla. They come suddenly, almost without warning. This sudden and intense onset of fever is sometimes duplicated in Cina cases but there is helminthiasis in connection with it.  Child is well one minute and sick the next, and

one very characteristic symptom in these cases is, the child is very hot, with red face and semi stupor, but every little  while starts or sumps in sleep as it might go into spasms.  This condition is often found in children and then Belladonna is like "oil upon troubled water.".  Remember Belladonna inflammations localize more than they do in Aconite.  I drew the difference between  these two remedies in inflammations and inflammatory fevers when writing upon Aconite.  There is no use of confounding them.  Some do so; but, in so doing only exhibit their ignorance.


Dr. kent says that Belladonna is a remedy that takes hold of the system with great violence.  It is especially suitable to plethoric, vigorous individuals and intellectual people.  Brainy people having complaints coming on suddenly provided they are in a substantial state of  health, and are reasonable plethoric and vascular. The complaints of Belladona come on suddenly, run a regular course, and subside suddenly.   The pains and  suffering come on suddenly and with great violence, and subside suddenly.    ultimate  rapidly; run a sharp course, a course of great violence, and subside suddenly.  Belladonna especially affects the whole vascular system, the heart, lungs, brain and nervous system.


Mental symptoms:


The mental symptoms of Bell,. Are delightful to study, but dreadful to look up.  The mental symptoms are such as come on in intense fevers, such as are observed in maniacal excitement in delirium. Excitement runs all through.  Violence runs all through the mental symptoms.  The mental symptoms are all active, never passive.  There is no passive delirium in Belladonna.  It is a wild state.  He is wild, striking, biting, tearing things; doing unusal things doing strange things, doing unexpected things.  He is in state of excitability. These mental symptoms that come on during fevers, the delirium and excitement, are very commonly ameliorated by eating a little light food. That is not generally known in Bell. But it is quite a strong feature.  But remember the violence, and with it, if you go to the bedside where there is  this violent delirium, keep in mind, the heat, redness and burning.


As mentioned above, he is full of imaginations, see ghosts, and spirits and wild things.  In the early part of the fever the delirium is very violent and excitable,  but as it passes on he goes into a sleep, a sort of half-slumber, a semi-comatose state.  Apparently in a dream, and screams out.  Dreams horrrible things.  Sees in his dreams the things that he talks about . When he has real sleep, or resting, as near as it is for him to rest, he has violent dreams; night-mare.  See things on fire.  His delirium goes on when he appears to be sleeping. These symptoms often occur with cerebral congestion, the violent cerebral of the infant. If they are old enough to talk they will about the hammering in the head.  In Bell. The infant goes with congestion, pupils dilated; skin hot and dry; face red, throbbing carotids.   Finally the child become pale as the stupor increases and the neck is drawn back, because as it progresses the base of the brain and spine become involved, and the muscles of the neck contract, drawing the head backwards, and he rolls the head; eyes staring, pupils dilated.  This mental state is associated with scarlet fever and with cerebro-spinal meningitis.


Again, these mental states take the form of acute mania, when the patient will bite the spoon; will bark like dog; will do all sorts of violent things; even jump out of the window.  He has to be restrained, put in a strait-jacket.  The face is red, and the skin is hot, and the patient at times says that he burns all over, or that the head burns, and the head is very  hot.  During all this the feet are cold. Head hot, feet cold, or feet and hands cold as ice.    It seems all the blood is being hurried to the head. All sorts of delusions and hallucinations are mingled with the acute mania; ghosts, horrid monsters; strange things, and deformed subjects.  Fear of imaginary things, and wants to run away.  In the delirium of bell. he wants to run away from his attendants as he thinks they are doing him injury.Throughout the acute mania, and throughout the delirious state,all the manifestations partake of violence. Destructiveness.  The Bell. patient in the mot acute state must be watched, controlled, handled  and sometimes tied.  In the text it describes theses states as "rage, fury." He wants to do violence. He has aversion to noise and company/ Aversion to light, is better in dark.


Head:-    It is indicated in congestive headaches, and  also for  neuralgic headaches. Throbbing  & heat with the already described evidence of congestion of blood to the head.  Belladonna headaches, whether congestive or neuralgic, are worse on stooping forward, bending downward or lying down, anything that takes the patient out of the perpendicular.   ."Worse on lying down'" in fact seems to be variable general characteristic.   Pain worse < noise, light, lying down and in afternoon, right side > pressure and semi-erect position .Boring of head in pillows; drawn backward and rolls from side to side.  Constant moaning .With Belladonna the head likes wrapping up or covering, takes cold when it is uncovered or from cutting the hair (Hep.Sulph).  (Glonine; can'nt bear hat  on). Vertigo  on turning in bed, or moving, things go round.


Face:- Face is flushed, bluish-red, swollen, shining; convulsive motion of muscles of face. Swelling of upper lip.Facial neuralgia with twitching muscles and flushed face.


Eyes:    Inflammatory conditions of the eyes . Staring red, blood-shot and pupils first contracted, then greatly dilated. Very often specifically indicated for Viral conjunctivitis in the earlier stages. Photophobia.


Ears:- In inflammatory conditions of the ea whch go on to suppuration Bell. is rarely useful.  We have to look to deep acting remedies.  We may have the pain , tenderness, over sensitiveness, all inflammatory conditons ; but cases requiring Bell rarely go on to suppuration. Otitis Media, child cries in sleep. Hearing very acute. With the charactersitic throbbing and beating pain deep in the ear.


Nose:  Epistaxis with red face.  Coryza : mucus mixed with blood.


Mouth:- Dry mouth, dry tongue; swollen tongue; protruding tongue, dry and hard, feels like leather.  Loss of sensation, loss of taste, loss of power of the tongue and loss of speech are all bell features. Red streak in the middle of the tongue . Dryness of mouth with no thirst. Sometimes Bell. is thirsty for large quantities of water   when  stomach symptoms are prominent and sometimes he wants water only to wet his dry lips. Teething problems of  the children.


Throat:-  Tonsillitis, , red, worse right side; throat feels constricted; difficult swallowing, worse liquids. Scraping sensation. Spasms in throat.


Stomach: Averse to meat and milk.  Great thirst for cold water.  Spasms of stomach. Spasmodic hic-cough, dread of drinking .


Abdomen.:  There are two very characteristic symptoms in the abdominal region viz. "Tenderness of the abdomen < by the least jar, in walking, or stepping,or even the bed-clothes  or chair, upon which she sits or lies'" and "pressure downward as if the contents of the abdomen would issue through the vulva <mornings.".This last symptoms is found under other remedies, notably Lil.tig and Sepia . With Belladonna, there is often associated with this pressure downward a pain in the back " as if it would break.". Great pain in ileo coecal region, cannot bear the slightest touch even the bed clothes- a remedy for appendicitis.


Stools:-Belladonna has dysentric toubles. Diarrhoea with scany fluid stool, marked straining, but with it the face is flushed.  Heat, redness and burning in the face and head.  Haemorrhoids that are violently painful, that are intensely red and are greatly swollen and inflamed, a high grade of inflammation, cannot be touched; must lie with limbs apart and there is much burning.


Urine:  Dr. Kent says that no remedy has a greater irritation in the bladder and along the urinary tract than Bell.  The urging to urinate is constant.  The urine dribbles, and it burns intensely along the whole length of the urethra.  The whole urinary tract is in a state of irritation.  Bell. has cured inflammation of the bladder.

With urine symptoms, the irritable state of the mind, irritable state of the whole nervous system is to be considered.Haematuria where no pathological condition can be found. Tenesmus of the bladder


Male:  Prostatic hypertrophy, flow of prostatic fluid.


Female: The parts are sensitive, the uterus and ovaries are congested, sore to touch , sensitive to jar.  Irritable uterus; until it has become enlarged and ;painful and sore to the touch.   Sometimes it remains in this state after parturition. Feeling as if all the viscera would protrude at genitals. Menses, bright red , too early, too profuse. Mastitis <jar.


Respiratory:-  Tickling, short, dry cough; worse at night. The child will cry the instant it feels that urging to cough, because it knows what a great suffering is going to take place.  The chest is so painful, the child reads the cough and screams.  (This is also present with bryonia).

This remedy cures pneumonia and pleurisy .  With these the usual features of Bell must suffix , i.e. congestion of head, red face, or the burning ; but in pleurisy , Bell prefers the right side, cannot lie onit; <jar of the bed.  But Bry. Pleurisy, also prefers the right side, but the Bry. Patient must lie on that side, must have pressure and is not so sensitive to jar; he has not the intense heat, he has not the great throbbing, and the burning.


Heart :  Violent palpitation, with  throbbing headaches. Rapid but weakened pulse.


Extremities:- A very special feature of Belladonna is that the patient's and the general condition of the patient are ameliorated by rest; but the pains of the lower limbs, which are neuralgic type are > motion and come on in rest.  That does not mean that all the pains in the lower extremities are ameliorated by motion, b                  because the pains in rheumatism are invariably ameliorated by rest, and aggravated by motion. Those tearing pains, from hips downwards, with no swelling, come during rest  Jerking limbs, convulsions with usual head symptoms. These are the peculiarities of Bell.With all the complaints of Bell. there is rush of blood is to the head, extremeties are cold, cold feet, cold had, hot head.


Back:  Stiff neck, Swelling of glands of neck. Pain in nape as if it would break. Lubago, with pain in hips and thighs,.


Skin:  Uniform, smooth, shining, scarlet redness of the skin, so hot that it imparts a burning sensation to the hand of one who feels  of it, is very characteristic of Belladonna.. Glands swollen , tender, red, Boils, Alternate paleness and redness of skin. Indurations after inflammations, Erysipelas. Skin is dry and hot.


Fever:  Burning, pungent, steaming, heat.  Feet icy cold. No thirst with fever with usual head symptoms. After sunstroke.A strange feature running through the Bell. fever of all sorts is an unconquerable craving for lemons, and lemon-juice.  Lemonade seems to agree sometimes. In acute diseases when they crave lemon  it is good for them.


Sleep: Screams out in sleep, Starting when closing the eyes of during sleep. Sleeps with hands under head (Ars.Plat.) Kept awake by pulsations of blood-vessels.




Worse: Touch, Motion, Noise jarring, Draught, Lying down After 3 p.m. and after midnight.


Better:- Rest, Standing or sitting erect (or semi-erect), Warm room.


Summary of indications:-

Fevers-headache-influenza-ear disorders-conjunctivitis-"blood boils"- rhinitis- sorethroat- inflamed tonsils-sunstroke.

Relations:  Belladonna is the acute of Calcarea Carb.


Antidote:- Camphora, Coffea cruda, hepar Sulph, Hyoscymus niger, Opium.



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