The common belladonna, in addition to the scientific name in Latin - Atropa belladonna - has many more folk, one of which is a sleepy stupor. Thanks to the substance atropine, which is abundant in the plant, today many diseases are treated, but an overdose of it is fraught with a condition that is really comparable to "stupidity", rabies.
The name of belladonna, willy-nilly, wants to be associated with the word beauty, especially since in Latin it is also called belladonna (translated as a beautiful woman). However, it also has other, not so euphonious names. The people call the belladonna a mad, drunk, mad or devil's berry. Sleepy stupidity is also about her, and for good reason.
If you look closely, the warning about the possible danger lies in the full name of the plant - Atropa belladonna. After all, an inconspicuous plant, with delicate pink inflorescences, is completely poisonous. Stems, leaves, flowers and berries are replete with oxycoumarins, flavonoids, alkaloids, a significant part of which is atropine - a poison. In small doses, it can relieve pain and have a paralyzing effect on nervous activity.
Despite the fact that, according to medieval doctors, belladonna leads to insanity, deprives the mind and causes a state of demoniacal possession, it is successfully used in pharmacology for the treatment of many diseases. Due to its ability to reduce the secretion of the sebaceous, sweat, salivary and gastric glands, in medicine, tumors, ulcers, hemorrhoids, diseases of the duodenum, cholecystitis, biliary and renal colitis, diseases of the bronchi and heart are treated with belladonna preparations.
When using drugs with belladonna, even with a doctor's prescription, do not forget that even in small quantities it inhibits the psychomotor reaction. If you have to drive a car or do work that requires concentration and increased attention, then you should be careful. If the dosage is violated, dry mouth, dizziness, hallucinations and drowsiness, or nervous overexcitement are possible.
It is believed that the "name" Atropa the belladonna inherited from the Greek goddess of death, which, in combination with the "beautiful woman", formed a kind of unity of opposites, reminding that this plant can both heal and destroy. Even in the Middle Ages, a decoction of belladonna was given instead of torture to prisoners, having tasted which they gave out everything that was required of them.
Mixing belladonna juice with wine, they relieved pain of various origins. Burying it in the eyes, women sought to enlarge their pupils and give them an irresistible shine. The belladonna juice blushed the cheeks and used it as a deodorant, because it suppressed the activity of the sweat glands. Back in the 17th century, there was a recipe for an ointment with belladonna, when rubbed in, a person felt either lightness and bliss, or, by increasing the dose, he could fall asleep for a day.
Linguists associate the emergence of the famous saying “beauty requires sacrifice” with the use of belladonna for cosmetic purposes. After all, a toxic substance, having penetrated the skin, can cause either excessive excitement, or a state of "intoxication", weightlessness. A person can have wild fun, but then apathy sets in. Poisoning is possible, which at best will cause an increase in temperature and pressure, but it can also be fatal due to paralysis of the respiratory tract.