Jul. 10, 2017

belladonna, Atropa belladonna

Belladonna has been a part of human life and death for a long time. It's oldest known use was on the tips of poison arrows, records of which go back 7000 years. Later, it was part of a concoction to help witches fly. The wives of Emperors Augustus and Claudius used it politically. It has been used in eye drops by women who hoped dilated pupils would make them more attractive. This use is the reason for the name; belladonna translates to beautiful lady. Belladonna, also called deadly nightshade, has been found wild in CA, MI, NJ, NY, OR, and WA. Bela Gardens, MSU, 7/1/17.