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Belladonna tea – Benefits and properties

by Dianna Leon

With the scientific name Atropa belladonna , the belladonna is a rare plant that grows in humid places, mainly near rivers and lakes. Despite being highly intoxicating, the plant is used to produce some medicines due to atropine, an alkaloid present in its leaves.

Its leaves are elliptical, and the plant can reach 2.5m in height. Also known by the names of cherry-from-hell, beautiful lady, mydriatic herb, and lady of the night, this herb was used in ancient times in Rome to make a juice from its fruit. Women used it to dilate the pupils of their eyes, as a form of aesthetics – hence the name beautiful lady.

Indications and properties

For medicinal purposes, its leaves and flowering juices are used. Among its active ingredients are atropine, noratropine, scopolamine and atroscin, among others.

Its use is indicated to relax the muscles, in addition to relieving pain from urinary and gallbladder cramps. It is also effective in relieving asthma attacks, reducing night sweats in tuberculosis patients, nervous system problems or specific digestion problems. Belladonna can also be used for eye exams, as it dilates the pupil. It is an excellent parasympatholytic, spasmolytic, secretion inhibitor and analgesic. It can also be used for anticholinergic treatment, to relieve gastrointestinal cramps and constipation.

It is important to emphasize that it should not be used without medical advice, as well as any other medicine or medicinal plant. Belladonna is toxic and has several side effects when used unsupervised.

How to make belladonna tea?

Tea must be prepared by infusion. Use the proportion of one tablespoon for each liter of water. Bring the water to the fire and wait for it to boil. Then add the belladonna and wait for it to boil again. After this period, turn off the heat and keep the mixture muffled for about ten minutes. Strain and consume one cup once or twice a day.

Contraindications and precautions

Ingesting the fruit can be lethal, especially for children. Excessive consumption can cause irritability and excitement, resulting in hyperactivity. In addition, there is an increase in body temperature and loss of sweating. It can also cause dry mouth, pupillary dilation, difficulty seeing, loss of consciousness, nausea, hallucinations and apathy. Consumption is contraindicated for patients with heart disease or with Down syndrome, angle-closure glaucoma, hepatic or renal dysfunction, xerostomia, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, obstructive myopathy, tachycardia, reflux esophagitis, pregnancy toxemia or children with brain damage. It is important that remedies based on belladonna, or even the plant itself, are recommended by a doctor.Never use self-medication.

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