Finding our roots
FUNDED BY EUROPEAN UNION
TARGET GROUP NUMBER : 13
Description and morphological description of the plant
Belladonna is one of the most toxic plants found in the Eastern Hemisphere. The berries pose the greatest danger because they look attractive and have a somewhat sweet taste, but all parts of the plant contain this poison. It's a winter plant with sticky hairs and an unpleasant smell, and it's poisonous to most mammals and also to humans. Originally it's native of Europe, and it's used as an ornamental. It lives typically in pastures, roadsides and waste areas.
The plant commonly known as the belladonna is a medium sized perennial shrub. it normally bears two or three branches and has a distinct colored stem that ranges from purple to green. It's covered in short, fine hairs. The belladonna has dark green leaves. It also gives off distinct bell shaped flowers which are dark purple in color. It's roots are thick and white. The belladonna gives out a strong odor when it is crushed.
Vulgar names in different languages
- Deadly nightsade
- Devil's cherries
- Black henbane
Uses, threats and singularities
Black henbane has been used as a medicine since last centuries and has been described in all traditional medicines. It applies as a herbal medicine, but may provoke intoxication accidentally or intentionally.
Medical uses: it was reportedly used as a sedative and anaesthetic for surgeries before the middle ages.
It has also been found to have many pharmaceutical and therapeutic applications:
- Whopping cough
- Hay fever.
- Parkison´s disease.
- Motion sickness.
- Arthritis like pain.
- Nerve problems.
- Spasms and colic-like pain in the stomach and bile ducts.
Cosmetic uses: The common name belladonna originates from its historic use by women - Bella Donna is Italian for beautiful lady. Women used to drip small drops of the plant’s extract into their eyes, to enlarge their pupils. Large pupils were considered sexual symbols.
Uses as a poison: Ancient romans allegedly made poison arrows using an extract from the plant. It was also a popular choice of assassins through the middle ages.
Threats : The symptoms of belladonna poisoning include dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions.
Classical myths related to the plant
The name Bellona is transparently derived from the Latin word bellum "war".
She is represented with a helmet on her head, usually wearing a plate armour, bearing a sword, spear, shield, or other weapons of battle. She may be shown as a goddess with wings bearing a helmet.
ENYO was the goddess of war, who delights in bloodshed and the destruction of towns, and accompanies Ares in battles. She was the female counterpart and close companion of the god Ares Enyalios.
Enyo was closely identified with Eris, the goddess of strife. Homer does not appear to distinguish between the two goddesses. She was also connected with the Anatolian goddess Ma.
Her symbols are:
And her secret animal was the swan, but it's unknown why this was her sacred animal, because swan's are usually depicted as a peaceful animals.
1. What´s the fruit of the Belladona?
2. How many branches has the Belladona?
3. Which is the meaning of Latin word “bellum”?
a) War b) Beauty c) Love d) Power