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Belladonna, Atropa belladonna

Family of solanaceae

The sight of this shrub, covered with bright yellow and black berries, gives always a shiver. The beauty of this plant associated with the idea of poison and death it gives makes belladonna be a plant rich of mystery. Atropa was the Parca who cut the thread which represented the life of men and the name belladonna is due to the fact that beautiful women, during the Renaissance, used this kind of drug to dilate their pupils.

Its fruits and leaves were employed as hallucinogen and used in magic practices. Many hallucinations and visions were caused by the use of this plant, especially in past centuries. The alkaloids of the plant are currently used in medicine.

Picture and text of Tebaldo Lorini
Translated by Gianna Toni

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