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Uses for the Belladonna Herb

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Uses for the Belladonna Herb

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Based on anecdotal evidence, Belladonna has been used for centuries as a poison, to induce sleep and trances, and for other medicinal uses. Alkaloids extracted from belladonna, including atropine, hyoscymine and scopolamine, are used in numerous prescription medicines. Four berries are toxic. One to three tablespoons of belladonna can kill an adult. Smaller doses can kill a child. Do not handle belladonna if you have cuts in your skin. If you are poisoned, see a doctor.

Bacterial and Viral Infections

Prescription medicines containing derivatives of belladonna are used to treat typhoid fever and whooping cough. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used to help treat chicken pox, colds, fever, flu, measles, mumps, pancreatic disease, peritonitis, scarlet fever and whooping cough.

Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat

Physicians use atropine, derived from belladonna, to dilate eyes before surgical procedures. Studies are inconclusive as to whether belladonna alone is a useful in treating ear infections or to relax air passages and reduce the production of mucus, according to the National Institutes of Health. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used as an herbal remedy to treat sore throat, glaucoma and earache.

Gastro-Intestinal Disorders

Prescription medicines with compounds derived from belladonna are used to treat digestive and intestinal spasms, pancreatitis and gastritis. Studies are inconclusive as to whether belladonna alone is useful in treating irritable bowel syndrome, according to the National Institutes of Health. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, colitis, diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.

Menopause

Studies are inconclusive as to whether Bellegal, a combination of belladonna, ergot, and Phenobarbital, is useful in treating female hot flashes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Urinary Tract Problems

Prescription medicines containing chemicals obtained from belladonna are used to treat chronic urethritis. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used as a diuretic and to treat kidney stones and urinary tract disorders.

Respiratory Problems

Compounds derived from belladonna are used to treat asthma, hay fever, bronchial problems and pneumonia. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used as a herbal remedy to treat asthma and hay fever

Pain Management

Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used as an anesthetic and to treat arthritis, back and leg pain, gout, headaches, and pain in the joints and muscles.

Parkinson's Disease

Prescription medicines containing alkaloids derived from belladonna are used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Psychological Problems

Prescription medicines containing ingredients obtained from belladonna are used to treat psychiatric disorders. Belladonna has traditionally been used as a sedative.

Skin Problems

Studies are inconclusive whether belladonna alone is useful in treating excessive sweating and rashes suffered from radiation burn, according to the National Institutes of Health. Based on anecdotal evidence, belladonna has been used to treat skin rashes and warts.

Keywords: belladonna uses, belladonna medicines, belladonna cures

About this Author

Richard Hoyt, an internationally published author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.