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Belladonna (Traditional Medicine/Poison)

Belladonna is an herb that grows naturally in parts of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia and has become naturalized in some areas of North America. Its name, which is Italian for “beautiful woman,” originates from a medieval practice among Italy’s female aristocracy and upper class to instill drops of the herb’s nectar into their eyes to make their pupils larger, which, according to the prevailing wisdom of the day, made them more attractive to the opposite sex. Over the years, the herb has gained a more negative reputation. Today, it is commonly known as deadly nightshade because its leaves and roots contain poisonous toxins that can cause severe hallucinations and greatly harm health if not used appropriately for medicinal, therapeutic, and cultural purposes.

Plant Description ...
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