Belladonna is a flowering plant (angiosperm dicots) member, such as tomato and potato, the important family Solanaceae.It is a herbal plant.
The scientific name, Atropa belladonna, derived from its lethal effects and use cosmetics:
Atropos is the name of Moira in Greek mythology who cuts the thread of life, this is a reminder that the ingestion of berries of this plant causes death.
The specific epithet belladonna refers to a practice in the Renaissance: the ladies used this plant to show off and shine in the eyes by the ability of the pupil dilated.
Herbaceous and perennial, with a big rhizome from which there is a strong stem, erect and branched, with heights between 70-150 cm.
The leaves are simple, petiolate, ovate-lanceolate, alternate in the upper leaves smaller, as the stem, are covered with glandular hairs responsible for the unpleasant odor emanated from the plant.
The flowers are hermaphrodite, axillary and droopy, have a cup to 5 5 to sepals and a corolla campanulate-tubular-shaped petals and deep purple color, the androecium consists of five stamens with anthers well developed, the harem of an ovary biloculare with unique style and bifid stigma.
Belladonna flowers in summer, and pollination is entomophilous (by insects). The fruits are shiny black berries, small, surrounded by glass that, during maturation, is increased by opening a star.
Despite the attractive appearance and pleasant taste, the berries are poisonous to humans and ingestion may cause a decrease in sensitivity, forms of delirium, thirst, vomiting, followed, in severe cases, convulsions and death.
The sporadic belladonna grows in mountainous and submontane up to an altitude of 1400 meters. It prefers calcareous soils and the cool shady forest edges, such as beech. In the wild, is present in central Europe, northern Africa and western Asia to Pakistan. In Italy you can find in the forests of the Alps and Apennines, Sicily, where it is known as "sulatra"(at least in the area north of Syracuse), is widely available even in the citrus groves in the hills around 400 meters; the juice of the leaves is used as a remedy for wasp stings.
Belladonna is used in herbal medicine since time immemorial by doctors for its antispasmodic qualities.
Chemical structure of the plant is the main therapeutic dell'atropinaL'ingrediente atropine or DL-giusciamina. It is found in all the Solanaceae: in therapeutically relevant doses in Datura stramonium, Hyoscyamus niger, Solanum niger, in lower doses in crops such as potatoes and tomatoes.
In academic medicine (learned) atropine alone, it is still used as a pupil dilator muscle relaxant and as p. e. prior to surgery.
According to homeopathy pills derived from belladonna should have therapeutic effects for the following diseases:
1.faringiti, nasopharyngitis, tracheobronchitis and tonsillitis in which we feel the need to swallow all the time
2.febbre during influenza, infantile convulsions with high fever
3.Cefalea vasomotor violent, button
4.Processi local inflammatory reddening with "brilliant", swelling, intense heat and radiation, acute pain, violent and button
5.Attacchi of delirium, hypersensitivity to noise and bright light.
The leaves contain belladonna alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, L-giusciamina, with a total content of min. 0.3%. In the roots reach min. 0.5%. The overall effect is parasimpatolitico / anticholinergic due to competitive inhibition of the neuromuscular transmitter acetylcholine receptor. This affects mainly the effect muscarinic antagonism (less than the nicotinic ganglia and neuromuscular terminal). The effect is then routed to the parasympathetic autonomic smooth muscle of peripheral and central nervous system:
· gastrointestinal and biliary tract: failure of organs to smooth muscle spasmolytic
· heart: positive chronotropic and dromotropic
· bronchi: expansion, spasmolisi
· central nervous parasimapatico stimulating effects on tremor and muscular rigidity (PD)
according to the Handbook of drugs from the Italian Ministry of Health belladonna is indicated under the headings of:
The Commission and the Ministry of Health the Germanic Atropa belladonna is indicated against:
and spasms of the gastrointestinal tract and biliary colic
popular herbal medicine according to the experience as well:
Tachicardiaco rhythm disorders, prostatic hyperplasia, glaucoma, acute pulmonary edema and mechanical stenosis in the gastrointestinal tract.
dry mouth, decreased sweating and
(In overdose): accommodation disturbances, dryness and rubor dermal, tachycardia, difficulty urinating, hallucinations and were spastic.
Or characteristics are not constant, generally consist of an intense congestion of the lungs and abdominal organs, retina, and the meninges of the brain associated with bleeding: in one case observed by Rosenberg, the brain, the cerebellum and medulla oblongata showed several outbreaks of capillary bleeding.
Amplification of the anticholinergic effects of tricyclic antidepressants, amantadine and quinidine.
Atropine poisoning (Solanaceae)
The toxic doses are individually very variable. Children react to the usually more sensitive than adults.
Symptoms of poisoning are:
· dry mucous membranes, difficulty speaking and swallowing
· mydriatic pupils (open, no glare) with paralysis of accommodation and hypersensitivity to light the subject
· dry skin and redness
· fever, tachycardia
· intestinal atony
· centralnervosa excitation (restlessness, confusion, ev. hallucinations and spasms)
· later, drowsiness, coma and respiratory arrest
Symptoms of poisoning - mostly rise up very quickly, and are characterized by a sense of barrenness, dryness and narrowing in the mouth and throat, nausea and rarely vomiting, dilated pupils with insensitivity to light, then amaurosis and amblyopia; staggering gait (the sick seem intoxicated and can not stand up), followed by dizziness fainting, eyes bulging, bloodshot eyes fixed, stupid or cruel; wrist frequent, small or full and hard, dyspnea, involuntary release of feces and urine (paralysis of sphincters). The skin is hot, the seat of intense itching, covered with a rash scarlatiniform. In children are noted routinely trismus and convulsions in adults gay or furious delirium with hallucinations, followed by coma, convulsions, sometimes a tendency to bite, death by general paralysis in 24-36 hours. Where there has been a non-lethal slow and gradual improvement of symptoms and sometimes fever with profuse sweating occurs, and recovery usually occurs after 4-8 days. The atropine poisoning is not different from that for belladonna for a more rapid progression.
Treatment Of Poisoning
· Differential diagnosis of children: infectious diseases
· First Aid: gastric emptying, physostigmine. Care as a central anticholinergic syndrome
Emetic, purgative, stomach pump. The antagonists of atropine are mainly pilocarpine, morphine and chloral hydrate. Morphine is indicated only in the stage of excitement, and not that of the terminal collapse: in this period can be used chloral hydrate, but warned that the heart is further weakened by chloral by morphine. Do not forget you will be expected to stimulants (coffee, alcohol, ether, etc.). Rivulsivi and the skin (cold effusion on the head, poultices on the chest and calves etc...)
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