What Is the Belladonna Flower?

belladonna-flower Credit: pibmak/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The belladonna flower is the flower of the poisonous nightshade plant. The plant dilates the pupils of people who come in contact with it, and it can cause a person to hallucinate. In Italy, women once took belladonna berry juice to enlarge their pupils and make them more attractive.

The roots and leaves of the belladonna plant are used to make medicine. Even though the plant is considered unsafe, it is a natural treatment for whooping cough and asthma. Belladonna is also a natural sedative. Belladonna is also used in topical treatments to reduce pain caused by rheumatism or to relieve nerve pain.