belladonna

Atropa b. (family Solanaceae); a perennial herb with dark purple flowers and shining purplish-black berries; the leaves (0.3% b. alkaloids) and root (0.5% b. alkaloids) orginally were source of atropine and related alkaloids, which are anticholinergic. B. is used as a powder (0.3% b. alkaloids, calculated as hyoscyamine) and tincture in diarrhea, asthma, colic, and hyperacidity. SYN: deadly nightshade. [It. bella, beautiful, + donna, lady]

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bel·la·don·na .bel-ə-'dän-ə n
1) an Old World poisonous plant of the genus Atropa (A. belladonna) having purple or green flowers, glossy black berries, and a root and leaves that yield atropine called also deadly nightshade
2) a medicinal preparation (as atropine) extracted from the belladonna plant and containing anticholinergic alkaloids

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n.
1. deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna): the plant from which the drug atropine is obtained.
2. the alkaloid derived from deadly nightshade, from which atropine is extracted. Belladona is included in some preparations for treating diarrhoea for its antispasmodic effects.

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bel·la·don·na (bel″ə-donґə) [Ital. “fair lady”] 1. Atropa belladonna, a perennial plant indigenous to central and southern Europe and cultivated in North America; it contains various anticholinergic alkaloids, including atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are used medicinally. Ingestion of belladonna or its alkaloids can cause anticholinergic poisoning (q.v.). Called also banewort, deadly nightshade, death's herb, and dwale. 2. belladonna leaf.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Synonyms:
, , (Atropa belladonna)


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  • Belladonna — Bel la*don na, n. [It., literally fine lady; bella beautiful + donna lady.] (Bot.) (a) An herbaceous European plant ({Atropa belladonna}) with reddish bell shaped flowers and shining black berries. The whole plant and its fruit are very poisonous …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • belladonna — 1590s, deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), from Italian, lit. fair lady; the plant so called supposedly because women made cosmetic eye drops from its juice (an 18c. explanation; atropic acid, found in the plant, has a well known property of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • belladonna — [bel΄ə dän′ə] n. [ModL < It bella donna, lit., beautiful lady: a folk etym. (infl. by cosmetic use for dilating the eye) for ML bladona, nightshade, prob. < Gaul] 1. a poisonous European plant (Atropa belladonna) of the nightshade family,… …   English World dictionary

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  • Belladonna — Belladonna, s. Atropa …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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