belladonna

(redirected from Fair Lady)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

belladonna

(bĕlədŏn`ə) or

deadly nightshade,

poisonous perennial plant, Atropa belladona, of the nightshadenightshade,
common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species.
..... Click the link for more information.
 family. Native to Europe and now grown in the United States, the plant has reddish, bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries. Extracts of its leaves and fleshy roots act to dilate the pupils of the eye and were once used cosmetically by women to achieve this effect. (The name belladonna is from the Italian meaning "beautiful lady.") The plant extract contains the alkaloids atropineatropine
, alkaloid drug derived from belladonna and other plants of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Available either as the tincture or extract of belladonna, or as the pure substance atropine sulfate, it is a depressant of the parasympathetic nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information.
, scopolaminescopolamine
or hyoscine
, alkaloid drug obtained from plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), chiefly from henbane, Hyoscyamus niger. Structurally similar to the nerve substance acetylcholine, scopolamine acts by interfering with the transmission of nerve
..... Click the link for more information.
, and hyoscyamine. Belladonna has also been used since ancient times as a poison and as a sedative; in medieval Europe large doses were used by witchcraft and devil-worship cults to produce hallucinogenic effects. Other species of the potato family such as henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), and Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) also contain one or more of the alkaloids present in belladona. The active substances act physiologically to depress the parasympathetic nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Belladonna is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales, family Solanaceae.

Belladonna

 

or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), a perennial grassy plant of the nightshade family (Solanacae). The stalk grows straight to a height of 0.6–2 m. The flowers have mostly brownish-violet or dirty purple (sometimes yellow) crowns. The fruit is a polyspermous black (sometimes yellow), shiny berry. Belladonna grows wild in central and southern Europe and in Asia Minor; in the USSR, it grows mainly in mountainous regions of the Crimea and in the Carpathians, in moistened, friable soil. It is found in forests, glades, and cutover areas, as well as in brushwood thickets. A related species, A. caucasica, grows in the Caucasus.

Belladonna is a valuable medicinal plant and has therefore been cultivated. All parts of the plant contain alkaloids (atropine, hyoscyamine, and others) and are poisonous. An extract and an infusion are made from the leaves and roots of belladonna, which are used (only on physician’s prescription) as spasmolytic and analgesic remedies in stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids (as suppositories), neuralgias, and bronchial asthma. (Belladonna enters into the composition of the powder called asthmatol.) A tea made from the root is used for Parkinson’s disease. In belladonna poisoning, the pupils are dilated, and excitement and delirium begin, followed by drowsiness and sleep; death is possible. First aid consists of irrigation of the stomach with a suspension of activated carbon and potassium permanganate solution, followed by saline laxatives, strong tea, and coffee.

A considerable portion of the raw belladonna in the USSR is obtained from cultivation, mainly in the Ukraine and Krasnodar Krai in the RSFSR. Belladonna may also be cultivated farther north, but this results in a noticeable decrease in alkaloid content. Belladonna is cultivated on moist lowlands (groundwater level no closer than 2 m). It is best to sow the seeds after winter crops and vegetables. Manure and complete mineral fertilizer are plowed in with the basic tilling. In wide-row planting, the amount of seeds is 8 kg per hectare (ha), in square-cluster planting it is 4 kg per ha.

In regions farther north than Krasnodar, belladonna is propagated by transplanting either year-old or older roots divided lengthwise into two, three, or four parts. Leaves are gathered up to five times per vegetation and dried. The yield of dried leaves is 8–10 centners per ha (1 centner = 100kg). Belladonna is damaged by the caterpillars of leaf-chewing moths and the belladonna flea; it contracts brown spot, Ascochyta infection, anthracnose, and other diseases.

REFERENCES

Belladonna. Moscow, 1953.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.

belladonna

[‚bel·ə′dän·ə]
(botany)
Atropa belladonna. A perennial poisonous herb that belongs to the family Solanaceae; atropine is produced from the roots and leaves; used as an antispasmodic, as a cardiac and respiratory stimulant, and to check secretions. Also known as deadly nightshade.

belladonna

1. either of two alkaloid drugs, atropine or hyoscyamine, obtained from the leaves and roots of the deadly nightshade
2. another name for deadly nightshade
References in periodicals archive ?
30 Venue: Riverside Theatre, Coleraine Attending My Fair Lady on any Saturday afternoon?
My Fair Lady won a staggering eight Academy Awards[R] in 1964, including Best Picture.
More than 60 children from the school will perform in three productions of My Fair Lady from March 21 to 23.
The score of My Fair Lady is an album of fresh, familiar and perfect songs ordered to spring on cue from Shaw's satire: a retelling of the myth of Pygmalion.
And My Fair Lady's creators Lerner and Loewe are the stars of this particular show, with a celebration of the collaborative team's work including numbers from My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Gigi, Paint your Wagon and Camelot among others.
Terry Bright says: "We were very aware that My Fair Lady would have a strong appeal and we decided that we would schedule an additional matinee on performance on Thursday at 3pm, which is in addition to our Saturday matinee at 2.
But two years later during a Delaware vacation trip, Fair Lady once again sprang a leak.
It was George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion that was converted into the musical My Fair Lady in which Professor Higgins sets out to turn Eliza Doolittle into a fashionable society lady.
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw based Pygmalion, the play that became the hit musical My Fair Lady, on poet Thomas Day's plan to make his perfect girl.
BLACK-and-white hats were donned as performers rehearsed for a production of musical classic My Fair Lady.
Think Deborah Kerr "whistling a happy tune" in "The King and I" (1956), Natalie Wood feeling "oh so pretty" in "West Side Story" (1961) or Hepburn dreaming about a "loverly" life in "My Fair Lady.