Deadly nightshade, illustration

Deadly nightshade, illustration

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Credit: BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Deadly nightshade. 16th century Italian illustration of the deadly nightshade plant (Atropa belladonna), by Gherardo Cibo, 1568. This plant contains the drugs atropine and hyoscyamine, and consumption of the roots and leaves may be fatal, especially in children. Deadly nightshade has been used medicinally for centuries as an antispasmodic and a narcotic. The illustration is taken from Dioscorides' 'discorsi' by Pietro Andrea Mattioli. This work of herbal medicine was published in Italy circa 1564-1584.

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