SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Deadly nightshade. Historical artwork of the deadly nightshade plant (Atropa belladonna). This plant contains the drugs atropine and hyoscyamine, and consumption of the roots and leaves may be fatal, especially in children. The plant has been used medicinally for centuries as an antispasmodic and a narcotic. Applied locally, it reduces pain, and it dilates the pupils of the eyes. Small amounts of atropine are still used in eye surgery. From Mathematische und Naturwissenschaften, by Johann Geog Heck, 1860.
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