The term “belladonna” stems from the Italian derivatives “bella” and “donna” which means, beautiful woman.
Women in ancient times famously used the belladonna flower in herbal eye-drop tinctures to dilate the pupils of the eyes, making them appear more attractive and seductive to men. Just like any intense, desirable woman though, the belladonna flower represents a lethal kind of beauty.
The Belladonna flower is a beautiful, bell-shaped nightshade flower with deep, inky purple petals and produces glossy, slightly sweet berries. Consumption of the belladonna’s foliage and berries have been known to cause delirium and hallucinations in minute amounts, but it can be extremely toxic, deadly even, if too much is consumed.
Despite its inherently dangerous and unpredictable side effects, the belladonna flower has been used throughout history in a variety of ways, including medicinal and cosmetic purposes, and even in cases of purposeful, murderous poisonings, as relayed by ancient Roman history.
The belladonna has also historically been used to make poison-tipped arrows during battles, as an anesthetic in medieval surgeries, and has even been used as an herbal, smoking blend with hemp in order to facilitate an enhanced, mildly hallucinogenic stimulation. Nowadays, the belladonna herb can even be found in some homeopathic medicines in extremely minuscule concentrations for pain-relieving and calming remedies.
The belladonna flower represents a seductively dangerous beauty that, when respected and utilized correctly, can produce a deliriously enlightening, and even sedating experience, yet, when abused and mistreated, can prove to be lethally toxic – much like the way any truly compelling woman bears the potential to be unapologetically dangerous.