Atropa Belladonna has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison.
Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery, the ancient Romans used it as a poison.
The name Atropa, is derived from the Greek Atropos, one of the Fates who held the shears to cut the thread of human life - a reference to its deadly, poisonous nature. Wo
Predating this it was used to make poison tipped arrows. The genus name "atropa" comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and the name "bella donna" is derived from Italian and means "beautiful woman" Women used the extract to dilate their pupils believing it to make a more attractive appearance. This use went well into the 20th century.
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