The name Atropa belladonna, commonly known as Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade, derives from the greek parka Atropos, who cut the thread of life and chose the way of a person’s death. This plant is widely used for pharmaceutical purposes, even though it’s also one of the most dangerous in the whole history of medicine.
From this plant we can obtain two main substances: atropine, which has hallucinogen and stimulating effects, and the scopolamine, hypnotic. Thanks to this property, during the second world war, the scopolamine was used as a truth serum. The atropine was also used by witches to make an ointment during Sabba or every time they needed to get in contact with spirits and demons, called “the Witches’ whisper”.
In medicine, the deadly nightshade is employed to reduce the acid secretion of the stomach, thanks to its antispasmodic properties. The Deadly nightshade should be used when is still unripe, with green berries, from which we can also obtain ink. The dried leaves are used for fumigation and as a support for split and prophecy operations.
Deadly Nightshade and witches.
During ancient times, the juice was put in teardrops in the eyes thanks to its property of pupil dilatation, that sorted the “Bambi eyes” effect, while in magic was used to keep away curses or as a love filter.
This plant has toxic properties: just think that only three berries can poison a man, so must be used very carefully and most importantly, after an in-depth study and knowledge of the plant itself.
A similar plant is the jimsonweed or devil’s snare, which use is more spread in America. Thanks to its powerful and lasting hallucinations, it was used to open a sort of communication gap to spirits and for divination purposes. Once the witch had ingested the substance, she fell in a trance that looked like a possession by gods or spirits. At the rewake, she revealed the content of her vivid hallucinations. The Atropa belladonna plant was the main ingredient of the ointment used in witchcraft. Stories tell that the “fly” of the witches during Sabba, was caused by the absorption through the skin of this hallucinogen.
In all Middle Age Europe, it was extremely dangerous to have the plant of deadly nightshade or jimsonweed in the garden. In fact, both were connected to witches and we all know how it was easy, back then, to accuse someone of practising witchcraft…with all the consequences. Here’s something about Witches’ hunt.
Since it’s such a dangerous plant, keep in mind that in your rituals you can substitute it with Tobacco.