Belladona - Source, diagnostic characters, constituents, tests and uses


Source, diagnostic characters, constituents, tests and uses


At the end of this lecture, student will be able to

Discuss the source, diagnostic characters, constituents, tests and uses of Belladona



• Folia belladonna, deadly night shade leaves, belladonna leaf, Banewort


• Consists of fresh or dried leaves and flowering tops, roots, root stocks of Atropa belladonna


• Solanaceae

• Perennial plant with large fleshy tapering root and rootlets

• Stem is erect, herbaceous, branching

• Leaves- alternate in lower part, unequal pairs in upper part due to adnation



• Ovate to broadly ovate

• 6-10 cm in length, sometimes up to 20 cm

• Dull yellowish green

• Lamina- Simple, entire, nearly glabrous, acuminate apex, acute base with decurrent lamina

• Secondary veins leave lamina at 60o angle and curve upwards as they approach margin

• Venation – anastamose

• Petiole – short

• Leaves are thin, brittle, when broken small white points are evident- cells with sandy calcium oxalate, which also gives rise to numerous minute prominence on the surface of the lamina


• Campanulate

• 2.5-3.5 cm long, 1-1.4 cm wide

• Peidcel- curved

• Locules – 2

• Ovules – infinite

• Placentation – Axile

• Corolla- purple when fresh, brown when dried



• Dorsiventral

• Cuticle: Striated

• Epidermis: Wavy walls

• Trichomes: Covering- 4-5 celled uniseriate

• Glandular – short and clavate, long uniseriate with spherical unicellular head

• Stomata: Anisocytic

Leaf: Mesophyll:

• Palisade cell- single layer

• Spongy parenchyma – idioblast, sandy microsphenoidal crystals

• Vascular bundle: bicollateral

• Collenchyma on either surface of the midrib


Hyoscyamine –  Chief constituent


Atropine absent in samples with young leaves

Drug with older leaves – Atropine 5-40 %

• Alkaloid is present in all parts: calyx and young ovary (0.79%), ripe seeds (0.83 %), root (0.5 %), Fresh fruits (0.12 %)

• Alkaloid occur in parenchyma of leaves, particularly in lower epidermis

• Volatile base: Pyridine, N methylpyrroline, N methylpyrrolidine, a diamine

• Fluorescent substance – Beta- methyl aesculetin (scopoletin, chrysatropic acid)


Phytolacca decandra

• Phytolaccaceae

• Pokeweed

Portugese belladona

• trichomes absent

• Stomata - anamocytic

• Crystals- raphides

Ailanthus gladulosa

• Simarubaceae

Italian belladonna,

• Trichomes- unicellular/bicellular, conical, lignified

• Stomata - anamocytic

• Cluster crystals

Allied drugs:

Scopolia carniolica, solanaceae, resembles, no covering trichomes

Datura stramonium

Solanum nigrum

Atropa accuminata - Indian belladonna


• Parasympathetic depressant- spasmolytic

• Adjuvant therapy in peptic ulcer, colitis, diarrhea

• Anticholinergic effect- used to control excess motor activity of GI tract and spasm in urinary tract

• Local anaesthetic

• Anodyne

• To relieve pain externally

• Internally to check sweating in pthisis

• Sedative to respiratory nerves

• To relieve spasmodic cough

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