Belladonna 30 Use, Benefits – Belladonna Materia Medica

6,386
  • Sudden, violent onset
  • Red face, with throbbing of carotids
  • Violent delirium, wants to bite, spit, strike, tear things
  • Sleepy but cannot sleep
  • Pains come suddenly, go suddenly
  • The transverse colon protrudes like a pad

Source: Vegetable kingdom
Synonyms: Atropa belladonna, Deadly nightshade
Family: Solanaceae
Prover: Dr Hahnemann
Duration of Action: 1 to 7 days
Miasmatic Background: Psora
Temperament: Nervous, lymphatic and bilious
Diathesis: Tubercular
Thermal Relationship: Very chilly patient

Introduction and History: It is a well known homeopathic polychrest acute remedy. It is known to the world since 1500 AD. The word ‘atropa’ is derived from a Greek word ‘atropos’ meaning inflexible, the name of the Greek god who cuts the thread of life and probably alludes to the poisonous effects of the drug. The word ‘belladonna’ is a combination of two Latin words ‘bella’ and ‘donna’. ‘Bella’ means beautiful and ‘donna’ means lady that is, beautiful lady.

The Italian ladies of olden days used this plant as a cosmetic to brighten their eyes and flush their cheeks due to its alkaloidal properties. Its mydriatic properties were first recorded in 1802. The analgesic property was not recognized till 1860. Dr Hahnemann introduced this drug to homeopathic practice. It causes turmoil in the brain.

Habit and Habitat: Belladonna plant is found in central and southern Europe, specially Greece, Italy and Britain. Also cultivated in Kashmir. This plant grows in shady places. It is a large, bushy, perennial herb. The leaves are alternate below and in pairs above, one bigger than the other. The flowers are axillary, stalked, solitary and drooping. Stem is 1 to 1.6 metres high. It is erect, cylindrical and smooth. Flowers are reddish-purple in colour; flowers are bell shaped and appear from May to August. The roots are thick, juicy and pale brown in colour.

Preparation and Parts Used: The whole plant when it begins to flower is used in the preparation of the mother tincture.

Constitution and Physiognomy: It is best suited to those having a lymphatic constitution with fine complexion and a delicate skin. Bilious plethoric people with a red face; local plethora.

Ailments From: Exposure to sun, heat of sun, from suppression of catarrhal flow, riding in cold wind, cold bathing, from a hair cut, etc.

Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Brain, nerve centers, mucous membranes, blood vessels, glands, eyes, right side, throat, tonsils, heart, cardiovascular system, etc.

Active Principles (Chemical Constituents): The active principles are atropine and hyoscyamine. The other less important being belladonnine, scopolamine and apoatropine. The leaves also contain a fluorescent substance, beta methyl aesculetin.

Physiological Action

  1. Belladonna is a mydriatic, an antispasmodic, irritant, narcotic and anodyne.
  2. In small doses it is a spinal, respiratory and cardiac stimulant.
  3. In large doses it paralyses both voluntary and involuntary motor nerves.
  4. The temperature is elevated and eruptions like scarlatina often appear on the skin and fauces.
  5. It produces congestion and dryness of the mouth, nose, throat and larynx.
  6. Its primary action is to diminish the secretions of the stomach and intestines but later causes increased flow.
  7. Reflexes are at first stimulated and later diminished.
  8. Cardiac intrinsic ganglia are stimulated and inhibition of the vagus lessened, thereby the heart rate is markedly increased.
  9. Peripheral capillaries are contracted and arterial tension raised.
  10. Eventually, however, overstimulation induces paralysis of the vasomotors, relaxation of blood vessel walls and lowered blood pressure.
  11. At last there is complete motor paralysis, hallucinations, delirium, stupor and death from asphyxia.

Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)

  1. It acts upon the cerebrum, producing both motor and sensory paralysis.
  2. It acts upon every part of the nervous system, producing active congestion leading to inflammation.
  3. The sensorium is prominently affected causing delirium, hallucination and illusion, mania, stupor and insomnia.
  4. Acts upon nerves, producing general hyperaesthesia; the special senses become acutely sensitive.
  5. It acts upon the mucous membrane of the eyes, mouth, throat and urinary organs causing suppression of secretions.
  6. The voluntary muscular system is involved in tetaniform convulsions and sometimes clonic spasms while the involuntary muscles are completely paralysed.
  7. It acts on the skin and mucous membranes; skin becomes intensely red and hot, presenting a smooth, shining red surface.
  8. Acts upon the urinary system exciting circulation of kidneys causing diuresis or congestion and stasis with diminution or temporary suppression of urine.
  9. It acts upon the circulatory system causing paresis of the inhibitory fibres of the vagi; heartbeat increased, both in frequency and force.
  10. Acts upon the sympathetic nervous system. By the stimulation of the sympathetic nerves (action on the circular fibres) arteries contract and blood pressure is increased.
  11. It acts upon the brain producing thirstlessness, anxiety or fear; Belladonna stands for violence of attack and suddenness of onset.
  12. It acts on the thyroid gland producing exophthalmic goitre; corresponds to the symptoms of airsickness in aviators.
  13. Belladonna excites the mental state, hyperaesthesia of all senses, restless sleep, dryness of mouth and throat with an aversion to water; neuralgic pains that come and go suddenly.

Characteristic Mental Symptoms (Psychology)

  1. It is one of Nash’s Trios of Delirious remedies; violent delirium, disposition to bite, spit, strike and tear things.
  2. Imagines he sees ghosts, hideous faces, various insects and black animals, like wolves, dogs, wild animal, etc.
  3. Excitement and violence runs through the remedy. Furious rage, anger, loud laughing and grinding of teeth.
  4. There is complete loss of consciousness, constant desire to come out of bed.
  5. Anxiety with a desire to flee. Fear of imaginary things, wants to run away from them. Desire to escape or to hide; uses absurd languages.
  6. Great excitement, delirium with picking at the bedclothes and tearing or throwing them off.
  7. Great fear of unusual and imaginary things, strange delusion with loss of consciousness.
  8. Absentminded and forgetful, impaired memory, forgets in a moment what he was about to do.
  9. At one time merry, again sad. Would spit and bite at those around. Thinks himself suddenly rich.
  10. Nothing seems right to him, quarrelsome, very excitable mood, anxious and confused.

Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms

Congestion: It is a very important keynote of Belladonna. Rush of blood to the head and face, congestive headache with a red face, throbbing of brain and carotids, hard and bounding pulse.

Irritability: As a result of its action on the brain, a state of active congestion is produced, resulting in furious excitement, convulsion, irritability, delirium and pain.

Burning: Burning sensation anywhere and everywhere, both internal and external.

Pain: It is a great pain remedy; pain comes suddenly and goes suddenly. Throbbing and burning pain with redness of face and eyes, throbbing carotids. Pain comes from above and goes down.

Sensitiveness: It is one of the most characteristic symptoms of Belladonna. Patient cannot even bear touch anywhere to the body; also sensitive to light and noise.

Redness: It is a peculiar symptom of Belladonna, redness occurs due to congestion. There is inflammation and great redness; particular and in general all over the body.

Skin: Skin is uniform, smooth, shining with scarlet redness; dry, hot and burning sensation all over the body.

Dryness: It is an important symptom of Belladonna. There is great dryness throughout the whole remedy. It is accompanied with heat, throbbing, burning and redness.

Thirstlessness: There is no thirst in Belladonna though there is high fever and dryness of mouth.

Furious mania: Belladonna patient is well behaved, jolly, social and silent when he is well but becomes very violent, often delirious and furious when he suffers from sickness.

Inflammation: Oedema or swelling with inflammation is very common in affected parts of the body. Affected part becomes very red, hot, sensitive to touch, swollen and shiny.

Suddenness: It is a very acute remedy, all symptoms come suddenly and violently. They also go out in the same fashion. It is the peculiarity of this drug.

Heat: It is another characteristic of Belladonna. There is great heat, especially in the affected part due to congestion and inflammation; burning sensation and redness in that part.

Right-sidedness: It is predominantly a right sided remedy. First the right side gets affected; symptoms start on the right side and then go to the left side.

Restless sleep: Patient is very sleepy but cannot sleep. Frequent yawning, sleep prevented by anxiety. Starts as if in a fright during sleep.

Convulsions: Convulsions during the teething period with fever, head hot and feet cold.

Vertigo: Vertigo when stooping or when rising, also with every change of position, falling to the left side or backwards.

Perspiration: Perspiration is only on the covered parts. Otherwise there is complete dryness of the skin.

Headache: From suppressed catarrhal flow. Periodical nervous headache. Rush of blood to the head, throbbing carotids and jerking headache.

Fever: High fever, chill in the evening mostly in arms, with heat of head, internal chill, with external burning heat. Chill and heat alternate.

Important Characteristic Features

Fever: It is a very useful remedy for fever. Fever is due to exposure to cold winds, draught of air, summer, by uncovering the head, from a hair cut. Fever starts with severe chill in the evening. Symptoms come suddenly and violently. Chill and heat often alternate. Extremities are usually cold, sudden rise of temperature with violent delirium, headache, throbbing carotids with a red face and increased pulse.

Generally, dryness of the mouth but there is no thirst. Chill not relieved by heat. Temperature rises at 3 pm. Eyes red and glistening, skin is hot and burning. The fever is worse at night. Along with delirium there is confusion of mind, anxiety with furious and violent mania, convulsions in teething children with high fever. Restlessness in sleep. Patient is sleepy but cannot sleep.

Headache: Belladonna is the first remedy that comes to mind in headache. Headache is due to a hair cut, exposure to cold, by the heat of the sun, from suppression of catarrhal flow and congestion. Headache starts suddenly and violently on the right side in the region of the forehead. Headache is periodical, nervous and congestive. Throbbing pain in the brain. Jerking headache as if a weight were in the occiput. Violent shooting pains in the head driving the patient almost wild. There is aggravation from bending the head forward.

Vertigo with falling to the left side or backwards. Pain worse from light, noise, jar, lying down and in the afternoon, better by pressure and in semi-erect position; boring of head into the pillow. Redness of face and eyes with burning due to congestion.

Tonsillitis: It stands at the head of the list of remedies in tonsillitis or quinsy. There is redness and inflammation of the throat. Swelling starts from the right tonsil and then goes to the left side.

There is difficulty in swallowing fluids when the patient attempts to drink; the moment water touches the fauces, it is ejected; the tonsils rapidly suppurate and sharp pains shoot through to the tonsils. There is also high temperature and restless sleep. Glands of the neck externally involved. They become hard and very sensitive. Mouth and throat are dry without thirst. Uvula is red, swollen, very painful with burning. Constant urging and desire to swallow. Sensation of a lump in the throat. Hypertrophy of mucous membranes.

Violent congestion and inflammation: Congestion of the brain and meninges, indicated by violent headache, pressure and delirium together with a flushed face, throbbing carotids and bounding pulse. Bounding pulse is the chief characteristic symptom. In all local congestions and inflammations, as they are about to localize, or after localization has taken place; Belladonna works before pus is formed. It is an excellent remedy in the first stage of boils and abscesses, and will often promote resolution and prevent suppuration.

General Modalities

Aggravation: From cold winds, heat of sun, draft of air, light, noise, touch, motion, strong smell, uncovering the head, lying on painful side, after 3 pm, after midnight, bending the head forward, stooping, looking at bright shining objects, while drinking, etc.

Amelioration: From standing or sitting erect, rest, in a warm room, covering the head, etc.

Remedy Relationships

Complementary: Calc.
Follows well: Calc, Acon, Lach, Merc, Sulph, Cact, Ars, Carb-v, Cham, Chin, Dulc, Nux-v, etc.
Incompatible: Dulc, Acet-ac.
Antidotes: Camph, Coff, Hep, Acon, Puls, Hyos, Ferr, Merc, Cupr.

Comparison

Sleepy but cannot sleep: Bell, Cham, Op.
Aggravation by a hair cut: Bell, Glon, Acon.
Aggravation by bending forward: Bell, Nux-v, Kalm.
Potency: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30, 200, 1000.

Belladonna Dosage

  1. It acts from 1c to 200c potency.
  2. In cases with mental and keynote symptoms, higher potencies act very well.
  3. In inflammatory and spasmodic conditions lower potencies are preferred.

Repetition: Must be repeated frequently in acute diseases.

Therapeutic Value: Abdominal affections, Abscesses, Aphonia, Apoplexy, Appendicitis, Boils, Carbuncles, Conjunctivitis, Convulsions, Cough, Delirium, Diphtheria, Disorders of pregnancy, Dysentery, Eclampsia, Encephalitis, Epilepsy, Erysipelas, Facial paralysis, Fever, Gall stone colic, Glandular affections, Haemorrhage, Headache, Heart troubles, Hyperaemia, Insomnia, Jaundice, Laryngitis, Loss of voice, Lung affections, Measles, Meningitis, Menstrual disorders, Myelitis, Nocturnal enuresis, Otitis media, Plague, Pleurisy, Rheumatism, Scarlet fever, Septicaemia, Skin affections, Spasms, Tonsillitis, Vertigo, Whooping cough, etc.

Note

  • Belladonna is the acute of Calcarea, which is often required to complete the cure.
  • Dulcamara should not be used before or after Belladonna.

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