Belladonna - What is it & How to use

Belladonna has chemicals that can block functions of the body’s nervous system. Some of the body functions regulated by the nervous system include salivation, sweating, pupil size, urination, digestive functions, and others. Belladonna can also cause increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for BELLADONNA are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Taking belladonna by mouth along with the drug phenobarbital does not improve symptoms of this condition.
  • Arthritis-like pain.
  • Asthma.
  • Colds.
  • Hay fever.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Motion sickness.
  • Nerve problems.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Spasms and colic-like pain in the stomach and bile ducts.
  • Whooping cough.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of belladonna for these uses.

Dose

The appropriate dose of belladonna depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for belladonna. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Safety Concerns

Belladonna is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in adults and children. It contains chemicals that can be toxic.

Side effects of belladonna result from its effects on the body’s nervous system. Symptoms include dry mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, red dry skin, fever, fast heartbeat, inability to urinate or sweat, hallucinations, spasms, mental problems, convulsions, coma, and others.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Belladonna is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Belladonna contains potentially toxic chemicals and has been linked to reports of serious side effects. Belladonna is also LIKELY UNSAFE during breast-feeding. It can reduce milk production and also passes into breast milk.

Congestive heart failure (CHF): Belladonna might cause rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) and might make CHF worse.

Constipation: Belladonna might make constipation worse.

Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome might be extra-sensitive to the potentially toxic chemicals in belladonna and their harmful effects.

Esophageal reflux: Belladonna might make esophageal reflux worse.

Fever: Belladonna might increase the risk of overheating in people with fever.

Stomach ulcers: Belladonna might make stomach ulcers worse.

Gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections: Belladonna might slow emptying of the intestine, causing retention of bacteria and viruses that can cause infection.

Gastrointestinal (GI) tract blockage: Belladonna might make obstructive GI tract diseases (including atony, paralytic ileus, and stenosis) worse.

Hiatal hernia: Belladonna might make hiatal hernia worse.

High blood pressure: Taking large amounts of belladonna can increase blood pressure. This might make blood pressure become too high in people with high blood pressure.

Narrow-angle glaucoma: Belladonna might make narrow-angle glaucoma worse.

Psychiatric disorders. Taking large amounts of belladonna might worsen psychiatric disorders.

Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia): Belladonna might make rapid heartbeat worse.

Ulcerative colitis: Belladonna might promote complications of ulcerative colitis, including toxic megacolon.

Difficulty urinating (urinary retention): Belladonna might make this urinary retention worse.

Interaction with medication

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Cisapride (Propulsid)
Belladonna contains hyoscyamine (atropine). Hyoscyamine (atropine) can reduce the effects of cisapride. Taking belladonna with cisapride might reduce the effects of cisapride.
Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)
Belladonna contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It also affects the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also cause these effects. Taking belladonna and drying medications together might cause side effects including dry skin, dizziness, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and other serious side effects.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.