Overview

Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) is a plant that grows from Western Europe to the Himalayas. It’s also grown in the US. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Belladonna has chemicals that can alter the function of the body's nervous system and cause changes to saliva, sweat, pupil size, urination, digestive functions, and others. Belladonna can also cause increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Despite known safety concerns, people use belladonna for asthma, the common cold, hemorrhoids, Parkinson disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Since 2010, the FDA has issued several warnings about homeopathic teething tablets and gels for infants that contain belladonna. Serious side effects including seizures, breathing problems, and agitation have been reported in infants taking these products, and some have died.

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