Basic Information




Species                       : Atropa belladonna Linn.

Local Name                 :

Synonym                     : Accuminata

Family                          :

Habitat                         : A perennial herb up to 1.5m tall. Grown in porous, slightly acidic soil rich in

                                                                                                 mineral nutrients.

Distribution                : It is a temperate plant, found at 2000-  4000 m altitude.

Sikkim                         : Thangu

Out side                      : Jammu and Kashmir (Gulmarg, Jhelum, Chenab, Kishenganga, kistwar, Tragbal, Pahalgam); Himachal Pradesh

                                     (Kangra, Kulu, Narkunda, Simla, Kinnaur); Uttar Pradesh; West Bengal (Darjeeling),found also in West Asia and Europe.

General                       : Himalaya (Kashmir- Arunachal Pradesh), Meghalaya, Manipur, Thailand.

Morphological information

A perennial herb up to 1.5 m tall with strong rootstock and root system, stem covered with trichomes when young. Leaves ovate or oblong ovate, violet or purple, solitary in leaf axils or in forks of branches. Fruit globular, slightly bilobed, seeds purple black, many compressed.

Flowering          : May- September

Fruiting             : May-September

History             : Atropa is derived from "Atropa". the name of the Greek goddess of Death who cuts the thread of life and refers to poisonous nature of

                           the plant. "Bella" means beautiful and Donne means lady. The beautiful lady has been derived from the old Roman tradition, where the

                           juice of the berries of the plant was applied by young ladies to their eyes to dilate their pupil so as to impart beauty. According

                           to Jurgan,  the plant was known to ancient people of Mesopotamia (1500- 2000 B.C.). But in modern times medicinal use of the drug

                          was discovered accidentally when devises a drug clerk in Hamburg, incidentally rubbed the extract of the drug to his eyes, which led

                          to the mydriatic properties of Belladonna.

Parts               :  Whole plant, berries (fruits) leaves and roots.

Status             :  Vulnerable.


The drug plant is mostly collected from the cultivated plants. Belladonna is a temperate plant and thrives well in deep fertile soils of medium texture, rich in humus. Root cutting can propagate the plant vegetatively, but the most economic method of propagation is raising a nursery through seeds and transplanting in the field. First crop of Belladona can be obtained in 3- 4 months after planting. Subsequently cuttings can be obtained after every 3 months. The crop should be harvested as soon as it comes to flowering, as it has been found that alkaloid content is optimum first before flowering. Soft portion of the stem along with leaves is cut avoiding woody branches. It is desirable to dry the leaves in shade to avoid loss of alkaloids and leaves should be packed when the moisture content is 8- 9%. The Central Institute of Aromatic plants (CIMAP) have developed agro technology for cultivation of Belladona.



The plant is used in Ayurvedic system of medicine as a substitute of Datura (D-metel, D. innoxia and D.stramonium) for external application to relieve pains and internally for relief coughs, asthma and other bronchial troubles.


Belladona has much application in homeopathic and Unani system of medicine. The plant is mainly used as extract, tincture, and plastics. Belladona herb and its preparations are used in intestinal and biteary colic, in asthma, whooping cough and bladder and ureteric spasms. Belladona root has the same properties as the herb (leaves), but is used chiefly in the preparations for the external use. Liniments and plasters have been used as counter irritants to relieve pain associated with hemorrhoids and anal fistulas.



1. Anonymous. The Wealth of India Publications and Information directorate, CSIR, New Delhi, 481-487.

2. Chatterjee Asima, Satyesh Chandra Pakrashi 1995. The Treatise of Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol 5 Publication and Information Directorate, New Delhi, 169- 171.

3. Dr. Hussain Akhtar 1993,. Medicinal Plants and their cultivation. Published by Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. 1-5.

4. Progress Report of the Project " Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim " (1998- 2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.

5. Singh Janardan, Ashok Sharma, Subash Chandra Singh, Sushil Kumar 1999. Medicinal Plants for Bioprospection Vol 1. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, 153.

6. Sushil Kumar, Janardan Singh, N.C Shah, Vinay Ranjan 1997. Indian Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Facing Genetic Erosion. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic plants, Lucknow, 52- 54.

7. Thakur R.S, H.S Puri, Hussain Akhtar 1989. Major Medicinal Plants of India. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, 82- 84.