Name: Belladona (Atropa Belladonna)
Also Known As: Deadly Nightshade, Death Cherries, or Devil’s Berries
Found in: Grows naturally in central and southern Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. This perennial herb is commonly found in dirt made of limestone or chalk. It grows three to five feet tall in well-watered soil under shaded trees and on wooded hills.
The toxin blocks the nervous system’s ability to control breathing and heart rate. First the victim experiences dry mouth and blurred vision which progress to hallucinations, convulsions, then anger and delirium until the victim slips into a coma and then death.
Poison Plus: When witches brewed “flying ointment,” belladonna was almost always the key ingredient. Witches rubbed the ointment on different parts of their bodies causing hallucination, so they felt like they were flying even while sitting down.
Learn more in The Power of Poison.