Glass bottle used for tincture of belladonna, England, 1880-1900
Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade is a plant whose name suggests it is poisonous. However, the roots and leaves have medicinal qualities – the leaves are a narcotic to induce sleep, and can be used as a diuretic and as a muscle relaxant. The roots and leaves were also used for plasters to relieve aches and pains. The cobalt blue coloured glass was blown with a ridged design. It is thought that poison bottles had distinctive textures and colours so they could easily be identified by touch and by sight. A tincture is an alcoholic solution of a medicine.
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Atropa Belladonna is a plant with bell-shaped flowers and black berries. The plant and flowers are poisonous. However, the roots and leaves are used in medical treatments and remedies.