Belladonnae Folia, B.P. Belladonna Leaves.
Related entries: Belladonna Leaves - Belladonna Root - Atropine - Atropine Salicylate - Atropine Sulphate - Datura Leaves - Datura Seeds - Stramonium - Daturine - Hyoscyamus Leaves - Hyoscyamus Seeds - Hyoscyamine Sulphate - Scopola
Belladonna leaves are obtained from the deadly nightshade, Atropa Belladonna, Linn. (N.O. Solanaceae), a tall branching herb, widely distributed over Central and Southern Europe, and cultivated in England. The leaves and young branches are collected when the plant is in full flower, and used while fresh, or after drying. The dried leaves alone are official in the U.S.P., when they should yield not less than 0.3 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids. The Brussels Conference agreed that the leaves only should be used, and that the entire leaf should be powdered. Belladonna leaves are from 8 to 20 centimetres long, broadly ovate in outline, acute and entire, tapering towards the base. They are generally quite glabrous, but hairs may be found on young leaves. The flowers, which are solitary and pendulous, have bell-shaped gamopetalous corollas of a livid purple colour. The dried leaves exhibit under the lens minute whitish prominences, but are best identified by their histological features; they have a bitterish taste, but are almost inodorous. The epidermal cells of belladonna leaves are large and possess wavy walls and a striated cuticle; in the interneural mesophyll, large cells filled with minute sandy crystals of calcium oxalate occur; the transverse section of the midrib exhibits bicollateral bundles devoid of sclerenchymatous fibres. Hairs, when present, are either long, simple and three or four celled, or short and glandular. Stomata occur on both surfaces of the leaf. Some of the dried belladonna leaves of commerce are of English origin, but much is imported from Germany. The leaves should be of good colour and free from excess of stalk. The leaves of Phytolacca decandra, Linn. (N.O. Phytolaccaceae), and of Scopola carniolica, Jacq. (N.O. Solanaceae), have been substituted at times for belladonna leaves. They are best distinguished by their histological features. Phytolacca leaves contain raphides instead of sandy calcium oxalate, whilst scopola leaves possess stomata on their under surface only, and the cells with sandy calcium oxalate are much rarer than they are in belladonna leaves.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of belladonna leaves are the alkaloids atropine and hyoscyamine, the total quantity present in fresh leaves of good quality being about 0.4 per cent., the greater part of which is hyoscyamine. The leaves also contain β-methyl-aesculetin (scopoletin, chrysatropic acid), and it is possible that they may contain minute quantities of other alkaloids (belladonnine, etc.), but not in sufficient quantity to contribute to their physiological action. The dried leaves frequently contain considerably more than 0.4 per cent. of alkaloids.
Action and Uses.—The medicinal value of belladonna leaves is due to the hyoscyamine and atropine they contain. The leaves are used principally in the form of the green extract, and in mixtures in the form of the juice. The extract is essentially the. fresh juice evaporated to the consistence of a soft extract, whereas the unaltered juice is preserved by the addition of alcohol. Several unofficial preparations are in common use. Occasionally the leaves are employed as an ingredient of cigarettes for spasmodic asthma.
Dose.—½ to 3 decigrams, (1 to 5 grains).
- Collyrium Belladonnae, B.P.C.—BELLADONNA EYE LOTION.
- Green extract of belladonna, 0.5; distilled water, to 100. Used as a soothing application to allay irritation. It dilutes the pupils slightly.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae, U.S.P.—BELLADONNA PLASTER, U.S.P.
- Extract of belladonna leaves, 30; adhesive plaster, U.S.P., 70. It should contain 0.38 to 0.42 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae Viride, B.P.C.—GREEN BELLADONNA PLASTER.
- This plaster contains 0.25 of the alkaloids of belladonna leaf, and is made with a rubber basis.
- Extractum Belladonnae, P.I.—EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA, P I.
- A solid extract containing about 10 per cent. of water, prepared with alcohol (70. per cent.)
- Extractum Belladonnae Exsiccatum, B.P.C.—DRIED EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA. Syn.—Extractum Belladonnae Foliorum Exsiccatum; Dried Extract of Belladonna Leaves.
- A hygroscopic powder which contains 1 per cent. of the alkaloids of belladonna leaves. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Extractum Belladonnae Foliorum, U.S.P.—EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA LEAVES.
- Belladonna leaves, in No. 60 powder, 100. alcohol (95 per cent.) mixed with half its volume of water, a sufficient quantity. The belladonna leaves are exhausted with the diluted alcohol, the percolate is evaporated to a pilular consistence, and the strength adjusted so that it shall contain 1.4 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids, adding milk sugar, if necessary, as a diluent. Average dose.—10 milligrams (1/5 grain).
- Extractum Belladonnae Viride, B.P.—GREEN EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA.
- Press out the juice from the bruised fresh leaves and young branches of belladonna, heat it to 54°, and strain it through calico to remove the chlorophyll. Heat the strained liquid to 93°, remove the coagulated albumin by filtration, evaporate the filtrate to a thin syrup by the heat of a water-bath, add the previously separated chlorophyll after passing it through a hair sieve, stir, and evaporate to a soft extract at a temperature not exceeding 60°. This extract is not standardised, but when made from herb of good quality it contains about 1 per cent. of alkaloid. Extractum Belladonnae Viride is commonly prescribed in pill form, with purgatives, to diminish their tendency to gripe; with camphor and quinine, against nasal catarrh; with camphor or the valerianates as a sedative. For external use the green extract is sometimes softened with warm water and spread upon leather for local application, or used in the form of Glycerinum Belladonnae to allay pain or arrest glandular secretion. The green extract is sometimes specified for use in suppositories; it must be rubbed to a smooth consistence with a few drops of warm water before mixing with the just melted fat. Excess of heat separates the chlorophyll. When "Extractum Belladonnae" is prescribed, it is customary to dispense Extractum Belladonnae Viride, except in such cases as described under Extractum Belladonnae Alcoholicum. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Glycerinum Belladonnae, B.P.C.—GLYCERIN OF BELLADONNA.
- Green extract of belladonna, 50; distilled water, boiling, 6.25 glycerin, to 100. Used as a local application to allay pain and inflammation; it is also applied to the breasts of nursing women to arrest secretion.
- Succus Belladonnae, B.P.—JUICE OF BELLADONNA.
- The juice expressed from the fresh leaves and young branches, preserved by the addition of one-third its volume of alcohol. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims).
- Tinctura Belladonnae, B.P., 1885.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA, B.P., 1885.
- Belladonna leaves, 5; proof spirit, sufficient to produce 100. Dose.—3 to 12 decimils (0.3 to 1.2 milliliters) (5 to 20 minims).
- Tinctura Belladonnae P.I.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA, P.I.
- Strength, 10 per cent. Prepared by percolation with alcohol (70. per cent.).
- Tinctura Belladonnae Foliorum, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA LEAVES.
- Belladonna leaves, in No. 60 powder (containing not less than 0.3 per cent. of alkaloids), 10; alcohol (49 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. The tincture contains 0.03 per cent. w/v of alkaloids. Average dose.—5 decimils (0.5 milliliters) (8 minims).
- Unguentum Belladonnae, U.S.P.—BELLADONNA OINTMENT, U.S.P.
- Extract of belladonna leaves, 10; alcohol (49 per cent.), 5; hydrous wool fat, 20; benzoated lard, 65.