Baroque ladies used atropine to become more attractive to the men's world. They dribbled into each other's eyes, causing the pupils to widen. Dark eyes were considered desirable at this time. From this, the Latin name of the plant from which atropine is derived can be derived: Atropa belladonna, belladonna. Atropa is derived from the Greek goddess Atropos, who cuts the thread of life. Belladonna stands for "Beautiful Woman". The name belladonna may have come from the fact that people who consume the shiny black berries behave like "mad".
Effect of atropine
Nowadays, one knows the exact mechanism of action of atropine, and it is used in various fields of medicine. Its effect unfolds atropine in the system of the Parasymphatikus. There it inhibits the action of acetylcholine, a transmitter substance of nerve impulse.
In ophthalmology, it is still used for pupil dilation, but not for cosmetic reasons. Ophthalmologists can thereby examine the fundus. Furthermore, atropine is used for smooth muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal tract and for the treatment of incontinence.
Since belladonnais are extremely poisonous, atropine requires a prescription and pharmacy.