Ladies in Italy used the deadly nightshade plant in the 16th century as a cosmetic to make their eyes glisten. Hence, in Italian, the plant belladonna or the term bella donna means a ‘beautiful lady’.
The homeopathic remedy Belladonna is prepared using the entire belladonna plant and this medication is used to cure a number of health conditions, especially the unexpected start of infections accompanied by inflammation. Belladonna is a hot remedy and is to be considered with any picture that presents with heat, fever, pain and restlessness – especially when the onset is sudden and severe.
Belladonna is one of the first remedies developed in Homeopathy by Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann noted that the symptoms of poisoning caused by the deadly nightshade were similar to those of scarlet fever.
Belladonna acts upon every part of the nervous system, producing active congestion, furious excitement, twitching, convulsions and pain. It has a marked action on the vascular system, skin and glands.
Belladonna is an important polychrest that is often used for vaccine reactions and is one of the primary remedies for rabies miasm, along with many other remedies, including Lyssin, Stramonium and Hyoscyamus niger.
When used to treat rabies miasm, Belladonna would be indicated in aggressive dogs who are delirious, furious and angry. These dogs will fly into a sudden rage with glassy eyes and dilated pupils, giving them a wild-eyed look. The keys are the violence of the attack and the suddenness of the onset. They may also be destructive and tear up objects in the house.
Belladonna is also used in the treatment of seizures. Once again, the keynotes are convulsions with a frantic, furious and wild eyed look. These dogs may also have red ears or skin.
The Belladonna dog is hypersensitive and it is this hypersensitivity that contributes to his pain and convulsions. Belladonna can be used in the treatment of arthritis, especially if it is in the lower limbs or hips. Conditions that require Belladonna often have a sudden onset and the pain will be relieved with motion or walking. The dog will be irritable or aggressive because of his pain.
Belladonna can also be a useful remedy for hot spots because both have a sudden onset and there is associated redness. Although there are many useful remedies for hot spots, dogs that require Belladonna will seem to erupt overnight and the sore will be bright red and even shiny. The dog may also be irritable and restless. This is similar to Apis, but the Apis hot spot will often present with swelling and be more sensitive to touch – like a bee sting.
Belladonna can also be used in the treatment of aural hematomas. Once again, the symptoms will arise suddenly, with heat and redness. The dog may also be restless and irritable.
Belladonna is also used in the treatment of mastitis. In this case, the mammae will be hot and streaked with red.
Belladonna symptoms are often worse on the right side. Aggravations include sun, light, noises, jarring motions and bright, shiny objects. Belladonna is complementary to Calcarea carbonica.
The information here is not intended to replace veterinary advice. If trying remedies for the first time, limit their use to acute problems such as hot spots and fevers. For more chronic prescribing, as in the treatment of seizures, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced homeopathic vet.