The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce

Botanical Name: Atropa belladonna

Common Names and Synonyms: Deadly Nightshade, Dwale, Fair Lady

Background: Native to Eurasia, this extremely toxic plant now grows in the eastern United States.  Medicinally, belladonna is considered an antispasmodic used in the treatment of intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, irritable bowel, and peptic ulcer.  The  Italian name, Belladonna,  means "beautiful  lady."  The term came into use long ago when Italian women used  the deep purple juice, squeezed into the eye  from the plant's  glossy black berries, to enlarge the pupils and to make the whites appear even whiter.  Eye doctors use it to dilate the eyes before an examination of the retina.  Belladonna is the chief ingredient in medications for colic and peptic ulcers.
Belladonna in the Cayce Readings

  • Edgar Cayce recommended belladonna for a variety of conditions.  The most frequent application was externally for eye problems, usually used in conjunction with potato poultices and other eye remedies.  Belladonna was also prescribed as a plaster over the abdomen and pelvic areas.  In a couple of readings it was recommended as an antispasmodic for the gastro-intestinal tract.
Cayce Quotes on Belladonna

For the local application [to the eyes], use these:  With the wash as has been used, keep that for the local condition of the optic forces, yet now, each evening, see at night, prepare for the eye itself, so it will go on the outside of the lid when it is closed, small quantity or just sufficient to give the proper properties to the physical to throw off the secretions and cleanse those each morning - use the night shade of the tuberous variety, which is the Irish potato here, with very small quantity of Belladonna in the scrapings to be put outside the lids, then the secretions cleansed the next morning from the portions of the eye.

    The condition for the eyes and for this portion of the circulation being assisted by such adjustments, we would apply those properties as would be found in scraped old potatoes (Irish potatoes).  This applied to the eye of evenings, see?  Large enough quantity to cover the whole orbit or socket - this bound about with a light cloth until morning, see?  applied in the evenings, left until morning. Cleanse this at this time (when this is removed) with a weak solution of Boracic Acid.  THEN we would apply drops in the eye, to CLEANSE this.  These would be very small quantities of Belladonna.  This, as we see, will dilate and keep the eye from its normal vision, but at the same time will allow the ducts to become a normal eliminating source, through the adjustments as are being given at such times to the body. This should be applied with each application, or after each application of the potato (which should be given at least four to five times - every third day, see?).  This, we find, will relieve this strain.

    In the eye and the condition there proper, each evening apply the scraped portions of old Irish potato.  That is, not of the new but that of the old:  Each morning bathe this off with equal parts distilled water and of the water as distilled from that of Boracic Acid, with Glyco-Thymoline, adding afterwards drops of a 20% solution of Belladonna, and when bathed off again in an hour apply the applicator of the Violet Ray direct.

    The conditions, then, to be met are those of sepsis, or the re-infection in these condition is, as well as general debilitation as come from all of these - temperature, the blood condition, the supply of energy, nerve force, and all - in the system.
    To meet these at present, first we would use small doses of Glyco-Thymoline as an antiseptic for the system.  No water taken save carrying that of elm - small pinch to a glass of water, and this taken whenever water is given.  Those elements as are in that of small quantity of belladonna, chalk, and those conditions that will produce as food values for the mucus-producing portions of the system, and that will not add to the temperature of the body by producing the infusion of elements that will not be eliminated from the system.

    A small proportion of Elm water, a pinch of the ground Elm to each glass of water, or some four (4) ounces of Elm Bark to a gallon of water, keep cool, and when this is taken into the system, we would take small quantities of Yellow Saffron tea and this would be taken as medicine.  Follow with the Elm water a small quantity of Belladonna and Milk of Magnesia and highly digestive foods to be used to the body to reduce temperature or the hepatic and clear the system, using an Alkaline Intestinal Antiseptic, such as found in Glyco-Thymoline, for intestinal disinfectant where foods lie with the system, and we will bring better condition to the body.  Take that found in yogurt, manufactured by Kellogg Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Michigan [GD's note:  Battle Creek Sanitarium, established by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg].

    The brain forces have not been injured.  Do not give the body an overdose of any form of sedative.  Very small doses of belladonna under the direction of a physician may be given, if there are any more severe attacks.  For these lesions have been of such a length of period that corrections will necessarily have to be made, and these may cause reflexes such as to produce (the corrections) one or two violent reactions - though not as severe as some, provided sweets are kept from the body....
    If there is the reaction of an attack, give a small quantity of belladonna (under the physician's direction) and then a good eliminant.

    Hence those stimulations as indicated, either by the mechanical (osteopathic) massage or by the application of heat to those areas in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th dorsal centers, particularly.  These are needed to relax the body and allow the proper nerve flow to the area affected.
    Also we find that the use of belladonna internally, under the direction of physician, will also be helpful as an allayer for the spasm condition and the lack of activity there.
    A little later the injection of oils through the lower colon will be beneficial, to aid in the activity.

    In the present we find an acute condition which arises from the effects of some of the conditions existent in the system as related to corrections being made in those portions of the pelvis.  And this combined with the general condition of the activity of the lower hepatic circulation, has produced a rheumatic reaction, or a congested area that gives acute pain....
    In the evening, or when ready for retiring for the night, apply a Belladonna Plaster over the affected areas.  Use Energine to remove the plaster, in three or four days.

    We find that small quantities of Belladonna, but necessarily administered under the supervision of a physician, will tend to reduce that spasmodic reaction in the cardiac plexus of the upper stomach.

    Over the kidney area, but rather high up, apply a Belladonna Plaster.  (If you will use Energine you won't have any trouble taking it off; otherwise, it may be a lot of trouble!)  Put the plaster on, though, good and tight.

(Q)  Is the belladonna plaster harmful or helpful?
(A)  In this case it only proves irritating.  This is generally a very good application, but the eliminations are not sufficient, see?


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