An interesting addition to the knowledge bank, Dick; thanks.
According to my (fairly old) MAFF bulletin, British Poisonous Plants, the
principal ingredient in Atropa belladonna is hyoscyamine. Atropine occurs
only in very small quantities, it says, and is made by processing hyoscamine
from Datura metel (Horn of Plenty). Hyoscine (aka Scopolamine) also occurs,
it continues, but again only in small amounts.
An even older Materia Medica (1891!) says that one should use either fresh or
dried leaves (Belladonnae Folia), gathered when the fruits begin to form, or
the dried root (Belladonnae Radix). Either way, the yield is 0.06% to 0.30%
of atropine. Also to be found are "belladonnine, homologous with atropine,
and probably identical with hyoscamine, daturine and duboisine". The last, it
says, comes from an Australian plant, Duboisia myoporoides, and is used
No doubt things have moved on since then. 8-)
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