Herb: Scopolia


Latin name: Scopolia carniolica


Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family, Potato Family)



Medicinal use of Scopolia:

The dried root is hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic. It causes a sleep that resembles normal sleep. The medicinal activity of this plant resembles belladonna (Atropa belladonna) but it is more narcotic. It is used internally in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, stomach ache and manic-depressive states. A very toxic plant, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is harvested in the autumn and normally processed for extraction of the alkaloids which are used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
April
to June

Habitat of the herb:

Moist rocky beech woods around 1000 metres. Damp stony places in hilly areas.

Propagation of Scopolia:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed is best sown in the autumn. Germination is quick and easy. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist rocky beech woods around 1000 metres. Damp stony places in hilly areas.

Known hazards of Scopolia carniolica:

This plant is probably fairly poisonous. The rhizomes contain potentially poisonous alkaloids that are similar to Atropa belladonna.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.