Another fashionable woman was Mona Lisa, the wife of a Florentine merchant. Have you noticed that she has no eyebrows in the painting? It was the fashion of women during her time to shave them or to have them plucked out--ouch! It can be painful trying to be fashionable. Look closely. She also has no eyelashes.
Our own colonial William Byrd II once wrote: "My wife and I quarreled about her pulling her brows. She threatened she would not go to Wiliamsburg if she might not pull them; I refused, however, and got the better of her and maintained my authority…"
Belladonna or deadly nightshade is native to Europe, North African and Western Asia.
The berries and even the foliage are very toxic for they contain tropane alkaloids. It takes only two to five berries to prove fatal for humans. The berries can appear interesting and tempting to children, so beware.
Belladonna was used prior to the Middle Ages as an anesthetic for surgery.
It was believed to help relieve pain, to relax muscles and could be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Additional physical issues it was used to treat include peptic ulcers, motion sickness and menstrual problems.
In the political arena we find that Agrippina the Younger, the wife of Emperor Augustus Caesar followed that advice of Locusta who was a woman who specialized in poisons. Livia used belladonna to kill her dear husband Emperor Augustus Caesar.
This was one of the poisons used for tips of poison tipped arrows.