Poison bottle, cobalt blue glass, empty, for tincture of belladonna, English, 1880-1900
Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade is a plant whose name suggests it is poisonous. However, the roots and leaves have medicinal qualities – the leaves are a narcotic to induce sleep, and can be used as a diuretic and as a muscle relaxant. The roots and leaves were also used for plasters to relieve aches and pains. The cobalt blue coloured glass was blown with a ridged design. It is thought that poison bottles had distinctive textures and colours so they could easily be identified by touch and by sight.
A tincture is an alcoholic solution of a medicine.