The history of scopolamine - with special
reference to its use in anesthesia

Soban D, Ruprecht J, Keys TE, Schneck HJ.
Anaesthesiol Reanim. 1989;14(1):43-54


Potions from plants, now known to contain scopolamine, were used in antiquity and the middle ages. However, wide-spread application of drugs for induction of insensibility to pain did not occur, probably because of side-effects and unpredictable dose-effect relationships. The word "scopolamine" is derived from "Scopolia carniolica", a solanaceous plant so named by Carl von Linne in honour of supposed discoverer, J. A. Scopoli. However, description of the effects and picture of the same plant have been found in A. P. Matthioli's work. Scopolamine is still widely used in anaesthetic practice and has enjoyed applicability in other medical fields. Unethical misuse of scopolamine has been known for a considerable time. Nowadays, the unwanted effects of scopolamine can specifically be antagonized by physostigmine. Scopolamine has been used in folk-lore rituals and enjoys great interest among ethno-pharmacologists.
Brain microtubules
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
The spongia somnifera
'My beloved chloroform'
'The secularisation of pain'
Acetylcholine/nicotinic receptors
Obstetric anaesthesia/John Snow
Scopolamine intoxication with Burundanga in Colombia

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World