Dwale

is an old word meaning torpor, or trance, and a name accepted since Chaucerian times as synonymous with opiate. See Reeve's Tale - when the Miller and his wife went to bed, they had drunk so much ale, "hem needed no dwale". The word was originally used as a general term for sleeping draught, and only later was it restricted to a name for DEADLY NIGHTSHADE, which of course was used for sleeping draughts. So were the other two plants, FOETID HELLEBORE (Voigts & Hudson), and BLACK NIGHTSHADE, bearing the name.

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