Monday, December 15, 2008

Datura stramonium L.

Family : Solanaceae

Synonym(s) : Datura stramonium var. tatula (Linn.)

English Name : Jimsonweed, Thornapple, Devil's Apple, Jamestown-weed, Stramonium, Stinkweed, Devil's Trumpet and Apple of Peru

Origin : North America

It is an erect, coarse and glabrous or farinose-puberulous annual herb about 60 to 120 cm high. Leaves are stalked, 15.0 to 17.0 cm long, ovate, deeply toothed or sinuate and pale-green. Flowers are large and purplish or violet coloured. Calyx is long, tubular and herbaceous. Corolla is long and funnel-shaped with wide mouth. The stamens are attached near the base of tube. Ovary is two-or spuriously four-celled. The capsules are ellipsoid, 4.0 to 7.0 cm long and spinous. Seeds are numerous, compressed and rugose.

Throughout the world (including India and the Himalayas) except the colder and Arctic regions preferring soils that are rich in nitrogen.

Parts Used : Leaf, seed, flower, fruit and plant

Herb Effects
The leaves, flowering tops and seeds are anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic; kills insects (plant extract); antidandruff (fruit); narcotic (seed); intoxicating (which can be fatal) and sedative (young fruit); anticholinergic, cyanogenetic, expectorant, reduces fever, fumitory, fungicidal, hypnotic, poisonous.

Active Ingredients
Scopolamine, daturine, hyoscine, hyoscyamine, atropine, mescaline, apophyoscine, skimmianine, tropine, apoatropine, alpha and beta-belladonine and 2.6-dihydroxytropane.

Medicinal Use
For boils and testicle enlargement (leaf); relieving pain and headaches (roasted leaves); earache (flower); asthma (inhalation of burning leaves) and other pulmonary and respiratory ailments (such as pneumonia, cough and severe chest colds); used internally in the treatment of asthma and Parkinson's disease, excess causes giddiness, dry mouth, hallucinations and coma (plant); externally, as a poultice or wash in the treatment of fistulas, abscesses wounds and severe neuralgia (plant).

Powdered leaves: 1/10 to 5 grains.
Fluid extract of leaves: 1 to 3 drops.
Fluid extract of seeds: 1 to 2 drops.
Tincture of leaves: B.P. and U.S.P.. 5 to 15 drops.
Powdered extract: U.S.P.. 1/5 grain.
Solid extract: B.P.. 1/4 to 1 grain.

Since this plant has toxic properties, high dosages can lead to cerebral depression, followed by a coma; it should not be used when pregnant, with prostate problems tachycardia, glaucoma and with depressant medications.


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