What is Datura plant?
Datura is an herbaceous perennial plant, which is grown in temperate and tropical region of the globe. All the species of Datura are poisonous in nature. Some are aphrodisiac too. The seeds and flowers are more poisonous in nature. Sometimes, datura is termed as witches weeds and shows properties like deadly nightshade and henbane. Datura use is known for feverish state and even death. However, in Ayurveda, it is used as medicine and ritual as well as prayers has also place this. Even being a poisonous plant, datura has been using since the ancient times by ayurveda physicians, spiritual purposes, holy men and its use in modern medicine drugs.
Datura seeds parts used are seeds, flowers and leaves. All the parts of datura contain dangerous level of poison like tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine, which are considered as deliriants or anticholinergics.
Datura should be taken only after consultation from the good practitioner as the difference between medical dose and toxic dose is very very small.
Initially, datura was found in United States of America but now it is spread all over the world. In United States, datura is generally found in Southern America and Mexico. Datura is found in the deserts of America such as southern California, east Texas, and northern region of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. It grows wild in the tropical as well as temperate climate where it is found in the road side area as well as the medicinal plant nursery. In Europe, it grows as weed on the wasteland and garbage. In India, it is distributed in the Himalayn region.
Common names of Datura
It has been known by many names such as jimson weed, stink weed, mad apple, thorn apple stramonium, dhatura tatula, and datura seeds. Datura is also known by other common names such as Devil’s snare, hell’s bell, devil’s trumpet, devil’s weed, tolguacha, locoweed, pricklyburr and devil’s cucumber.
- English Name- Thorn apple, Devil’s trumpet, Metel
- Hindi Name- Sada Dhatura
- Tamil Name- Ummattangani/ Vella- Ummathai
- Telugu Name- Ummetta
- Bengal Name- Dhattura
- Gujarati name – Dhattura
- Marathi Name-Dhattura
- Kannada name- Unmatta, Dhattura
- Malayalam Name- Unmatta, Dhattura
- Arabic name – Datur
- Persian name – Tatur
Datura uses for hair fall
Utmost precautions should be taken while ingesting datura as it may seriously harm you or kill you.
- Datura is used as poison because the presence of alkaloids such as scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine.
- The growing datura plant acts like as insect repellent thereby protects other plants from insects.
- The juice of datura plant is applied over the scalp to treat hair fall, hair loss and dandruff.
- Botanical name: Datura stramonium
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Solanaceae (deadly Nightshade family)
- Genus: Datura
- Species: Datura stramonium
List of Datura species
- Datura wrightii also called Southwestern Thorn Apple
- Datura stramonium also called Jimson weed
- Datura metaloides also called sacred datura
- Datura inoxia named as Toloache
- Datura discolor is also known as Moon flower.
- Datura ceratocaula
- Datura ferox: long spined thorn-apple
- Datura leichhardti: Leichhardt’s datura
- Datura quercifolia: Oak-leaf thorn-apple
Datura drugs and medicinal benefits
Recently, FDA has recognized the medicinal uses of Datura because the presence of chemical compounds such as scopolamine and atropine.
- Flying Ointment: Flying ointment is used by medieval witches of Europe so that they can fly. Flying ointment is a complex drug that is made from the plants such as henbane, hemlock, wolfsbane and some plants from nightshade family. The ointment is used to apply on the soles of the feet, vagina and armpits.
- Ayahuasca brews: Ayahuasca brew is used by shamans to make brew. Only 2-3 leaves are used for 30-40 people.
- Smoking blends of datura and cannabis are used as smoke because it is not ruthless and burns easier.
- It has been used by the British soldiers to treat respiratory problems. Both scopolamine and atropine are used as sedatives and sometimes helps in curing of motion sickness, nausea and dizziness.
- Datura has been used in Ayurveda for asthma symptoms where jimson weed’s leaves are smoked in cigarette or pipe.
- The Zuni once used it as analgesic for bone setting while the Chinese were used it as anaesthesia during surgery.
Datura seeds benefits
- Datura leaves are used to treat pain. The paste of roasted leaves is applied over the area to relieve pain.
- It is used as herbal medicine, especially in case of ayurveda for asthma and bonesetting.
- Jimson weed is used to treat spasm of bronchitis in asthma.
- Datura seeds and leaves are used as antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hypnotic and narcotic.
- Externally, the jimson seeds are used in treating of fistulas and abscesses
- Datura leaves are enriched with hyoscyamine and atropine, can be used as mind altering drug.
- The oil extract from the datura seed is used to treat baldness and stimulate growth of hair.
Datura leaves benefits
- The leaves of datura are good to relieve headache.
- The vapour of datura leaves infusion is used to relieve arthritis such as rheumatism and gout.
- The burning leaf smoke of datura is good to treat asthma and bronchitis.
- The ethanol extract from datura leaves are used as acaricidal, repellent and oviposition deterrent properties against mites.
- The ethanol extract of datura is used as repellent against larva and mosquito.
- The leaves of datura are used to treat heart problems like palpitations and hypertension.
- Datura leaves juice is used to treat earache.
- Boils can also be overcome by applying datura leaves as poultice.
Datura side effects
- Datura is poisonous plant, so it should be taken only after consultation with the experienced physicians.
- Datura chemicals such as scopolamine and atropine are used as poison and used in murders and suicides.
- Datura increases the heart beat and may lead to cardiac arrest.
- Ingesting datura may cause violent behavior because the presence of chemical substance called anticholinergic.
- Taking datura results to dilated pupils.
- One can also experience amnesia due to this.
- Blurred vision, nausea, giddiness, confusion, rapid pulse, hyperthermia are some of the side effects of datura.
- Datura can affect the nervous system adversely.
- The juice of datura leaves is also very harmful for eyes.