Datura stramonium (Common Name: Jimson Weed) Medicinal Uses, Side Effects, and Benefits

What is a Datura plant?

Datura is an herbaceous perennial plant, which is grown in the temperate and tropical regions 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 placed this. Even being a poisonous plant, datura has been using since ancient times by Ayurveda physicians, spiritual purposes, holy men and its use in modern medicine drugs.Benefits of Jimson Weed

Datura seeds parts used are seeds, flowers, and leaves. All the parts of datura contain dangerous levels 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 a toxic dose is very very small.

Datura distribution

Initially, datura was found in the United States of America but now it is spread all over the world. In the 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 regions of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.  It grows wild in the tropical as well as the temperate climate where it is found in the roadside area as well as the medicinal plant nursery. In Europe, it grows as a weed on the wasteland and garbage. In India, it is distributed in the Himalayan region.

Common names of Datura

It has been known by many names such as jimson weed, stinkweed, mad apple, thorn apple stramonium, datura 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 a poison because of 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 the datura plant is applied over the scalp to treat hair fall, hair loss, and dandruff.

Datura classification

  • 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 Moonflower.
  • 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, the FDA has recognized the medicinal uses of Datura because of 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. The flying ointment is a complex drug that is made from plants such as henbane, hemlock, wolfsbane and some plants from the 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 the 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 British soldiers to treat respiratory problems. Both scopolamine and atropine are used as sedatives and sometimes help 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 cigarettes or pipes.
  • The Zuni once used it as an analgesic for bone setting while the Chinese were used as anesthesia 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 the 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 fistulas and abscesses
  • Datura leaves are enriched with hyoscyamine and atropine, can be used as mind-altering drugs.
  • The oil extract from the datura seed is used to treat baldness and stimulate the growth of hair.

Datura leaves benefits

  •  The leaves of the datura are good to relieve headaches.
  • The vapor 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 is used as acaricidal, repellent and oviposition deterrent properties against mites.
  • The ethanol extract of datura is used as a 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 a poultice.

Datura side effects

  • Datura is a poisonous plant, so it should be taken only after consultation with the experienced physicians.
  • Datura chemicals such as scopolamine and atropine are used as a poison and used in murders and suicides.
  • Datura increases the heartbeat and may lead to cardiac arrest.
  • Ingesting datura may cause violent behavior because of the presence of chemical substances 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 to the eyes.

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