What is a Datura plant?
Datura is an herbaceous perennial plant grown in the temperate and tropical regions of the globe. All the species of Datura are poisonous. Some are aphrodisiacs, too. The seeds and flowers are more toxic. Sometimes, datura is called witch 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 prayers have also been placed. Even being a poisonous plant, datura has been used by Ayurveda physicians for spiritual purposes by holy men, and it has been used in modern medicine drugs since ancient times.
Datura seeds parts used are seeds, flowers, and leaves. All the parts of datura contain dangerous levels of poison like tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are considered deliriants or anticholinergics.
Datura should be taken only after consultation from a good practitioner, as the difference between a medical dose and a toxic one is very small.
Initially, datura was found in the United States of America, but now it is spread worldwide. In the United States, datura is generally found in Southern America and Mexico. Datura is located 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 tropical and temperate climates in the roadside areas and medicinal plant nurseries. In Europe, it grows like 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 names such as Jimson weed, stinkweed, mad apple, thorn apple stramonium, datura tatula, and datura seeds. Datura is also known by other common words such as Devil’s Snare, hell’s bell, trumpet, weed, tolguacha, locoweed, pricklyburr, and cucumber.
- English Name- Thorn apple, Devil’s trumpet, Metal
- 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 is used for hair fall.
Utmost precautions should be taken while ingesting data as it may seriously harm 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 an insect repellent, protecting other plants from insects.
- The juice of the 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 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 recognised 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 made from henbane, hemlock, wolfsbane, and some plants from the nightshade family. The cream 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 burn more easily.
- British soldiers have used it to treat respiratory problems. Both scopolamine and atropine are sedatives and sometimes help cure 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 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 the case of Ayurveda for asthma and bonesetting.
- Jimson weed is used to treat spasms 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 extracted from the datura seed treats baldness and stimulates hair growth.
Datura leaves benefits
- The leaves of the datura are good to relieve headaches.
- The vapour of datura leaves infusion relieves arthritis such as rheumatism and gout.
- The burning leaf smoke of datura is good for treating 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 larvae and mosquitoes.
- The datura leaves treat heart problems like palpitations and hypertension.
- Datura leaf 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 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 behaviour because of the presence of chemical substances called anticholinergic.
- Taking datura results in dilated pupils.
- One can also experience amnesia due to this.
- Blurred vision, nausea, giddiness, confusion, rapid pulse, and 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.