World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Datura stramonium

Article Id: WHEBN0000057983
Reproduction Date:

Title: Datura stramonium  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Datura, Psychoactive drug, Atropine, Orto botanico di Palermo, Recreational drug use
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Datura stramonium

Jimson weed
Toloache
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Datura
Species: D. stramonium
Binomial name
Datura stramonium
L.
Synonyms [1]
  • Datura inermis Juss. ex Jacq.
  • Datura stramonium var. chalybea W. D. J. Koch, nom. illeg.
  • Datura stramonium var. tatula (L.) Torr.
  • Datura tatula L.

Datura stramonium, known by the common names Jimson weed, Devil's snare, or datura, is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. It is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world.[1] Other common names for D. stramonium include thornapple and moon flower,[2] and it has the Spanish name Toloache.[3] Other names for the plant include hell's bells, devil’s trumpet, devil’s weed, tolguacha, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, pricklyburr, and devil’s cucumber.[4]

For centuries, datura has been used as a herbal medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also a powerful hallucinogen and deliriant, which is used spiritually for the intense visions it produces. However, the tropane alkaloids responsible for both the medicinal and hallucinogenic properties are fatally toxic in only slightly higher amounts than the medicinal dosage, and careless use often results in hospitalizations and deaths.

Description

D. stramonium is a foul-smelling, erect, annual, freely branching herb that forms a bush up to 2 to 5 ft (60 to 150 cm) tall.[5][6][7]

The root is long, thick, fibrous and white. The stem is stout, erect, leafy, smooth, and pale yellow-green. The stem forks off repeatedly into branches, and each fork forms a leaf and a single, erect flower.[7]

The leaves are about 3–8 in (8–20 cm) long, smooth, toothed,[6] soft, and irregularly undulated.[7] The upper surface of the leaves is a darker green, and the bottom is a light green.[6] The leaves have a bitter and nauseating taste, which is imparted to extracts of the herb, and remains even after the leaves have been dried.[8]

D. stramonium generally flowers throughout the summer. The fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white to creamy or violet, and 2 123 12 in (6–9 cm) long, and grow on short stems from either the axils of the leaves or the places where the branches fork. The calyx is long and tubular, swollen at the bottom, and sharply angled, surmounted by five sharp teeth. The corolla, which is folded and only partially open, is white, funnel-shaped, and has prominent ribs. The flowers open at night, emitting a pleasant fragrance, and are fed upon by nocturnal moths.[7]

The egg-shaped seed capsule is 1–3 in (3–8 cm) in diameter and either covered with spines or bald. At maturity, it splits into four chambers, each with dozens of small, black seeds.[7]

Fruits and seeds - MHNT

Range and habitat

D. stramonium is native to North America, but was spread to the Old World early. It was scientifically described and named by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753, although it had been described a century earlier by herbalists, such as Nicholas Culpeper.[9] Today, it grows wild in all the world's warm and moderate regions, where it is found along roadsides and at dung-rich livestock enclosures.[10][11][12] In Europe, it is found as a weed on wastelands and in garbage dumps.[10]

The seed is thought to be carried by birds and spread in their droppings. Its seeds can lie dormant underground for years and germinate when the soil is disturbed. People who discover it growing in their gardens, and are worried about its toxicity, have been advised to dig it up or have it otherwise removed.[13]

Toxicity

All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of the tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics. The risk of fatal overdose is high among uninformed users, and many hospitalizations occur amongst recreational users who ingest the plant for its psychoactive effects.[10][14]

The amount of toxins varies widely from plant to plant. As much as a 5:1 variation can be found between plants, and a given plant's toxicity depends on its age, where it is growing, and the local weather conditions.[10] Additionally, within a given datura plant, toxin concentration varies by part and even from leaf to leaf. When the plant is younger, the ratio of scopolamine to atropine is about 3:1; after flowering, this ratio is reversed, with the amount of scopolamine continuing to decrease as the plant gets older.[15] This variation makes Datura exceptionally hazardous as a drug. In traditional cultures, a great deal of experience with and detailed knowledge of Datura was critical to minimize harm.[10] An individual datura seed contains about 0.1 mg of atropine, and the approximate fatal dose for adult humans is >10 mg atropine or >2–4 mg scopolamine.[16]

Datura intoxication typically produces delirium (as contrasted to hallucination), hyperthermia, tachycardia, bizarre behavior, and severe mydriasis with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days. Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect.[17] The onset of symptoms generally occurs around 30 to 60 minutes after smoking the herb. These symptoms generally last from 24 to 48 hours, but have been reported in some cases to last as long as two weeks.[18]

As with other cases of anticholinergic poisoning, intravenous physostigmine can be administered in severe cases as an antidote.[19]

Use in traditional medicine

D. stramonium var. tatula, flower (front)

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India, datura has long been used for asthma symptoms. The active agent is atropine. The leaves are generally smoked either in a cigarette or a pipe. During the late 18th century, James Anderson, the English Physician General of the East India Company, learned of the practice and popularized it in Europe.[20][21]

The Zuni once used datura as an analgesic, to render patients unconscious while broken bones were set.[22] The Chinese also used it in this manner, as a form of anaesthesia during surgery.[23]

Spiritual uses

Datura seedpod, opening up to release seeds inside

The ancient inhabitants of what is today central and southern California used to ingest the small black seeds of datura to "commune with deities through visions".[24] Across the Americas, other indigenous peoples such as the Algonquin, Cherokee, Marie Galente, and Luiseño also used this plant in sacred ceremonies for its hallucinogenic properties.[25][26][27] In Ethiopia, some students and debtrawoch (lay priests), use D. stramonium to "open the mind" to be more receptive to learning, and creative and imaginative thinking.[28]

The common name "datura" has its roots in ancient India, where the plant is considered particularly sacred—believed to be a favorite of the Hindu god Shiva Nataraja.[21]

Cultivation

Datura prefers rich, calcareous soil. Adding nitrogen fertilizer to the soil will increase the concentration of alkaloids present in the plant. Datura can be grown from seed, which is sown with several feet between each plant. Datura is sensitive to frost, so should be sheltered during cold weather. The plant is harvested when the fruits are ripe, but still green. To harvest, the entire plant is cut down, the leaves are stripped from the plant, and everything is left to dry. When the fruits begin to burst open, the seeds are harvested. A single intensively planted acre can produce 1,000 to 1,500 pounds (1,100–1,700 kg/ha) of leaf and 700 pounds (780 kg/ha) of seed.[29]

Etymology

The genus name is derived from dhatura, an ancient Hindu word for a plant. Stramonium is originally from Greek, strychnos στρύχνος "nightshade" and maniakos μανιακός "mad".[30]

In the United States, the plant is called jimson weed, or more rarely Jamestown weed; it got this name from the town of Jamestown, Virginia, where British soldiers consumed it while attempting to suppress Bacon's Rebellion. They spent 11 days in altered mental states:

References

  1. ^ a b "Datura stramonium information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  2. ^ "Jimsonweed". University of Texas El Paso / Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program & Paso del Norte Health Foundation. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Detailed Information: Jimsonweed". University of Texas El Paso / Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program & Paso del Norte Health Foundation. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Stace, Clive (1997). New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press. p. 532.  
  6. ^ a b c Henkel, Alice (1911). "Jimson weed". American Medicinal Leaves and Herbs. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 30. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Grieve, Maud (1971). A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses, Volume 2. Dover Publications. p. 804.  
  8. ^ Grieve, Maud (1971). A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses, Volume 2. Dover Publications. p. 805.  
  9. ^ Culpeper, Nicholas (n.d.; 20th century edition of 1653 publication), Culpeper's Complete Herbal, Slough: W Foulsham & Co Ltd, pp. 368–369,  
  10. ^ a b c d e Preissel, Ulrike & Hans-Georg Preissel (2002). Brugmansia and Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples. Firefly Books. pp. 124–125.  
  11. ^ Veblen, K.E. (2012). "Savanna glade hotspots: Plant community development and synergy with large herbivores". Journal of Arid Environments 78: 119–127.  
  12. ^ Oudhia P., Tripathi R.S.(1998).Allelopathic potential of Datura stramonium L.. Crop. Res. 16 (1) : 37-40.
  13. ^ Mail Online, Pensioner finds deadly tropical plant made famous in Harry Potter book in her back garden 3:24 PM on 24 August 2009.
  14. ^ AJ Giannini,Drugs of Abuse--Second Edition. Los Angeles, Practice Management Information Corporation, pp.48-51. ISBN 1-57066-053-0.
  15. ^ Nellis, David W. (1997). Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Pineapple Press. p. 237.  
  16. ^ Arnett AM (December 1995). "Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium) poisoning". Clinical Toxicology Review 18 (3). 
  17. ^ Freye, Enno (21 September 2009). Pharmacology and Abuse of Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Related Designer Drugs. Springer Netherlands. pp. 217–218.  
  18. ^ Pennachio, Marcello et al (2010). Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany As Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine. Oxford University Press. p. 7.  
  19. ^ Goldfrank, Lewis R. & Flommenbaum, Neil (2006). Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 677.  
  20. ^ Barceloux, Donald G. (2008). "Cascara". Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances: Foods, Fungi, Medicinal Herbs, Plants, and Venomous Animals. John Wiley & Sons. p. 1877.  
  21. ^ a b Pennachio, Marcello et al (2010). Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany As Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine. Oxford University Press. p. 6.  
  22. ^ Turner, Matt W. (2009). Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives. University of Texas Press. p. 209.  
  23. ^ Nellis, David W. (1997). Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Pineapple Press. p. 238.  
  24. ^ Austin, Alfredo Lopez et al. (2005). Mexico's Indigenous Past. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 22.  
  25. ^ Biaggioni, Italo et al (2011). Primer on the Autonomic Nervous System. Academic Press. p. 77.  
  26. ^ Pennachio, Marcello et al (2010). Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany As Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 82–83.  
  27. ^ Davis, Wade (1997). The Serpent and the Rainbow: a Harvard scientist's astonishing journey into the secret societies of Haitian voodoo, zombis and magic. Simon & Schuster. p. .  
  28. ^ Molvaer, Reidulf Knut (1995). Socialization and Social Control in Ethiopia. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 259.  
  29. ^ Chopra, I.C. (2006). Indigenous Drugs of India. Academic Publishers. p. 143.  
  30. ^ "Datura species". Plants Poisonous to Livestock. Cornell University Department of Animal Science. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  31. ^  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.