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Notes on Jimson Weed

jimson weed flower JIMSON WEED - Datura sp. Datura, Nightshade, Stechapfel, Stramony, Thorn Apple, Thornapple, Toloache. Russian: Doorman. Use this plant carefully! All parts are poisonous. It contains alkaloids, including atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. There is a very fine line between the hallucinogenic and fatal properties. Use it externally for the bites of insects that leave sore red itchy welts. Three times a day, squeeze a drop of juice onto the bite from the leaf stem. Do not rub. The fresh crushed leaves are applied as a poultice to snake bites. The vinegar made by infusing the seeds for several weeks is applied for toothache and earache. A certain species is used to cure hemorrhoids and ulcers. The dried leaves can be smoked for asthma. The pounded roots were used on cuts when setting broken bones. Drink Jointfir tea as a sedative. The flowers placed near the bed relieve insomnia. A salve was made by boiling jimsonweed leaves to cook out the fluid. They added hog lard, yellow sulfur, and a bit of homemade tobacco. Datura was a source of useful knowledge about a lot of plants.

D. arborea: Almizclillo, Floripondio, Floripondio Blanco de Perú, Trombita. Exotic. Has pharmacological properties. Use the flowering branches of this species, or D. cornigera, D. uaveolens, or D. sanguinea, commonly called Floripondio Amarillo. They contain an alkaloid principle which could be hyoscyamin, atropine, or a mixture of both, and the common components of the plants. The flowers contain the same materials, but the alkaloid is the major quantity. The root is very similar to the leaves and the flowers, with the difference that it contains a major quantity of vegetable wax and tannin; the proportion of alkaloid is minor. The therapeutic effect of this plant is similar to that of belladonna for constipation, with caution noted with respect to the dose. A small dose (less than .14 grams of the soft extract a day) increases the pulse rate and the opposite seems to occur in the higher .2 grams or more). It is possible to prescribe this plant in the same cases in which you apply Beleño and belladonna. Take _.1 gram of the white extract, and 1 cc of the fluid extract, at a time.


D. discolor (D. thomasii): Locoweed, Poison Lily, Poisonous Nightshade, Toloache, from the Aztec: Tolohua "to bow the head", Tzin "reverential". Akimel: Kodop. Seri: Hehe camostim "plant that causes grimacing", Hehe carocot "Plant that makes one crazy". The entire plant is toxic, but especially the seeds and leaves. The roots are used externally for chest troubles, and the leaves are pounded with salt and placed on sores. Gather the bud in the morning and keep it in a wet cloth until use. Cut the tip and pour the liquid into sore eyes. The flower, with the dew, can be gathered, heated, and put into the ear for earache. Frequent use can cause deafness. Rub the leaf until it is slick, with the thumb, and then apply to a boil to draw out the pus. An infusion of the leaves is used to alleviate childbirth pains. The Comcaac made dry mashed seed tea which was drunk for sore throat. Some people added cinnamon, sugar, and Desert Lavender (Hyptis). A poultice of the leaves was used for boils. A salve made of ground leaves and seeds mixed with lard is good to rub on the stomach, but will intoxicate and produce visions. This practice is dangerous. This plant was used medicinally in 1552 by the Aztecs. Personally, I would use extreme caution with all of these remedies.


D. inoxia (D. meteloides, wrightii): Belladona, Belladonna, Datura, Indianapple, Jamestown Weed, Jimson Weed, Jimsonweed, Moonapple, Moonflower, Ooze Apple, Sacred Datura, Southwestern Thorn Apple, Tecuyana, Tolguacha, Toloache, Toloachi, Toloachi Grande, Tolochacha. Aztec: Tolguacha. Diné: NtiGiliitshoh "large sunflower". Hindi: Dhatura. Kawaiisu: Moopi. Takic: Kikisowil, Kiksawvaal. Warihio: Tecuyauwi. This plant is also poisonous and foul-smelling. It is extremely dangerous to use; a very small margin exists between a useful dose and a fatal one. I do not recommend using this herb for anything internal. See D. stramonium, below. The plant was used only during the winter; the rest of the time it was too strong. The root was roasted under hot ashes first, until it was black like potatoes. Then it was put in a basket, cold water poured on it, and it was soaked all day. There were a number of preparations before and after, some of them ceremonial, some of them possibly offering protection from the toxicity. The crushed herb was brewed into liquor. It contains atropine. Atropine is used against asthma and dries out the bronchial tubes. The drink the Indians made from the crushed root or seeds was called Toloache. The Indians are reported to have used the seeds to prevent miscarriage, and the plant to treat asthma. The root was mashed or shredded and soaked, and the infusion used to bathe the limbs of arthritics and rheumatics. The liquid was drunk to kill pain from broken bones. It is reported that one time it was used for rattlesnake bite. In one case of serious saddle sores, this plant was crushed and wet with water and rubbed into the sores. It was an extreme remedy for an extreme case. A powder of the leaves and other plant parts was made into an ointment which was used as a pain killer, and for setting bones, relieving toothache and swellings. The leaves were smeared with animal fat and used as poultices, including hot poultices, on aches and bruises. They applied the salve and heated it on the skin with a hot rock. A paste was used for bruises, swellings, tarantula and spider bites, snake bites, and insect stings. An infusion of the leaves was applied to the wound when animals were castrated. A vapor of the steamed leaves was inhaled for bronchial or nasal congestion. Hunters used the plant on long treks to increase strength and allay hunger. A solution of the leaves was used to wash a horse that tended to stray, to try to keep him home. I don't know if it worked!


D. quercifolia. CAUTION: All parts of these plants are poisonous, containing various alkaloids, particularly atropine (daturine). Atropine is used medicinally for eye, skin, stomach, intestinal, and rectal disorders. But these plants are very dangerous, and one should look for other remedies. These alkaloids cause dilation of the pupil of the eye, in the same manner as Belladonna. They cause hallucinations. These plants also cause dermatitis in some people. See D. stramonium, below.

D. stramonium (D. tatula): Bulgarian: Tatool. Russian: Doorman, Doorman Vonyuchii. Bielun' Dzie, dzierzawa (under), Chamico, Ciumäfaie, Csattanó Maszlag, Datura, Devil's Trumpet, Doornappel, Durman, Durman Obecny', Durman Panenska' Okurka, Estramonio, Estramónio, Figueira do Inferna, Herbe au Diable, Herbe aux Sorcière, Herba Stramonii, Hierba del Diablo, Hulluruoho, Jamestown Weed, Jimson Weed, Jimsonweed, Nacazcul, Pigæble, Piggeple, Pomme Epineuse, Pomme Épineuse, Purple Thorn Apple, Spikklubba, Stechapfel, Stinkweed, Stramoine, Stramonio, Stramonium, Tápate, Tatula, Tatullë, Tlápatl, Toloache, Toloatzin, Weißer Stechapfel. Diné: Tcoxwotjilyaih "spruce that one wraps around a hurt". Has pharmacological properties. This plant has a foul odor, but not the flowers. All parts of the plant are poisonous internally to both humans and livestock. That includes the nectar, and tea made from the leaves. It contains atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Symptoms include dermatitis, dry mouth, thirst, pupil dilation, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, rapid pulse, high blood pressure, cardiac symptoms, disturbed vision, excitement, hallucination, incoherent speech, psychosis, disorientation, delirium and apparent insanity, convulsions, coma, and death. Even sleeping near the flowers can cause headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness. Handling the flowers can cause problems.


This plant should never be used medicinally except under the care of an expert. Crushed leaves make a poultice good for snake bites and insect bites. Smoke the dried leaves to relieve asthma and nervous spasms of the lungs. The leaves are maturatives and were used for lice. Stupefying, tranquilizing, antispasmodic. The seeds were used for ear infections. The leaves, and in various places the seeds, are used medicinally. In Mexico the name Toloache is applied to Martynia fragrans, whose leaves are distinguished by being heart shaped and oblong-heart-shaped, trilobed, angular-wavy, etc. The fruit is called Toritos. The leaves contain a principle called daturine, which, according to the studies, results from being a mixture of atropine and hyoscyamine. The composition, furthermore, is very similiar to that of belladonna; the quantity of alkaloid contained in the leaves varies between .2 and .3 gr.%. It has 17 to 20% of mineral materials, principally potassium nitrate. The grains contain 25% of an oil, from which have been isolated daturic acid and two others. Analgesic, stupifying, and antispasmodic. The leaf powder is used in fumigations against asthma, whooping cough and nervous cough. The fresh leaves are used as poultices externally. The decoction, 4 to 12 grams of leaves for a liter of water, as a fomentation: the tincture in massages against neuralgia, principally in sciatica. Dose. Leaf powder, from .05 to .24 grams repeated in the day. Extract, .02 to .1 grams; tincture, up to 30 drops; seed powder, .024 grams. It is incompatible with preparations with a base of tannin, after which one has to vomit and wash the stomach.


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