Datura is itself a genus and a group of poisonous plant species. Datura seeds, leaves and roots are used in traditional Indian and alternative medicines.
Some of datura species are:
- Datura metal
- Datura Alba
- Datura stramonium
- Datura fastuosa
- Datura candida (Pers) Saff
- Datura ceratocaula Ortega
- Datura discolor Bernh
- Datura dolichocarpa (Lagerh) Saff
- Datura ferox L
- Datura innoxia Mill
- Datura inoxia Mill
- Datura kymatocarpa Barclay
- Datura leichhardtii Benth
- Datura reburra Barclay
- Datura wrightii Regel
All these species belong to potato family Solanaceae. Several datura plants and species are used as drugs and many other species are treated as weeds.
Datura Alba (White datura)
Datura Alba bears white flowers and it grows naturally in Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim in India.
Datura metal (purple datura)
Datura metal is used in ayurvedic medicines and religious purposes. It is widely used in asthma, persistence cough and pain disorders. Its effects are compared with codeine in persistent cough and all modern bronchodilators in asthma.
Datura stramonium (Black datura)
Datura stramonium is a source of a hypnotic drug known as stramonium. It has hypnotic and sedative effects.
All species have similar medicinal value and properties. However, the purple datura is most appropriate to use in medicines, according to ayurveda.
Chemical composition of datura
- Daturine (Alkaloid)
- Malic acids
Daturina-daturin alkaloids resemble with atropine.
Datura Medicinal Properties
Due to following characteristics, datura is beneficial in a respiratory diseases and pain disorders.
- Analgesic or Anodyne
- Cardiac stimulant
- Uterine stimulant
- Soporific (Sleep inducing)
Only smaller dosages are used in medicines.
Generally, datura seeds are used in ayurveda, traditional Indian and alternative medicines. Before using datura in medicines, datura seeds require a series of detoxification and purification processes. These processes help to reduce the toxicity level in the human body and enhance medicinal value of datura.
In raw form, datura seeds might be very dangerous and poisonous. Therefore, do not try anything described in this article yourself, just consult related professional for more detail.
The plant as a whole has anodyne, analgesic, sleep inducing and antispasmodic action.
Datura leaves have bitter taste and similar characteristic odor like datura seeds. It is used in preparing herbal plasters. It is also used as anodyne and antispasmodic.
Datura leaves are most poisonous part of datura plant. Leave contain high amount of poisonous alkaloids known as Daturine and albumen in addition to mucilage and ash. These alkaloids contain about 25% potassium nitrate.
Datura Parts used in medicines
- Fresh Seeds
- Fresh Leaves
- Dried leaves
- Dried ripe seeds
All parts have almost similar medicinal characteristics and same action in the body, but seeds are mostly commonly used in alternative and traditional medicines.
|Taste – RASA||Bitter & Pungent|
|Main Quality – GUNA||Dry, Light in digestion|
|Potency – VIRYA||Hot|
|Resultant – VIPAKA||Bitter|
|Impact (Body) – PRABHAVA||Anodyne|
|Impact (Mind)||Hallucinations, Sedative, Hypnotic|
|Impact (Humors) – DOSHA KARMA||Pacifies Kapha–Vata|
- Neurological pain disorders
- Neuralgia (Acute spasmodic pain along the course of nerve)
- Mental stress
Respiratory Diseases (Lungs)
- Productive cough
Heart & Blood vessels
- Low heart rate
Kidney & Bladder
- Pain due to kidney stones
- Enuresis (bed wetting)
- Breast pain (local application of datura leaves)
- Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea)
- Oligomenorrhea (Abnormally infrequent or light periods or menstruation)
Datura Uses & Benefits
In alternative medicines like ayurveda and Unani, datura seeds are purified before use in various medicines.
Datura containing medicines are used in respiratory diseases especially in productive cough and asthma. Due to various medicinal properties, datura is also used in other diseases related to pain, acidity, heart failure, decreased heartbeat, gall bladder stone pain, and abdominal pain after meal, Dysmenorrhea, pain due to kidney stone and enuresis.
Datura is always used in low dosages under medical supervision. High dosage can cause severe side effects listed under this article.
Indigestion due to heavy meal
According to ayurvedic scholar Bhavamisra, if a patient suffers from indigestion, which occurs due to heavy meals and fatty foods, then datura seeds in dosage of 125 mg can help.
Datura is also an herbal treatment of dog bite. Its roots are used in the treatment of symptoms of dog bite. The following mixture is used for this purpose.
|Datura root powder||125 mg|
|Punarnava Powder||5 grams|
This mixture is given with cold water twice a day. This formulation is from the Sushruta samhita.
Alopecia Areata (Indralupta)
According to Vagbhata, datura leaves juice is applied on scalp in cases of alopecia areata.
According to Harita samhita, datura root is crushed in water and strained the liquid. This datura water is used in instilling in eyes with viral conjunctivitis.
Bhavamisra has described the datura formulation for intestinal worms.
5 t0 6 drops of datura leaf juice is given to patients with buttermilk for getting rid of intestinal worms.
A paste is made from datura leaves and mixed with a small amount of turmeric. This paste is applied on the affect breast for relieving breast pain. Bhavamisra has described this remedy in his book bhavachikitsa.
Make a paste of datura seeds and apply this paste on cracked feet. This application helps in treating cracked feet. Bhavamisra has also described this remedy in his book bhavachikitsa.
Ayurvedic treatment of schizophrenia also includes the use of white datura root. Charkradatta has described the following preparation in chapter Unmanda.
|White datura root powder||125 mg|
|Ghee (clarified butter)||5 ml|
Take milk and add white datura root powder, jaggery and ghee. Boil the milk with all these ingredients and strain the milk in a glass. Give this mixture to patient suffering with schizophrenia.
Ear infection with pus
Oil is prepared with various ingredients and datura leaf juice for ear infections. It works as antiseptic as well as antibiotic in ear infections.
|Mustard oil||80 ml|
|Purified Sulphur/Gandaka||10 grams|
|Turmeric powder||10 grams|
|Datura leaf juice||320 ml|
- Take mustard oil and add all other three ingredients.
- Simmer the mixture until oil remains.
- Then strain the oil and discard residues.
This oil is instilled in ear with infections and pus. Ayurvedic scholar Charkradatta has given this formulation.
Filariasis or elephantiasis (Elephant Feet disease)
Datura seeds and pipper longum is used to treat filariasis.
Datura root paste is prepared with water and applied on the carbuncles. It helps to treat carbuncles and prevents scaring.
A juice prepared from datura, calotropis and castor leaves is applied on swelling and inflammation of joints due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Hot paste of datura leaves is applied along the course of sciatica nerve to get rid of pain.
Datura seed oil is used for the treatment of asthma. Kanakasavam is prepared from datura, which is generally prescribed for asthma and productive cough in ayurvedic science.
The following formulation of datura is beneficial in cough.
|Datura seed powder||50 mg|
|Long pepper||50 mg|
|Gum arabic (acacia gum)||Q.S.|
Tablets prepared in above ratio helps in relieving cough. This formulation is also used with honey without acacia gum. It is beneficial in productive cough.
There are many formulation of datura used in ayurveda for epilepsy.
- Datura seeds with saffron
|Datura seed powder||20 mg|
All three ingredients are mixed in equal ratio. This mixture is instilled in nose during epilepsy attack.
- Datura seeds with black pepper
|Datura seed powder||60 mg|
|Black pepper||60 mg|
This mixture is given with butter in epilepsy.
|Datura seed powder||60 mg|
|Black pepper||60 mg|
This mixture is also beneficial in diabetes mellitus. In Diabetes mellitus, this mixture is given with Saunf ark.
Nightfall in men
The tablets, prepared using following ingredients in given quantity, are used to treat nightfall in men.
|Datura seed powder||30 mg|
|White cumin||30 mg|
|Coriander seeds||30 mg|
Mix first three ingredients in powdered form and take this mixture with triphala water.
Fresh Datura leaves are beneficial in malaria fever. A small amount of leaf paste is given with jaggery to lower the temperature in malaria.
Abdominal pain may have many underlying causes. Some of these causes include gall bladder stone and kidney stone. In these conditions, datura and medicines containing datura are used to alleviate the pain.
Early discharge in men
The following formulation helps in early discharge in men.
|Datura seed powder||30 mg|
This mixture is given with milk twice a day.
Infertility in women
Datura flowers are effective treatment of infertility in women. The dried powder of datura flowers in dosage of 120 mg is given with honey 10 days after menstruation. It is given for 5 to 7 days. This remedy is effective in infertility of unknown reason.
Datura seed ash is given in dosage of one gram for seven days in patients complaining excessive sweating in hands and feet.
Datura seed powder
60 mg to 125 mg
Datura leaf powder
60 mg to 200 mg
Datura root powder
60 mg to 200 mg
60 mg to 125 mg
Datura seed ash
500 mg to 1 grams
Datura seed ash is the residue left after burning the datura seeds.
Datura seeds effects
Datura seeds and other parts of datura plant can cause following side effects:
- Dry mouth is a common side effect.
- Heart palpitation
- Muscle stiffness
- Allergic reaction on skin characterized by red spots, Urticaria type symptoms, itching and burning sensation.
- Datura can increase heart rate.
- It can increase intraocular pressure. It is most common side effects of datura and one of most dangerous effect on the body.
- Datura can cause hallucination and intoxication.
The worse side effects include unconsciousness, coma and even death.
The overdose of datura can result in anticholinergic poisoning due to its tropane alkaloids. It can cause cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden death.
You should not consume any part of datura plant if you have any of following condition.
- Elevated intraocular pressure
- Increased heartbeat
- Patients with pacemaker
Datura can have a worse effect in pregnancy. It can stimulate uterine contractions and may cause miscarriage.
Emergency treatment of datura poisoning
Stomach wash is the first step of emergency treatment of datura poisoning. First, the gastrointestinal tract is cleaned out. For this purpose, activated charcoal is used.
In extreme cases of datura overdose or poisoning, low doses of physostigmine may require to reverse the life threatening symptoms such as seizures, coma and respiratory depression.
If strong hallucinations occur, patient may need benzodiazepines like ativan and valium. Hallucination due to datura can last for 48 to 72 hours.
Patients with anticholinergic toxicity are required to admit in ICU until the symptoms of anticholinergic toxicity disappear.
Steps of emergency treatment
- Obtain IV access if patient is not extremely agitated.
- Monitor all vital signs frequently.
- Consider thiamine and naloxone administration.
- Prefer to do not use ipecac or emetic medicines. Also, defer the use of activated charcoal, but it may require in cases of prolonged transport time anticipation.
- Check for hypoglycemia and altered mental status.
- Consider the use of benzodiazepines if seizures are present.
- The use of Physostigmine may require, but it is not recommended to use physostigmine in pre-hospital settings.
Datura is one of poisonous plants. The higher dosage may cause severe adverse reactions. Ayurvedic doctors use it in minimal quantity. Please note this is an informational website and we serve information of traditional and folk uses, which does not mean our recommendations. Before using any part of herbs, you should consult with your physician.