Jimson weed (Datura stramonium L.)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Alkaloids, angel's trumpet, apple of peru, atropine, belladonna alkaloids, complex-type oligosaccharide binding lectin, crazy tea, Datura arborea, D. aurea, D. candida, Datura inoxia, Datura L., Datura metel, D. sanguinea, Datura stramonium, Datura stramonium agglutinin, Daturastramonium L. var. tatula (L.) Torr., Datura suaveolens, Daturatatula L., devil's seed, devil's snare, devil's trumpet, DSA, endemic nightshade, hyoscamine, Jamestown weed, jimsonweed, lectins, "loco" weed, mad hatter, malpitte, moonflower seed, nightshade, pods, scopolamine, sobi-lobi, Solanaceae (family), stinkweed, TAL, thorn apple, thornapple leaf, tolguacha, toxic alkaloids, tropane belladonna alkaloids, trumpet lily, zombie's cucumber.
Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) grows throughout the world and has been known as a hallucinogenic plant for centuries. It has reportedly been used by Shamans and native peoples during sacred rituals. In India, the smoke of jimson weed has been used to treat asthma.
Jimson weed may cause extreme toxicity including death. Even very small amounts may cause death. Jimson weed is therefore not used medicinally today, although some alkaloids from jimson weed are approved drugs.
In early research, jimson weed has been studied for asthma and chronic bronchitis, however, clinical evidence supporting any safe or effective use of jimson weed is lacking at this time.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antitumor, asthma, colorectal cancer, hallucinogenic, insecticide, muscle spasms, Parkinson's disease (saliva production control), sedative, whooping cough.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for jimson weed. Jimson weed may cause extreme toxicity.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for jimson weed, and use in children is not recommended. Jimson weed may cause extreme toxicity and even small amounts may cause death in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to jimson weed, its constituents, other Datura species, or other plants in the nightshade family, such as tobacco, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Side Effects and Warnings
Jimson weed may cause extreme toxicity including death. Even very small amounts may cause death.
Jimson weed may cause rapid heart rate, life threatening abnormal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, respiratory arrest, psychosis, delirium, disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, amnesia, coma, and may worsen neurological disorders.
Jimson weed may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Jimson weed may also cause liver damage, kidney damage, difficulty urinating or urinary retention, and blurred vision.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Jimson weed is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to potential for extreme toxicity.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Jimson weed may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Jimson weed may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
Jimson weed may alter blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that alter blood pressure.
Jimson weed may have additive effects when taken with anti-cholinergics, beta-blockers, cardiac glycosides, antimicrobials, analgesics, antipsychotics, diuretics, stimulants, drugs used for the eye, drugs used to alter heart rate or heart rhythm, drugs toxic to the liver, or drugs with anti-asthmatic, anticancer, anti-seizure, or immune altering properties.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Jimson weed may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Jimson weed may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
Jimson weed may alter blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that alter blood pressure.
Jimson weed may have additive effects when taken with anti-cholinergics, beta-blockers, alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, antimicrobials, analgesics, antipsychotics, diuretics, stimulants, herbs or supplements used for the eye, herbs or supplements used to alter heart rate or heart rhythm, herbs or supplements toxic to the liver, or herbs or supplements with anti-asthmatic, anticancer, anti-seizure, or immune altering properties.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Alebiowu, G, Femi-Oyewo, MN, Elujoba, AA, et al. Toxicity studies on Datura metel L. with reference to official stramonium. J Herb Pharmacother. 2007;7(1):1-12. View Abstract
Boumba, VA, Mitselou, A, and Vougiouklakis, T. Fatal poisoning from ingestion of Datura stramonium seeds. Vet Hum Toxicol. 2004;46(2):81-82. View Abstract
Calbo Mayo, JM, Barba Romero, MA, Broseta, Viana L, et al. [Accidental familiar poisoning by Datura stramonium]. An Med Interna 2004;21(8):415. View Abstract
Clark, JD. The roadside high: Jimson weed toxicity. Air Med J 2005;24(6):234-237. View Abstract
Dewitt, MS, Swain, R, and Gibson, LB, Jr. The dangers of jimson weed and its abuse by teenagers in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia. W V Med J 1997;93(4):182-185. View Abstract
Dieckhofer, K, Vogel, T, and Meyer-Lindenberg, J. [Datura stramonium as a narcotic]. Nervenarzt 1971;42(8):431-437. View Abstract
Dominguez, Fuentes B, Asencio, Mendez C, Garcia, Gil D, et al. [Hallucinations and agitation in a meeting of adolescents]. Rev Clin Esp. 2008;208(1):58-59. View Abstract
Eftekhar, F, Yousefzadi, M, and Tafakori, V. Antimicrobial activity of Datura innoxia and Datura stramonium. Fitoterapia 2005;76(1):118-120. View Abstract
Forrester, MB. Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) exposures in Texas, 1998-2004. J Toxicol Environ Health A 2006;69(19):1757-1762. View Abstract
Kurzbaum, A, Simsolo, C, Kvasha, L, and Blum, A. Toxic delirium due to Datura stramonium. Isr Med Assoc J 2001;3(7):538-539. View Abstract
Mikolich, JR, Paulson, GW, and Cross, CJ. Acute anticholinergic syndrome due to Jimson seed ingestion. Clinical and laboratory observation in six cases. Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(3):321-325. View Abstract
No authors listed. An alternative medicine treatment for Parkinson's disease: results of a multicenter clinical trial. HP-200 in Parkinson's Disease Study Group. J Altern.Complement Med. 1995;1(3):249-255. View Abstract
Roblot, F, Montaz, L, Delcoustal, M, et al. [Datura stramonium poisoning: the diagnosis is clinical, treatment is symptomatic]. Rev Med Interne 1995;16(3):187-190. View Abstract
Steenkamp, PA, Harding, NM, van Heerden, FR, et al. Fatal Datura poisoning: identification of atropine and scopolamine by high performance liquid chromatography/photodiode array/mass spectrometry. Forensic Sci Int 10-4-2004;145(1):31-39. View Abstract
Vanderhoff, BT, and Mosser, KH. Jimson weed toxicity: management of anticholinergic plant ingestion. Am Fam Physician 1992;46(2):526-530. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017