Though it is a poisonous plant still datura benefits in healing spasmodic disorders and dealing with respiratory disorders, especially asthma. The leaves, seeds, and root of this plant have medicinal value.
Moreover, datura has been traditionally used for religious visionary purposes. It is also used as a hallucinocinic and intoxicant.
Datura has large, coarsely toothed leaves, trumpet shaped flowers, thorny, egg shaped fruit, and black or dark brown colored seeds.
Scientific Name: Datura stramonium
Other Names: Dhatura, Thorn Apple, Stramonium, Jamestown Weed, Jimson Weed, Stink Weed, Datura Tatula, Locoweed, Devil’s Weed, Devil’s Trumpet, Angel’s Trumpet, Ummattam, Daturamu, Tolguacha, Pricklyburr, Moonflower, Malpitte, Mad Apple, Stechapfel
This herb is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. It is grown in temperate and tropical regions of the world. Datura belongs to the Solanaceae family.
Datura has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibiotic, anesthetic, anodyne, anthelmintic, demulcent, mydriatic, narcotic, deliriant, anticholinergic, and sedative properties.
It is believed that this herb can work as a mental tonic and help manage Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, provided it is used cautiously. This notion, however, has not been proved scientifically as yet.
Some other benefits of datura include its effectiveness in getting rid of hemorrhoids, relieving diarrhea, treating bedwetting (Enuresis), curing bilious malarial fever, healing dandruff, reducing hair loss, etc.
On the downside, though, datura can cause side effects like amnesia, blurred vision, nausea, giddiness, confusion, rapid pulse, hyperthermia, delirium, hallucinations, psychosis, and even violent behavior. Besides, it can cause convulsions and prove to be fatal.
The chemical properties of datura are quite similar to those of belladonna. The herb contains powerful alkoloids, particularly atropine, hyoscyamine, and hyosine in all parts of the plant. It is believed that small quantities of datura seeds tend to improve libido, especially in males.
Medicinal Uses of Datura
- • Traditionally, datura leaves are burnt and smoked to relax the bronchial tubes and hence, reduce symptoms of asthma. Inhaling the smoke of burning seeds also alleviates toothache.
- • Applying warm datura leaves as a poultice is useful in getting rid of boils. You can also add castor oil to facilitate the process of healing.
- • Washing your wounds with a decoction prepared from the leaves of datura benefits in curing them.
- • To reduce earache, prepare a solution by boiling half a cup of juice extracted from datura leaves and an equal amount of sesame oil in a tin vessel, on low heat. Next, smear oil and sprinkle a little salt on seven madar leaves (swallow wort).
When the dhatura juice reduces to half, boil these leaves in the solution until they are charred. Finally, strain and cool the solution. Put two to three drops of this home medicine in ears to relieve the pain.
- • Another datura home remedy for earache involves the use of a few drops of datura leaf juice as ear drops.
- • Tying warm datura leaves on breasts stops lactation and relieves pain. This treatment is useful for women who have had miscarriage or abortion.
- • Prepare a paste by mixing two teaspoons each of datura seeds and liquorice root, one teaspoon of milk cream and a pinch of saffron.
Then, heat two teaspoons of coconut oil in a pan and fry this paste in it until the mixture is charred. Apply this solution on bald patches to stimulate hair growth and fight baldness. Follow this therapy for at least a few days.
- • Applying the juice of datura fruit on scalp helps reduce dandruff and hair fall.
- • Benefits of datura can also be derived by taking a hot bath in warm water mixed with this herb to get rid of a cold.
- • To cure sexual impotence and improve circulation in genital organs, prepare a remedy by boiling dried datura seeds in cow’s milk on gentle fire. Apply this extract on penis and spine two times in a day.
- • Relaxing on a bed lined with datura leaves induces sleep and treats insomnia.
- • When dealing with feet ache and inflammation, boil half cup each of juice extracted from datura leaves, ginger and madar leaves in half a cup of sesame oil. When the mixture cools, massage it on your legs.
Earlier, the Chinese used this herb as a surgical anesthesia. At times, datura seeds are mixed in wines and beer to enhance intoxication. Recreational uses of this herb, though, are usually discouraged as it is highly toxic.
Although datura benefits in curing certain ailments, it should be used with caution under the supervision of a qualified physician as its overdose can lead to toxic effects.
Moreover, it can affect the nervous system adversely. Plus, the juice of datura leaves is extremely harmful for eyes.