Jimson weed (Datura stramonium, a member of the Belladonna alkyloid family) is a plant growing naturally in West Virginia and has been used as a home remedy since colonial times. Due to its easy availability and strong anticholinergic properties, teens are using Jimson weed as a drug. Plant parts ca … Learn more about JIMSON WEED uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain JIMSON WEED. Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium) is the most frequent thorn apple variety that is native in Central Europe. It's an annual, bushy-growing plant with beautiful, trumpet-like, white blossoms that emit a very strong scent at night.
The dangers of jimson weed and its abuse by teenagers in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia
Jimson weed (Datura stramonium, a member of the Belladonna alkyloid family) is a plant growing naturally in West Virginia and has been used as a home remedy since colonial times. Due to its easy availability and strong anticholinergic properties, teens are using Jimson weed as a drug. Plant parts can be brewed as a tea or chewed, and seed pods, commonly known as “pods” or “thorn apples,” can be eaten. Side effects from ingesting jimson weed include tachycardia, dry mouth, dilated pupils, blurred vision, hallucinations, confusion, combative behavior, and difficulty urinating. Severe toxicity has been associated with coma and seizures, although death is rare. Treatment consists of activated charcoal and gastric lavage. Esmolol or other beta-blocker may be indicated to reduce severe sinus tachycardia. Seizures, severe hypertension, severe hallucinations, and life-threatening arrhythmias are indicators for the use of the anticholinesterase inhibitor, Physostigmine. This article reviews the cases of nine teenagers who were treated in hospitals in the Kanawha Valley after ingesting jimson weed. We hope this article will help alert primary care physicians about the abuse of jimson weed and inform health officials about the need to educate teens about the dangers of this plant.
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JIMSON WEED – Uses, Side Effects, and More
Jimson weed is a plant. The leaves and seeds are used to make medicine.
Despite serious safety concerns, jimson weed is used to treat asthma, cough, flu (influenza), swine flu, and nerve diseases.
Some people use it as a recreational drug to cause hallucinations and a heightened sense of well-being (euphoria). Parents should be warned about the online availability of jimson weed for purchase.
How does it work ?
Jimson weed contains chemicals such as atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. These chemicals interfere with one of the chemical messengers (acetylcholine) in the brain and nerves.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Insufficient Evidence for
- Nerve diseases.
- Causing hallucinations and elevated mood (euphoria).
- Other conditions.
Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled. It is poisonous and can cause many toxic effects including dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death. The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled. It is poisonous and can cause many toxic effects including dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death. The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds. No one should take jimson weed, but certain people are especially at risk for toxic side effects. These side effects are especially dangerous if you have any of the following conditions:
Children: Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled by children. They are more sensitive than adults to the toxic effects of jimson weed. Even a small amount can kill them.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Jimson weed is UNSAFE for both mother and child when taken by mouth or inhaled.
Congestive heart failure (CHF): Jimson weed might cause rapid heartbeat and make CHF worse.
Constipation: Jimson weed might cause constipation.
Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome might be especially sensitive to the dangerous side effects of jimson weed.
Seizures: Jimson weed can cause seizures. Do not use jimson weed if you suffer from frequent seizures.
Esophageal reflux: In esophageal reflux, food and liquid in the stomach leak backwards into the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (esophagus). Jimson weed might make this condition worse because it slows down the process that empties the stomach. It also lowers the pressure in the bottom of the esophagus, making it more likely that stomach contents will go back up.
Fever: Jimson weed might make fever worse.
Stomach ulcer: Jimson weed might delay stomach emptying and make ulcers worse.
Stomach and intestinal infections: Jimson weed might slow down the emptying of the stomach and intestines. As a result, “bad” bacteria and the toxins they produce could remain in the digestive tract longer than usual. This could make infections caused by these bacteria worse.
Hiatal hernia: Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach is pushed up into the chest through a hole or tear in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest space from the stomach space. Taking jimson weed might make hiatal hernia worse. It can slow down the process that empties the stomach.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye disease. It raises the pressure inside the eye and can lead to blindness, if it isn’t treated. Jimson weed is especially dangerous for people with glaucoma because it might raise the pressure inside the eye even more.
Obstructive digestive tract disorders, including atony, paralytic ileus, and stenosis: Jimson weed might make these conditions worse.
Rapid heartbeat: Jimson weed might make this condition worse.
Toxic megacolon: In this life-threatening condition, the large intestine (colon) suddenly becomes extra wide because of an infection or other intestinal disorder. Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.
Ulcerative colitis: This is an inflammatory bowel disorder that affects the large intestine. Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.
Difficulty passing urine (urinary retention): Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.
Be cautious with this combination
Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with JIMSON WEED
Jimson weed contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It also affects the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also cause these effects. Taking jimson weed and drying medications together might cause side effects including dry skin, dizziness, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and other serious side effects.
Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).
The appropriate dose of jimson weed depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for jimson weed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium)
Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium) is the most frequent thorn apple variety that is native in Central Europe. It’s an annual, bushy-growing plant with beautiful, trumpet-like, white blossoms that emit a very strong scent at night.
The name refers to the apple-like, prickly fruits. Thorn apples (Datura) are a species of the family of the nightshades (Solanaceae) and, with their approx. 20 varieties occur nearly worldwide.
Caution: The whole plant is very poisonous and is particularly dangerous for children!
Seeds, content: Approx. 40 Jimson Weed seeds
Plant family: Solanaceae Plant height approx.: 20 – 120 cm Flowering time: August July June October September Flower colour: Violet White Yellow Lifecycle : Annual sunlight: full sun
Indoor pre-culture (seedling stage): April March Sowing time outdoors: – Sowing depth: 1 cm Best germination temperature : 20 – 23 °C Planting distance: 1 m Main harvest: –
Approx. 1m high annual plant. Loves lots of sun, water, and fertilizer (or nitrogen-rich soils). Sowing: Preculture. Datura seeds need much warmth for germinating. Apart from that, it’s easy to care for. Ideal location: Full sun. Can also multiply itself by self-sowing.
Botanical name: datura stramonium stramonium spinosum German names: dollkraut donnerkugeln dornapfel gemeiner stechapfel weißer stechapfel English names: devil’s cucumber devil’s snare devil’s trumpet devil’s weed hell’s bells jimson weed locoweed moon flower pricklyburr stinkweed thornapple French names: chasse–taupe datura officinal endormeuse herbe aux fous herbe du diable herbe jimson herbe–aux–taupes pomme poison pomme–épineuse stramoine stramoine commune trompette de la mort trompette des anges Spanish names: berenjena del diablo estramonio higuera del infierno higuera loca manzana espinosa trompetilla Italian names: erba del diavolo erba delle streghe stramonio comune
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