Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Datura stramonium.

Material uses

The growing plant is said to protect neighbouring plants from insects[1][2]. The juice of the fruits is applied to the scalp to cure dandruff and falling hair[3].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The thornapple is a bitter narcotic plant that relieves pain and encourages healing[4]. It has a long history of use as a herbal medicine, though it is very poisonous and should be used with extreme caution. The leaves, flowering tops and seeds are anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][4][13]. The seeds are the most active medicinally[6]. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma and Parkinson's disease, excess causes giddiness, dry mouth, hallucinations and coma[4]. Externally, it is used as a poultice or wash in the treatment of fistulas, abscesses wounds and severe neuralgia[4][14]. The use of this plant is subject to legal restrictions in some countries[4]. It should be used with extreme caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since all parts of the plant are very poisonous and the difference between a medicinal dose and a toxic dose is very small[10][15][4]. The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower, they are then dried for later use[6]. The leaves can be used as a very powerful mind-altering drug, they contain hyoscyamine and atropine[15]. There are also traces of scopolamine, a potent cholinergic-blocking hallucinogen, which has been used to calm schizoid patients[15]. Atropine dilates the pupils and is used in eye surgery[16]. The leaves have been smoked as an antispasmodic in the treatment for asthma, though this practice is extremely dangerous[15][16]. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter and acrid taste with a cooling and very poisonous potency[17]. Analgesic, anthelmintic and anti-inflammatory, they are used in the treatment of stomach and intestinal pain due to worm infestation, toothache and fever from inflammations[17]. The juice of the fruit is applied to the scalp to treat dandruff[3].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse[18]. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Datura stramonium. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in most moderately good soils but prefers a rich light sandy soil or a calcareous loam, and an open sunny position[5][6][18]. Plants often self-sow when well sited[5]. The thornapple is cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant[19]. It can become a weed in suitable conditions and is subject to statutory control in some countries[4]. This species is extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes[18]. Grows well with pumpkins[2]. The whole plant gives off a nauseating stench[20].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Datura stramonium. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Datura stramonium.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Datura stramonium
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? 1.01.1 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    2. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    3. ? Medicinal Plants of Nepal Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal. (1993-00-00)
    4. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    6. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    10. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    13. ? 13.013.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    15. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    16. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    17. ? Tsarong. Tsewang. J. Tibetan Medicinal Plants Tibetan Medical Publications, India ISBN 81-900489-0-2 (1994-00-00)
    18. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    19. ? Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    20. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    21. ? Livingstone. B. Flora of Canada National Museums of Canada ISBN 0-660-00025-3 (1978-00-00)

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