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Uses

Toxic parts

All members of this genus contain narcotics and are very poisonous, even in small doses[1][2].

Edible uses

Notes

The leaves and roots are bruised, mixed with water and left to stand for several hours. The liquid is then drawn off and drunk. This is a highly narcotic drink, producing a stupefying effect that it is not easy to remove[3]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity[K].

Unknown part

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Datura metel.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant, but especially the leaves and seed, is anaesthetic, anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, bronchodilator, hallucinogenic, hypnotic and mydriatic[1][4][5]. It has a wide range of applications in India, including in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria, insanity, heart diseases, fever with catarrh, diarrhoea, skin diseases etc[4][6]. In China it is used in the treatment of asthma[5]. Great caution is advised since excess doses cause hallucinations, severe intoxication and death. The toxic dose is very close to the medicinal dose so this plant should only be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity.

The plant contains the alkaloids hyoscyamine, hyoscine and atropine[6]. Atropine dilates the pupils and is used in eye surgery[7]. Total alkaloid content of the leaves is 0.426%, which is mainly atropine[6]. The seeds contain 0.426% alkaloids, which is mainly hyoscyamine[6]. The roots contain 0.35% hyoscyamine[6].

An extract of the flowers is used as an anaesthetic - 3 - 5g applied orally produces a general anaesthesia within 5 minutes and lasting 5 - 6 hours[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse[2]. 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 metel. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a rich light sandy soil and an open sunny position[2]. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil[2].

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[2]. There are a number of named varieties selected for their ornamental value[2]. The flowers have an exotic fragrance, though the bruised leaves have an unpleasant smell[8].

This species is closely related to D. innoxia[2].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Datura metel. 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 metel.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Datura metel
Genus
Datura
Family
Solanaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    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.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (1979-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.5 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)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)