Central and South America
Easy to grow. Plants are most impressive when given regular water and good garden soil. Will self seed and potentially become weedy unless deadheaded to prevent seed formation.
Jimson Weed, Jamestown Weed, Thorn Apple, Devil’s Apple, Angel Trumpets, Moon Flower, Toloache
Full sun, well-drained soil.
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.
Mendelson, G. Letter: Reversal by physostigmine of delirium induced by ingestion of the flowers of the plant Datura stramonium. Anesth.Analg. 1976;55(2):260. View abstract.
Wilhelm, H., Wilhelm, B., and Schiefer, U. [Mydriasis caused by plant contact]. Fortschr.Ophthalmol. 1991;88(5):588-591. View abstract.
Ricard F, Abe E, Duverneuil-Mayer C, Charlier P, de la Grandmaison G, Alvarez JC. Measurement of atropine and scopolamine in hair by LC-MS/MS after Datura stramonium chronic exposure. Forensic Sci Int. 2012;223(1-3):256-60. View abstract.
Constipation: Jimson weed might cause constipation.
Matsuda, K., Morinaga, M., Okamoto, M., Miyazaki, S., Isimaru, T., Suzuki, K., and Tohyama, K. [Toxicological analysis of a case of Datura stramonium poisoning]. Rinsho Byori 2006;54(10):1003-1007. View abstract.
Congestive heart failure (CHF): Jimson weed might cause rapid heartbeat and make CHF worse.
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: