Atropa bella-donna, Atropine anti-nerve gas agent, Atropine used in eye surgery, Belladonna, Chinese Thorn Apple, Datura discolor, Datura inoxia, Datura quercifolia, Datura wrightii, field craft, field medicine, home remedies, Jimson Weed, militia supply, Native American culture, native american medicine, natural antispasmodic, prepper's plant, Thorn Apple, treat asthma, treat asthma spasms, treat dandruff, treat insomnia, treat joint pains, treat muscle aches, treat mushroom poisoning, treat Parkinson's Disease, treat peptic ulcers, treat schizoid patients, treat sinus inflammations, treat sunstroke, treat toadstool poisoning, treat tremors, treatment of asthma, treatment of fistulas, treatment of insanity, treatment of Parkinson's disease
Common Name: Jimson Weed, Thorn Apple, Datura, Devil Weed, Toloache Estramoio
Latin Name: Datura discolor, D. inoxia, D. quercifolia, D. stramonium, D. wrightii
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DATUR All States except Alaska and Wyoming; In Canada; British Columbia to Quebec and Nova Scotia. Main database
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DADI2 California and Arizona (Datura discolor)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAIN2 Hawaii, Califoria, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Pennslyvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut; In Canada; Ontario and Quebec. (Datura inoxia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAQU California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, N. and S. Carolina, Pennslyvania and Maryland (Datura quercifolia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAST All areas listed on the main database of USDA. (Datura stramonium)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAWR2> All States east of the Mississippi R. except Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Vermont; on the west side of the Mississippi R. all states except Louisiana, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, N. and S. Dakota and Hawaii (Datura wrightii)
Warnings: All members of this genus contain narcotics and are very poisonous, even in small doses. I knew someone that attempted to get high off of this plant by eating a small portion of the seed pod; he had his stomach pumped.
Photos: (Click on Latin Name after Common Name)
Common Name: Downy Thorn Apple, Pricklyburr (Datura inoxia)
Appearance and Habitat: Sandy or gravelly dry open places below 1200 meters in California – Southwestern N. America. An annual growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender.
Edible Uses: Fruit – ground up and mixed with clay ( the clay probably has a neutralizing effect on the toxins). A very toxic plant, its use as a food cannot be recommended. The fruit is up to 5cm long and 7cm wide. A stupefying beverage is made from the leaves and roots
Medicinal Uses: All parts of the plant are anodyne, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic and narcotic. It has been used in the past as a pain killer and also in the treatment of insanity, fevers with catarrh, diarrhoea and skin diseases. The plant contains several alkaloids, the most active of which is scopolamine. This is a potent cholinergic-blocking hallucinogen, which has been used to calm schizoid patients. The leaves contain 0.52% scopolamine, the calices 1.08%, the stems 0.3%, the roots 0.39%, the fruits 0.77%, the capsules 0.33%, the seeds 0.44% and the whole plant 0.52 – 0.62%. Any use of this plant should be with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since the toxic dose is very close to the medicinal dose.
Common Name: Chinese Thorn Apple, Oak Leaf Datura (Datura quercifolia)
Appearance and Habitat: Roadsides, 1200 – 1800 meters in Arizona. South-western N. America – Arizona to Mexico. An annual growing to 1.5 m (5ft). It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender.
Edible Uses: Fruit – ground up and mixed with clay ( the clay probably has a neutralizing effect on the toxins). A very toxic plant, its use cannot be recommended. The fruit is about 7cm long and 6cm wide. A stupefying beverage is made from the leaves and roots
Medicinal Uses: The whole plant is narcotic. It has been used in the past to deaden pain, treat insomnia etc, but any use of this plant should only be carried out under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since the difference between the medicinal dose and a toxic dose is very small.
Common Name: Jimson Weed, Thorn Apple (Datura stramonium)
Appearance and Habitat: Dry waste ground and amongst rubble or ruins of old buildings. Original habitat is obscure, it is found in many areas of the world, occasionally in Britain. An annual growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: The thornapple is a bitter narcotic plant that relieves pain and encourages healing. 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. The seeds are the most active medicinally. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma and Parkinson’s disease, excess causes giddiness, dry mouth, hallucinations and coma. Externally, it is used as a poultice or wash in the treatment of fistulas, abscesses wounds and severe neuralgia. The use of this plant is subject to legal restrictions in some countries. 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. The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower, they are then dried for later use. The leaves can be used as a very powerful mind-altering drug, they contain hyoscyamine and atropine. There are also traces of scopolamine, a potent cholinergic-blocking hallucinogen, which has been used to calm schizoid patients. Atropine dilates the pupils and is used in eye surgery. The leaves have been smoked as an antispasmodic in the treatment for asthma, though this practice is extremely dangerous. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter and acrid taste with a cooling and very poisonous potency. 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. The juice of the fruit is applied to the scalp to treat dandruff.
Common Name: Sacred Thorn-Apple, Jimson Weed, Angel Trumpet (Datura wrightii)
Native American Name: Moip, (Moapa Paiute);Toloache, (Paiute)(1)
Appearance and Habitat: Large, trumpet-shaped, white corollas, generally withered by early morning, protrude from the coarse foliage of this stout, branched, rank-smelling plant. Extracts from this plant and its relatives are narcotic and, when improperly prepared, lethal. The narcotic properties of species have been known since before recorded history. They once figured importantly in religious ceremonies of southwestern Indians.(2)
Medicinal Uses: This plant has a heavy root, which is soaked, ground and boiled. The tea renders the drinker unconscious. He will have visons, but should be watched lest he wander off in search of some lost article. (3)
Foot Notes: (1, 3) Indian Uses of Native Plants
by Edith Murphey, page 48, 50; Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2)) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=DAWR2
(Now for Michael Moore who covers all of the above and (Datura discolor)
Appearance and Habitat: This is a smelly plant with large broad, dark-green leaves, that has rubber like many-branching stems. It’s a favorite of squash bugs. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and unfold in the early morning. The flowers are white, with light violet to purple on the interior. Their scent is sweet and narcotic. The flowers can be from 2 to 6 inches in length. The seed pods resemble golf balls and are covered with sharp spines. The only plant that might be mistaken for Datura is the Buffalo Gourd. They can be found in the driest deserts of the Mohave and Colorado but also in the foothills of the drier mountains from 2,500 to 7,000 feet. You can also find it along roads and irrigation ditches. It has tendency to form stands in protected valleys and along dry washes. It is relatively common throughout the west, except in Montana and Idaho, where another similar plant grows hedbane (Hyocyamus), another drug related plant.
Warnings: Do not take this plant internally for any reason.
Medicinal Uses: The alkaloids vary greatly in the plants, depending on moisture, species and locality; but they are mainly scopolamine, hyoscyamine, atripine and other tropanes. It does work well of asthma. Asthma powders used to be a mixture of Jimson Weed and potassium nitrate. The leaves can also be rolled with an equal amount of Mullien leaves, Raspberry leaves or Coltsfoot leaves and smoked at the first sign of an asthma attack. A few puffs of this smoke numbs the bronchial tubes and relaxes the muscles ending the asthma spasms. Jimson Weed may work better for asthma suffers, as it only takes a couple of puffs and continued use of inhalers reduces their effects. Jimson Weed will also treat sinus inflammations. Jimson Weed can also be boiled in a large pot and added to bath water to relieve muscle aches and joint pains. Care must be taken to watch the elderly or persons with restricted movement while bathing with some Jimson Weed tea added, as over time they will absorb enough of the alkaloids to become drowsy. Powered Jimson Weed works well on hemorroids as well, simply take the powered plant and add it to lard or Vaseline, slowly heat the mixture for an hour and after it cools apply topically as needed.
Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 141 – 143; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
Common Name: Belladonna
Latin Name: Atropa bella-donna
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ATBE Washington, Oregon, California, New York, New Jersey and Michigan
Appearance and Habitat: Woods, thickets and hedges, mainly on calcareous soils. In Central and Southern Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and Iran. A perennial growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in). It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.
Warnings: The whole plant, and expecially the root, is very poisonous. Even handling the plant has been known to cause problems if the person has cuts or grazes on the hand. The plant is particulary dangerous for children since the fruit looks attractive and has a sweet taste. The toxins are concentrated in the ripe fruit.
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: Although it is poisonous, deadly nightshade has a long history of medicinal use and has a wide range of applications, in particular it is used to dilate the pupils in eye operations, to relieve intestinal colic and to treat peptic ulcers. The plant can be used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, reducing tremors and rigidity whilst improving speech and mobility. It has also been used as an antidote in cases of mushroom or toadstool poisoning. This is a very poisonous plant, it should be used with extreme caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity. All parts of the plant are analgesic, antidote, antispasmodic, diuretic, hallucinogenic, mydriatic, narcotic and sedative. The root is the most active part of the plant, it is harvested in the autumn and can be 1 – 3 years old, though the older roots are very large and difficult to dig up. The leaves are harvested in late spring and dried for later use. All parts of the plant contain tropane alkaloids. The leaves contain on average 0.4% active alkaloids, whilst the root contains around 0.6%. The alkaloid content also varies according to the development of the plant, being low when the plant is flowering and very high when bearing green berries. These alkaloids inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system which controls involuntary body activities. This reduces saliva, gastric, intestinal and bronchial secretions, as well as the activity of the urinary tubules, bladder and intestines. An extract of the plant has been used as eyedrops. It has the effect of dilating the pupils thus making it easier to perform eye operations. In the past women used to put the drops in their eyes in order to make them look larger and thus ‘more beautiful’. The entire plant, harvested when coming into flower, is used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is used especially in cases where there is localised and painful inflammation that radiates heat. It is also used to treat sunstroke and painful menstruation.
I wanted to group all the plants together that contain atropines. I wished I was a chemist, as atropine is what helps you through an attack of nerve gas. Here are some links and here and here If you are a chemist, or have a good idea of how to refine the atropine, please get back to me .