Datura stramoniun (stramonium)


Information 25/09/2015.


Datura stramonium (commonly called Jimson weed), is a shrub herbaceous plant belonging to the genus Datura, of the family Solanaceae, located in temperate zones around the world. The Datura includes 18 species, all toxic, which jimsonweed is the most widespread. Datura stramonium comes in four varieties differing in the color of flowers (white and violet) and the number of thorns in its capsules.

This annual plant has a height of between 0.5 and 2 m. Its leaves are alternate, simple, shortly petiolate, 4 to 15 cm, oval to elliptical, acute apex and cuneate to subcordate basis. The flowers are actinomorphic, hermaphrodite, solitary, arranged in the leaf axils. It has a tubular, angular calyx, 30 to 50 mm, with teeth 5 to 10 mm. Corolla, 5 to 10 cm, is infundibuliforme, rotated, white and five lobes. Androecium it consists of five stamens and gynoecium has a superior ovary or tetraocular bilocular with a bilobed stigma. The fruit is a capsule of 3.5 to 7 cm long and 3.5 wide, ovoid, erect, and covered with spines of up to 15 mm.

Datura stramonium eutrophic grows in warm areas such as river banks, stables, manure heaps, roadsides or growing areas. Monoculture favors certain agricultural land reseeding and multiplication of this plant, whose seeds can preserve germinating power for years. It is able to adapt to all types of soil, growing more vigorously in moist soils with abundant nitrates.

Among the substances that compose this herb are alkaloids tropane , which are toxic in small quantities (such as atropine , the hyoscyamine and scopolamine ). In small doses, these substances cause reactions anticholinergic . At higher doses, cause atropine - like syndrome or death in humans and animals. Ingestion of very small amounts is sufficient to induce a severe or fatal poisoning, while ingesting 4 to 5 g can be lethal.

Although all parts of the plant are toxic, leaves and seeds are the main source of intoxication. In general, the animals reject it because of its smell and taste degradable. However, in famine situations, it can be ingested. Also, this plant can be eaten accidentally when collecting with other plants and supplied as feed, forage or hay, or when the seeds contaminate cereal grains or certain processed foods.

In humans, poisoning Datura stramonium through ingestion, smoked or in tea, often leads to blurred vision, mydriasis, photophobia, disfágica sensation, nausea, vomiting, vasodilation, tachycardia, delirium, hallucinations, respiratory arrest and even death. In addition, we have identified that the seeds of estramonio are potentially carcinogenic.

In animals, poisoning stramonium causes neurotoxic effects such as impairment of locomotion, muscle tremors followed by a depression, drowsiness, rapid breathing followed by bradipnea, tachycardia followed by bradycardia, inability to stand and death in acute intoxications in less than 12 hours after ingestion period.

For acute post-mortem, examination shows catarrhal gastroenteritis, lung and liver congestion and bleeding subpericárdicas. Intoxications who have completed more slowly can appreciate cardiac dilation and fatty liver with haemorrhages. For its part, the renal cortex shows a pale, yellowish appearance and spinal bleeding. Histological examination of kidney allows to observe a tubular degeneration. Furthermore, in some animals it has been appreciated hidroperitoneo and Ehrlichia ruminantium.

Recommended tests for diagnosis:


  • History and clinical examination to detect the above signs.
  • Urinalysis or blood can confirm the presence of alkaloids.
  • Detection of alkaloids atropine or scopolamine in flour and feed on human or animal cases of poisoning.
  • Meet potential contacts with plants of this species in gardens, golf, ...

Tests in IVAMI: