International Journal of Horticulture and Food Science
2019, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Part A
Datura stramonium, a potential toxic plant
Antonia Kotsiou and Christine Tesseromatis
Reports in media about food poisoning are not rare. In Greece such a case in Athens newspaper Kathimerini refers to seven people hospitalized with anticholinergic toxidrome, after having eaten Amaranthus blitum (Greek salad blita) mixed up with Datura stramonium, Solanaceae, accidentally harvested along with blita in the cultivation field.
Datura stramonium (Thorn Apple, jimson weed, devil's snare), native to North America is found today wild and as a weed in all the world's warm regions, in rural and urban areas and its toxic components are tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine.
It was used in traditional medicine as analgesic and anaesthetic while broken Bones were set. In the 18th and 19th century as convulsive- spasmodic, and anti- asthmatic respectively.
It has also been used voluntarily by teenagers for its hallucinogenic effect.
Many case reports in literature alert public and authorities about the need to prevent Datura toxicity.