Jimson Weed

What other names is Jimson Weed known by?

Angel Tulip, Chasse-Taupe, Datura, Datura inermis, Datura lurida, Datura Officinal, Datura Parviflora, Datura stramonium, Datura tatula, Devil's Apple, Devil's Trumpet, Endormeuse, Estramonio, Herbe du Diable, Herbe aux Magiciens, Herbe aux Sorciers, Herbe aux Taupes, Higuera del Diablo, Jamestown Weed, Locoweed, Mad-apple, Man Tao Luo, Nightshade, Peru-apple, Pomme Épineuse, Pomme Poison, Pommette Féroce, Stinkweed, Stinkwort, Stramoine, Stramoine Commune, Stramonium, Thorn-apple, Trompette des Anges, Trompette de la Mort, Yiang Jin Hua.

What is Jimson Weed?

Jimson weed is a plant. The leaves and seeds are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, jimson weed is used to treat asthma, cough, flu (influenza), swine flu, and nerve diseases.

Some people use it as a recreational drug to cause hallucinations and a heightened sense of well-being (euphoria).

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Asthma.
  • Cough.
  • Nerve diseases.
  • Causing hallucinations and elevated mood (euphoria).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of jimson weed for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Jimson Weed work?

Jimson weed contains chemicals such as atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. These chemicals interfere with one of the chemical messengers (acetylcholine) in the brain and nerves.

Are there safety concerns?

Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled. It is poisonous and can cause many toxic effects including dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death. The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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:

Children: Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled by children. They are more sensitive than adults to the toxic effects of jimson weed. Even a small amount can kill them.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Jimson weed is UNSAFE for both mother and child when taken by mouth or inhaled.

Congestive heart failure (CHF): Jimson weed might cause rapid heartbeat and make CHF worse.

Constipation: Jimson weed might cause constipation.

Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome might be especially sensitive to the dangerous side effects of jimson weed.

Seizures: Jimson weed can cause seizures. Do not use jimson weed if you suffer from frequent seizures.

Esophageal reflux: In esophageal reflux, food and liquid in the stomach leak backwards into the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (esophagus). Jimson weed might make this condition worse because it slows down the process that empties the stomach. It also lowers the pressure in the bottom of the esophagus, making it more likely that stomach contents will go back up.

Fever: Jimson weed might make fever worse.

Stomach ulcer: Jimson weed might delay stomach emptying and make ulcers worse.

Stomach and intestinal infections: Jimson weed might slow down the emptying of the stomach and intestines. As a result, "bad" bacteria and the toxins they produce could remain in the digestive tract longer than usual. This could make infections caused by these bacteria worse.

Hiatal hernia: Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach is pushed up into the chest through a hole or tear in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest space from the stomach space. Taking jimson weed might make hiatal hernia worse. It can slow down the process that empties the stomach.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye disease. It raises the pressure inside the eye and can lead to blindness, if it isn't treated. Jimson weed is especially dangerous for people with glaucoma because it might raise the pressure inside the eye even more.

Obstructive digestive tract disorders, including atony, paralytic ileus, and stenosis: Jimson weed might make these conditions worse.

Rapid heartbeat: Jimson weed might make this condition worse.

Toxic megacolon: In this life-threatening condition, the large intestine (colon) suddenly becomes extra wide because of an infection or other intestinal disorder. Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.

Ulcerative colitis: This is an inflammatory bowel disorder that affects the large intestine. Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.

Difficulty passing urine (urinary retention): Taking jimson weed might make this condition worse.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Jimson weed contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It also affects the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also cause these effects. Taking jimson weed and drying medications together might cause side effects including dry skin, dizziness, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and other serious side effects.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

Dosing considerations for Jimson Weed.

The appropriate dose of jimson weed depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for jimson weed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

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