Datura stramonium or Jimson weed is a well-known wild herb bearing bold and bright pearl white flowers. Called by many vernacular names such as thorn apple, angel's trumpet, moonflowers, devil's snare, devil's trumpet, and angel’s trumpets, this genus comprises nine species of poisonous plants belonging to the nightshade family Solanaceae.
The herb that is best known for its hallucinogenic and hypnotic properties and infamous for many reasons has a lot more to offer. While it is toxic and even deadly to a certain degree, when used in the right quantities it has myriad health and wellness benefits and is used for medicinal effects, as an intoxicant and mind relaxant for ages. The various alkaloids, minerals, and organic compounds found in this herb make it beneficial in many ways. Since times immemorial, it has been widely used to alleviate pain, treat fever, enhance heart functions, improve fertility, and ease childbirth besides augmenting hair and skin health.
Therapeutic Uses Of This Narcotic Herb
Native to dry, temperate and subtropical regions of America, specifically Mexico, in India jimson weed is found in the Himalayan regions ranging from Kashmir to Sikkim. A strong narcotic plant, jimson weed has potent analgesic, anthelmintic and anti-inflammatory properties that offer following umpteen health benefits:
- Antispasmodic effect of this herb soothes the respiratory tracts and prevents it from creating mucus.
- In case of painful pregnancy or delivery, topical application of jimson weed proves to be very helpful in reducing labor pain.
- Jimson weed consists of ascorbic acid that plays an essential role in helping reduce uric acid in the blood and protect against gout attacks.
- The extracts of this plant stimulate the production of white blood cells and neutralize various free radicals throughout the body.
- Ayurveda strongly recommends various ointments made from jimson weed extracts. When they are topically applied to the scalp, it helps to cure male pattern baldness besides preventing greying of hair.
- A well-known property of jimson weed is its sedative effect. A calming herb that produces a relaxation effect. Due to the presence of hyoscyamine and atropine in this herb, it is used as a powerful mind-altering drug.
- Some species of jimson weed are found to be capable of inhibiting human breast, larynx, and colon cancer cell growth.
- Since olden times, Jimson weed has been used in improving sexual performance and ensuring the satisfaction of both men and women and is widely used to treat erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.
- The herb has also shown promising results for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- It has been used as an effective mosquito repellent cream.