Datura metal

Datura metel L. (Solanaceae)

(2n = 24, 48)

Syn : Datura alba Nees, D. fastuosa L. var alba C.B. Clarke

English name: Hindu datura.

Sanskrit name: Dhustura.

Vernacular names :Ben: Dhutra, Dhatura; Hin : Sadahdhatura; Tam: Vellum mattai. Trade name: Dhutra.

Traditional use: FOLKS OF PURULIA (West Bengal and Rajasthan: Seed: for treatment of leprosy; FOLKS OF RAJASTHAN: Leaf: in guinea-worms; Other uses of seed, leaf and root: in insanity, fever with catarrhal and cerebral complications, diarrhoea, skin diseases and antideptic. It is narcotic, acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, intoxicating, emetic and useful in asthma; Root: used for treatment of bites from rabbits; Poultice made of leaf: used for epilepsy, ophthalmodynia, otalgia, lumbago, sciatica, neuralgia, mumps and painful swelling.

Modern use: Seed: aphrodisiac, narcotic and antispasmodic and useful in dontalgia, otalgia, gastropathy and skin diseases and for treatment of dandruff and lice; EtOH (50%) extract of plant: anticancer, anthelmintic, spasmogenic and blood pressure depressant; Aquous extract of plant: nematicidal; Leaf extract: antiviral; EtOH extract of leaf and aquous extract of fruit: anticholinergic.

Phytography : Coarse annual herb, may be 2 m tall, stem scented; leaf alternate, petiolate, simple; flowers axillary, peduncled, white or nearly so, 17.5 cm long and may be 12.5 cm in diameter across the mouth; capsules subglobose, 3 cm in diameter, equally spinous on all sides.

Phenology: Flowering: throughout the year; Fruiting: with blunt spines.

Distribution: Throughout India; occasionally grown in gardens.

Ecology and Cultivation: Hills up to 1500 m, occasionally in the plains even to the coast; wild.

Chemical contents: Root: alkaloids, tropane derivatives; Stem: hyoscine, hyoscyamine, Leaf: hyoscine, hyoscyamine, micotianamine; Fruit (pericarp) : alkaloids, β-sitosterol, triterpene, daturaolone, daturadiol; Seed: hyosane, hyoscyamine, daturaolone, fastusic acid; Seed-oil: β-Me-sterols.