Indian Jimson-weed

Indian Jimson-weed

Indian Jimson-weed

Specification & Spread

Indian Jimson-weed seeds — semina daturae innoxiae
Indian Jimson-weed fruits — fructus daturae innoxiae
Indian Jimson-weed — datura innoxia mill.
Solanaceous family — solanaceae.

It is a perennial (annotinous) herbaceous plant with a forcipate branching reddish-purple thick stem.

The leaves are alternate, broadly ovoid, shallowly grooved, densely pubescent, on long petioles and with a strong stupefying smell.
The flowers are solitary, regular, pentamerous and with double perianth. The calyx is tubular, green. The corolla is tubular-funnel-shaped, white and up to 20 cm long.
The fruit is a bent, almost spherical capsule, densely strigose with soft acanthas, with the rest of the calyx at the base.
The seeds are numerous oblate, reniform and bright yellow colour.

It blooms in July – October, it bears fruits from August.

The country of Indian Jimson-weed is Mexico.
It is cultivated as an annual culture in the Krasnodar Territory (Russia), Crimea (Ukraine), Moldova and Chimkent Oblast (Kazakhstan).


All parts of the plant contain tropane alkaloids –

  • scopolamine and
  • hyoscyamine.

The highest content of alkaloids is noted in fruits and seeds. The content of scopolamine in unripe capsules is 0.55%, in seeds is 0.31%.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The cleaning of capsules is made by hand. The juicy unripe fruits are harvested in two or more terms as they develop.

Drying. The capsules are cut on straw cutters and dried either in the sun or in dryers at a temperature of 40-50 °C. After drying, the seeds are separated from the capsules on the sieves, since the technological processes of alkaloids extraction are different (the seeds require the prior degreasing).

Fruits. The raw material consists of a mixture of pieces of capsules of various shapes and sizes, strigose with thick, sharp, thin, strongly pubescent spikes up to 1 cm long and parts of placentas with papillae. The smell is weak and peculiar. The taste is not determined(!).

The seeds is 4–5 mm long, 3–4 mm wide, kidney-shaped, flattened with a dimple on the ventral side and a lumpy cushion on the dorsal. The surface of the seeds is finely foveolate. The colour is rom grayish-brown to yellowish-brown and matte. The smell is weak and peculiar. The taste is not determined(!).

Properties and application

It is determined by the content of scopolamine in the plant. Chemically, scopolamine is close to atropine: it is an ester alcohol of scopine and tropic acid, but has several distinguishing features.

Scopolamine has:

  • sedative effect on the central nervous system,
  • inhibits motor activity,
  • may have a sedative effect.

By its effect on peripheral M-cholinergic receptors, scopolamine is close to atropine:

  • causes a strong but short-lived mydriatic effect and accommodation paralysis,
  • increases heart rate,
  • relaxes the tone of smooth muscles,
  • reduces the secretion of digestive and sweat glands.

Application of Indian Jimson-weed

The fruits and seeds of Indian Jimson-weed are used to obtain the alkaloid scopolamine, whose preparations are used primarily in neuropsychiatric practice as a sedative.

It is used for:

  • prevention and treatment of sea and air sickness,
  • prevention and relief of attacks of Meniere’s disease;
  • to reduce mucus and salivation during plastic surgery on the face and during surgery on the upper respiratory tract.