What are the Medical Uses of Datura Metel?

A. Ribken
A. Ribken
Datura metel is known to cause delirium and hallucinations.
Datura metel is known to cause delirium and hallucinations.

Also known as angel's trumpet or devil's trumpet, datura metel is an medicinal plant whose use dates back as far as 3000 years. Today, it is mainly used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic pain, seizures, and coma. This plant has also been used for its anesthetic, or pain-killing, properties.

Datura metel is known as an anticholinergic, meaning it reduces spasms by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses. Additionally, it is a well-known plant with deliriant properties, or capable of causing hallucinations or delirium. It has been the choice of many cultures over the years for astral or shamanistic journeys, or as a rite of passage.

Datura metel may be used to treat chronic bronchitis.
Datura metel may be used to treat chronic bronchitis.

Its ability to control spasms has led to datura metel being used frequently in Chinese herbology to treat the wheezing of asthma, and in Vietnam, it is added to asthmatic cigarettes. Great care must be taken when using this herb, as the toxic dose is very close to the medicinal dose. The wrong dosage can induce hallucinations, severe intoxication, and even death. Use of this plant should be closely monitored by an experienced practitioner trained in herbology.

A traditional Chinese medicine, datura metel may help treat those with asthma.
A traditional Chinese medicine, datura metel may help treat those with asthma.

The alkanoids contained within the plant is what makes it effective as a anesthetic. Alkanoids are chemical compounds produced by a large number of organisms, and many have pharmaceutical effects. The alkanoids in datura are hycosamine, hycosine, and atropine.

The region of origin is somewhat of a mystery, but today datura metel is cultivated world-wide for its medicinal purposes, as well as for the pretty flowers. It grows to a height of approximately 3 feet (0.914 m), and does not do well in the shade. It prefers sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil. It flowers from June to July.

Doctors may use stethoscopes to detect respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.
Doctors may use stethoscopes to detect respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.

Datura metel is unregulated and uncontrolled by the federal government in the United States, although some states do have laws that make possessing or using it illegal. Federal law does not approve of human consumption. Indeed, there are many dangers associated with the recreational use of datura metel, including death, and it should be used for medicinal purposes only, and under the care and supervision of a healthcare provider.

Datura metel has been used medicinally in ointments.
Datura metel has been used medicinally in ointments.

In the past, dautra was considered a sacred herb and was used in religious ceremonies, initiation rituals, and even in ritual sacrifices. Its medicinal properties were well-known, and was used in poultices, plasters, and ointments. Today, its medicinal effects can still be a valuable part of the medical field.

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Discussion Comments

starrynight

@ceilingcat - I don't think the government needs to step in and regulate every single thing that could be dangerous. I would assume any herbalist that is recommending the purple trumpet flower to patients is also instructing them on the correct way to take it. A lot of traditional drugs used in Western medicine are extremely dangerous too!

ceilingcat

Using this datura plant as a natural remedy sounds way too risky to me. It can cause death and the toxic and medicinal dose is almost the same? No thanks!

I can't believe this dangerous isn't regulated by the government or the FDA or something.

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    • Datura metel is known to cause delirium and hallucinations.
      By: Monkey Business
      Datura metel is known to cause delirium and hallucinations.
    • Datura metel may be used to treat chronic bronchitis.
      By: rob3000
      Datura metel may be used to treat chronic bronchitis.
    • A traditional Chinese medicine, datura metel may help treat those with asthma.
      By: uwimages
      A traditional Chinese medicine, datura metel may help treat those with asthma.
    • Doctors may use stethoscopes to detect respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.
      By: Paylessimages
      Doctors may use stethoscopes to detect respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.
    • Datura metel has been used medicinally in ointments.
      By: agephotography
      Datura metel has been used medicinally in ointments.
    • Datura metel should only be used under the care and supervision of a medical professional.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Datura metel should only be used under the care and supervision of a medical professional.