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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CHAPTER XXX

CEREBRAL POISONS— (Contd.)

C. DELIRIANT POISONS
DATURA FASTUOSA (DHATURA) *

This plant belongs to N.O. Solanacese, and exists in two different
varieties, viz. Datura Alba, a white flowered plant (So/fed Dhatura) and
Datura Niger, a black or rather deep purple flowered plant (Kola Dhatura).
Both these varieties grow commonly on waste places all over India, have

bell-shaped flowers  and have
more  or  less  spherical fruits
which are covered with sharp
spinous  projections   and  con-
tain    yellowish-brown    seeds.
Datura    Stramonium     (thorn
apple)  grows in India at high
altitudes throughout the tem-
perate Himalayas, and in Eng-
land    on   waste   places    and
dungheaps.   All parts of these
plants are poisonous, but the
seeds and fruit are considered
to be the most noxious.   They
yield   active   principles,   hyo-
scine, hyoscyamine and traces
of atropine.   It has been sug-
gested that atropine does not
exist as such in datura plants,
but  it is  a racemic form  of
hyoscyamine,   which   is   con-
verted into atropine during the
process    of    extraction.   Two
other varieties, Datura Atrox
and   Datura   Metel,   are  met
• with.   The   former   is   found
about  the  coast  of Malabar,
and the latter occurs in many
parts of India and in Eastern

and West Indian Colonies,

Fig. 181*-Datura Alba (Dhatura)  X i-

The dried leaves (Daturae folia) of Datura iastuosa and of Datura
and the dried seeds (Daturee semina) of Datura fastuosa are used in India
and the Eastern Colonies as substitutes for Stramonium and Belladonna
but are not included in the British Pharmacopoeia. The non-official prepara-
tion made from the seeds is Tinctura daturoe seminis (strength 1 in 4), dose,,
5 to 15 minims.

The dried leaves and flowering tops of Datura Stramonium are pharma-
copoeial preparations, known as Stramonium, and Stramonii pulvis* The
other ofHcial preparations derived from stramonium are Tinctura stmwomi,
dose, 5 to 30 minims; Extractum stramonii siccum, dose, i to 1 grain and 1
to 8 grains to be given in post encephalitic and similar conditions, and
Extractum stramonii liquidum, dose, i to 3 minims.

Symptoms*—The symptoms usually appear within half-an-hour after
swallowing the poison. Vomiting often occurs immediately after taking the

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