Stramonium. Datura stramonium.
Synonyms—Jamestown weed, Jimson weed.
- Daturine, which, according to Ladenburg, is a mixture of atropine and hyoscyamine stramonin, scopolamine.
- Extractum Stramonii Seminis, Extract of Stramonium Seed. Dose, from one-sixth to one-half grain.
- Unguentum Stramonii, Stramonium Ointment.
- Extractum Stramonii Seminis Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Stramonium Seed. Dose, from one to five minims.
- Specific Medicine Stramonium. Dose, one-fourth to ten minims.
Physiological Action—The action of stramonium on man is similar to that of belladonna. Moderate doses increase the frequency and fullness of the pulse, with dizziness and perspiration; a larger dose (five grains of the powdered leaves) causes nausea, thirst, dryness of the throat, difficulty of speech, dilatation of the pupils, fever, relaxation of the bowels and increase of urine; a poisonous dose causes delirium, with laughter, loquacity, violent striking and biting, with grotesque hallucinations.
Daturine acts more powerfully than atropine, though its action is regarded as identical. The resemblance between stramonium and belladonna is a very close one.
Stramonium is a narcotic poison, a stimulant to the nerve force in its direct effects, and profoundly so in its influence upon the sympathetic nervous system.
Therapy—In proper doses it acts as a sedative and anodyne in a manner similar to hyoscyamus. It is a remedy for excitable mania and acute delirium, with violent uncontrollable tendencies. It has been given in epilepsy for its soothing and tranquilizing effect, but its antispasmodic influence is not sufficiently great to place it among the agents for this disorder.
It has been given in neuralgias wherever located, and in neuralgic dysmenorrhea. In hysterical mania, accompanied with convulsions, epileptiform or other convulsions, it is an excellent remedy. In small doses it will remove the globus hystericus.
It is credited with controlling the contractions and pain in approaching miscarriage and abortion, and preventing those accidents.
In the treatment of that condition usually known as milk sickness in malarial localities, Kipley claims to cure all cases with the freshly bruised seeds of stramonium, giving as many as from fifteen to thirty seeds every two hours. To the animals who contract the disease, a teaspoonful of the seeds is given three or four times daily with satisfactory results.
He also gives it in the painful menstruation of women with good results, giving fifteen bruised seeds every few minutes until the pain is relieved, then farther apart.
As an ointment it has been long applied to inflamed swellings and to glandular inflammations and in painful hemorrhoids. It is useful in mastitis, orchitis, parotitis, in rheumatic inflammations, and as a fomentation in these latter conditions, and in pleuritis and peritonitis, using caution not to obtain too marked cerebral effects.
In muscular tremblings it is indicated, especially if of functional or reflex origin. In the vertigo and unsteadiness from chronic indigestion or disordered stomach from hyperacidity and in headache from this cause it is the remedy.
In spasmodic or paroxysmal cough, as whooping cough, and in the violent paroxysms of acute bronchial cough, it is a soothing remedy, as it acts without suppressing secretion as actively as belladonna.
Because of its antispasmodic influence upon spasmodic asthma, it has come into general use as an agent in that disease, used principally as an inhalant. The dried leaves are burned and the fumes are inhaled and relief is immediate. The dried root in coarse powder as well as the powdered leaves may be smoked in a common tobacco pipe.
This use of the agent produces excessive expectoration, and also marked nervous phenomena, such as vertigo, nausea, determination of blood to the brain and stupor. In plethoric patients these induced symptoms are sometimes violent and even dangerous. It is sometimes burned in conjunction with potassium nitrate, to enhance its effects.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.