JIMSON WEED

 

Overview: Jimson weed is a common name for a plant known as Datura stramonium, used as a medicine and intoxicant for centuries. The plant's main ingredients are the belladonna alkaloids atropine and scopolamine. Since Jimson weed is native to much of the U.S. it's most often used by young people in those areas unfamiliar with its reputation and unprepared for its side effects.

 

Common Names: Thorn Apple, stinkweed, locoweed, Datura, stramonium, Toloache, Estramonio, Devil Weed

 

Appearance: Jimson weed can reach a height of 5 feet.  It bears dark broad green leaves, numerous branching rubbery stems, and is extremely rank smelling.  It has large trumpet like flowers uncurling similar to morning glories, but much larger and very light violet to purple with a sweet scent.  The seed pods are as large as golf balls and covered in spines. 

 

Habitat:  Large strands can be found in dry flats of inhabit foothills and drier mountains, from 2,500 up to 7,000 feet .  Most commonly in along dry washes, next to road sides or irrigation ditches.  This particular plant can be found in every county of the West. 

 

Collecting:  Collect the hole plant if small or a bundle of branches if it is a larger plant.  Unless the plant is only to be used for smoking in which the leaves and flowers should be taken and after drying rubbed fine powder.

 

Medicinal Uses For Asthma:  The Jimson Weed should never be ingested for any reason.  The compounds contained in this plant are extremely toxic.  The different parts of the plant with the most or less concentrations vary from plant to plant making it very unpredictable even in trained hands for internal use.  However it is very beneficial for relaxing bronchial spasms in asthma attacks.  There are several ways to inhale the smoke from the leaves of this plant to take advantage of itís anti-spasmodic properties.  The function of the Jimson Weed is local and so it is not necessary to inhale enough to get into the blood stream.  This can cause a whole host of adverse reactions.  Frequent uses decreases itís effects but the same is true for most inhalers.  The ďasthma PowdersĒ of older use where often a mixture of equal parts of jimson weed and potassium nitrate (saltpeter), this was ground into a fie powder.  The powder was ignited at first spasms ,and inhaled.  Sprinkling the dust on the flame of a lighter several times is sufficient.  The leaves my also be rolled into a cigarette with equal parts of any of the wild Sages of the Salvia species.  The effect is a temporary numbing of bronchial enervation and relaxes the muscles.  It also acts to dry up the hyper secretions of the membranes.

 

 

Caution:  There are many cases of over dosing and death when this plant ingested or smoked to be used as a way to get high or hallucinate.  Please do not abuse the uses of this plant for it can be very fatal if used improperly.