Dhattura – Datura metel – Medicinal Uses, Toxic Effects

Dhatura – thorn apple is a poisonous herb used in many Ayurvedic medicines after purification method. Datura metelis used in the treatment ofskin diseases, fever etc. It is used for external application and rarely for oral administration.
Botanical Name – Datura metel Linn. ( Datura fastuosa L; Datura alba Nees;)
Family – Solanaceae(Kantakari Kula)

datura flower

Vernacular Names

Hindi Name- Sada Dhatura
English Name- Thorn apple, Devil’s trumpet, Metel
Telugu Name- Ummetta
Tamil Name- Ummattangani/ Vella- Ummathai
Bengal Name- Dhattura
Gujarati, Marathi Name- Dhattura
Kannada & Malayalam Name- Unmatta, Dhattura
Arabian name – Datur
Farsi name – Tatur

Sanskrit Synonyms

Dhuttura, Kanaka, Kanakahvya (golden yellow colored seeds),
Dhurta,Umatta, Matula – having hallucinating effect
Shivapriya – Its flowers are used in worshiping Lord Shiva.
Mahamohi – Dattura is highly narcotic
Kantaphala – Fruits are covered with spines
Ghantapushpa – Flowers are funnel shaped


dhatura leaves and fruit


Usually there are two varieties of Dhattura Viz.
Shweta – white variety – Datura stramonium and
Krishna black variety -Datura Metal.
Rajanighantu explained five varieties of Dhattura viz. Shveta (white) ,Neela (blue), Krishna (black), Rakta (red) and Peeta (yellow) varieties.

The following species of Datura genus are available at present : Datura metal; Datura stramonium(Datura Tatula Linn) & Datura innoxia Mill.
It appears that either morphological variation in Datura genus or Hyoseyamus niger and Atropa belladonna (which have similar features of Datur) might have been taken up as Dhattura varieties in Raja nighantu (Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Major chemical constituents

Scopalamine, Daturadiol, Hyoscyamine, Fastudine, Allantoin, Niacin, Vitamin C, Tropine, Noratropine, Meteolodine, hyosine, Fastusic acid etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Distribution, part used, dose

common in tropical parts of India to temperate parts of Himalayas.
Part Used– Seeds, Flower, Root bark, leaves
Dose: seed, after purification, 50 – 100 mg
Root powder – 62.5 mg – 250 mg

Datura seeds

Toxicity symptoms

Toxicity symptoms of Datura metel –Toxicity symptoms of Datura metel –
Tropane alkaloids present in all parts of Dattura is toxic.
If used without proper purification, even in small quantities, Dhatura may cause hallucination, headache and convulsions.
It is not advised in pregnant, lactating mothers and children.

Toxicity treatment

Treatment for poisonous effects –
Stomach is washed with Potassium permanganate solution (1:10,000) and 5 % tannic acid solution.
Based on symptoms, diazepam, chloral hydrate and short term acting barbiturates are administered.

Dhattura shodhana

Dhattura Shodhana – Purification method for seeds of Dhatura –
Dhatura seeds are taken in a clean cloth. Tied in the form of suspending pack. It is suspended and kept dipped in a vessel containing cows milk. This setup is called as Dola Yantra. It is boiled in cows milk for 1 Prahara (3 hours). This procedure is called as Swedana. After 3 hours, the seeds are washed in hot water, dried and preserved.


Datura innoxia

Sanskrit verse

Dhattura medicinal uses

Medicinal qualities

Datura – medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) -Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent)
Vipaka – Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – useful to balance Kapha and Vata Dosha
Pharmacological action – Sedative, Anti spasmodic, Anti asthmatic, Bronchodilator,

Medicinal uses

Medicinal uses of Dhatura –
Kantikari – on external application, it improves skin quality
Vrananut – on external application, it helps in quick wound healing
Artinut – helps to relieve pain and inflammation on external application.
Kushtani hanti – used for external application in skin disorders
Jvara – its application is useful to relieve fever.
Tvagdosha, Kandu – detoxifies skin and relieves itching when applied as paste
Its paste or oil is prepared and used for external application to relieve pain, inflammation, itching and infested wounds.
Oral administration of purified Datura seed is indicated in chronic respiratory disorders, asthma and dysuria.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Datura ingredient:
Anti microbial activity
Anti inflammatory and anti oxidant activity of leaf extract
Ayurvedic medicines with Dhatura ingredient:
Dhurdhurapatradi ThailamHair oil used in treating dandruff and hair fall
Vishagarbha TailaOil used in joint disorders associated with stiffness, as in locked jaw, lower back pain and stiffness etc.
Kanakasavaused in asthma, fever and bleeding disorders.


Large bushy herb
Root – Long with whitish colour
Stem – Erect, stout
Leaves – Large, angular uneven at the base. Wavy with toothed margin, Upper surface is dark green and lower surface is pale.
Flowers – Funnel shaped, white or varied coloured corolla
Fruit – Capsule with numerous spines and brownish seeds
Part used – Seed, Leaves, Root

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