Dhattura (धत्तुर) – THORN APPLE – Static/Plant poison | Liveveda


Introduction -

It is a shrub growing 4 to 5 feet high and belongs to Family : Solanaceae.

It has two varieties -

  1. Niger (with purple flowers)
  2. Alba ( with white flowers)

All parts of Dhattura are poisonous, but fruit is more poisonous and also the seed.

Synonyms - धुतुर, कित्तव, कनक, कष्टकफल, मातुल, शठ, शिवशेकर, शिव प्रिय etc.

Active principles -

  1. Hyoscine
  2. Hyoscyamine
  3. Atropine

Signs and Symptoms

According to Ayurveda :

धुर्धुर कोपयोगेन सर्व पश्यति पीतकं| कंपलालामदच्छर्दिस्मृतिभ्रंशभ्रममान्वितः|| (अ.s.उ.40/144)

By consuming durdhuraka (dattura) as poison, the person sees all things yellow, develops tremors, salivation, toxicity, vomiting, loss of memory and giddiness.

According to Modern :

Main feature include :

  1. Sense of nausea and vomiting.
  2. Dryness of mouth, throat and unquenchable thirst.
  3. Dysphagia
  4. Burning pain in throat and stomach.
  5. Dysarthria (difficulty in talking)
  6. Bad taste in the mouth, These are soon followed by-
  7. Giddiness, staggering gait.
  8. Flushing face
  9. Shin becomes dry, hot and the temperature rises. It may be upto 420 C . Scarlet rash may be observed.
  10. Death is due to -
    1. Respiratory failure.
    2. Cardiac failure.

Fatal Dose -

50 to 100 seeds

Fatal Period -

Usually occurs within 24 hrs.

Treatment/ Management

According to Modern :

  1. Decontamination ( Stomach wash or emesis, activated charcoal)
  2. Antidote - Physostigmine 1 to 2 mg IM or IV at hourly intervals.
  3. Diazepam for convulsions.
  4. supportive measures.

According to Ayurveda :

  • He should be made to vomit by using drugs of sweet taste or drink milk added sugar.
  • The juice extracted from the fruit of वृन्तक if consumed in a dose of one pala it erradicates the poisonous effects of datura.

Post-mortem Appearance - Nothing specific

Medico-legal Importance

  1. Used primarily for criminal purposes such as highway robbery and kidnapping. Occasionally the quantity may exceed leading to death of the individual.
  2. Suicidal poisoning is rare.
  3. Accidental poisoning may occur in children or adults by taking the fruit by mistake. In some cases quacks have used for medicinal purposes resulting in tragedies.
  4. The excretion of the unchanged active principles of Datura takes about 24 hrs. Hence it is advisable to preserve a sample of urine to subjects it to chemical analysis whereas the stomach may not respond to the test.

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