It has pink or white flowers, the latter resembling those of Datura
stramonium, but it is less poisonous, as its specific name suggests.
If grown as an annual it makes a bush a little under 3 ft (1 m)
Other properties: Poisonous
Cultivation: They need full sun and fertile, moist but well-drained
Propagate from seed.
Medical use : The whole plant, but especially the leaves and seed,
is anaesthetic, anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive,
bronchodilator, hallucinogenic, hypnotic and mydriatic. It has a
wide range of applications in India, including in the treatment of
epilepsy, hysteria, insanity, heart diseases, fever with catarrh,
diarrhoea, skin diseases etc. In China it is used in the treatment
of asthma. Great caution is advised since excess doses cause
hallucinations, severe intoxication and death. The toxic dose is
very close to the medicinal dose so this plant should only be used
under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. The plant contains
the alkaloids hyoscyamine, hyoscine and atropine. Atropine dilates
the pupils and is used in eye surgery. Total alkaloid content of the
leaves is 0.426%, which is mainly atropine. The seeds contain 0.426%
alkaloids, which is mainly hyoscyamine. The roots contain 0.35%
An extract of the flowers is used as an anaesthetic - 3 - 5g applied
orally produces a general anaesthesia within 5 minutes and lasting 5
- 6 hours.