Datura Research Paper

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2.5 Datura

Datura appears to be the main (species) genus involved in poisoning by tropane alkaloids (hyoscyamine, scopolamine and atropine).Datura prefers rich, calcareous soil. Adding nitrogen fertilizer to the soil will increase the concentration of alkaloids present in the plant. Datura can be grown from seed, which is sown with several feet between plants. The plant is harvested when the fruits are ripe, but still green. To harvest, the entire plant is cut down, the leaves are stripped from the plant, and everything is left to dry. When the fruits begin to burst open, the seeds are harvested (Chopra, 2006). Being annuals, Datura weeds, particularly D. stramonium and D. ferox, invade and contaminate especially annual crops like corn (maize),
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The amount of toxins varies widely from plant to plant. As much as a 5:1 variation can be found between plants, and a given plant's toxicity depends on its age, where it is growing, and the local weather conditions. Additionally, within a given Datura plant, toxin concentration varies by part and even from leaf to leaf. When the plant is younger, the ratio of scopolamine to atropine is about 3:1; after flowering, this ratio is reversed, with the amount of scopolamine continuing to decrease as the plant gets older (Preissel et al.,…show more content…
The reason for this is that equines are particularly sensitive to atropine and related tropane alkaloids. Being hindgut fermenters, the alkaloids are absorbed as the contaminated feed passes through the stomach. The mechanism of action of Datura plant after ingestion is that muscarinic receptor antagonists compete with acetylcholine (ACh) for a common binding site on the muscarinic receptors and thus block the action of ACh at muscarinic neuro effector sites on smooth and cardiac muscle, gland cells, in peripheral ganglia and in the central nervous system (CNS). In general they cause little blockade at nicotinic receptor sites (Brown and Taylor, 2001).
Datura intoxication produce hyperthermia, tachycardia, painful photophobia and the presence of pronounced amnesia have been reported (Freye and Enno, 2009). The onset of symptoms generally occurs around 30 to 60 minutes after ingesting the herb. These symptoms generally last from 24 to 48 hours, but have been reported in some cases to last as long as two weeks (Pennachio, Marcello et al., 2010). In severe case of Datura poisoning intravenous physostigmine can be administered as an antidote (Gold frank et al.,
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