Datura Wrightii

Other Name(s):

California Jimson Weed, Hairy Thorn Apple, Hoary Thorn Apple, Recurved Thorn Apple, Sacred Thorn Apple, Stramoine de Wright.


Datura wrightii is a plant. The leaf and root are used to make medicine.

Though widely regarded as unsafe, Datura wrightii is taken by mouth as a hallucinogen and as a medicine for loss of appetite.

Datura wrightii is also applied to the skin for skin diseases.

Historically, some Native American cultures have used Datura wrightii to induce visions during rite of passage ceremonies.

How does it work?

Datura wrightii has chemicals that can block functions of the body's nervous system. Some of the bodily functions regulated by the nervous system include salivation, sweating, pupil size, urination, digestive functions, and others.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Appetite stimulant.
  • Skin diseases.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Datura wrightii for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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Side Effects

Datura wrightii is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It contains chemicals that can be toxic.

Side effects can include dry mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, trouble breathing, hallucinations, panic, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Datura wrightii is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Datura wrightii contains potentially toxic chemicals that might cause serious side effects.

Congestive heart failure (CHF): Datura wrightii might cause rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) and might make CHF worse.

Constipation: Datura wrightii might make constipation worse.

Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome might be extra-sensitive to the potentially toxic chemicals in Datura wrightii and their harmful effects.

Esophageal reflux: Datura wrightii might make esophageal reflux worse.

Fever: Datura wrightii might increase the risk of overheating in people with fever.

Stomach ulcers: Datura wrightii might make stomach ulcers worse.

Gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections: Datura wrightii might slow emptying of the intestine, causing retention of bacteria and viruses that can cause infection.

Gastrointestinal (GI) tract blockage: Datura wrightii might make obstructive GI tract diseases (including atony, paralytic ileus, and stenosis) worse.

Hiatal hernia: Datura wrightii might make hiatal hernia worse.

Narrow-angle glaucoma: Datura wrightii might make narrow-angle glaucoma worse.

Psychiatric disorders: Datura wrightii might worsen psychiatric disorders.

Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia): Datura wrightii might make rapid heartbeat worse.

Surgery: Datura wrightii might slow breathing. Medicines given during surgery might also slow breathing. Taking Datura wrightii along with medications used during surgery might slow breathing too much. Tell people to stop using Datura wrightii at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Ulcerative colitis: Datura wrightii might promote complications of ulcerative colitis.

Difficulty urinating (urinary retention): Datura wrightii might make this urinary retention worse.


Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Datura wrightii contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It also affects the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also cause these effects. Taking Datura wrightii and drying medications together might cause side effects including dry skin, dizziness, low blood pressure, fast heart beat, and other serious side effects.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

Medications used during surgery (Anesthesia)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Datura wrightii can slow breathing. Some medications used during surgery can also slow breathing. Taking Datura wrightii along with these medications might slow breathing too much. Be sure to tell your doctor what natural products you are taking before having surgery. You should stop taking Datura wrightii at least 2 weeks before surgery.


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The appropriate dose of Datura wrightii depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Datura wrightii. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021

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Elle E, van Dam NM, Hare JD. Cost of glandular trichromes, a "resistance" character in Datura wrightii regel (Solanaceae). Ecol 1999;53(1):22-35.

Garcia C, Adams J. Healing with medicinal plants of the west - cultural and scientific basis for their use. La Crescenta, CA: Abedus Press; 2005.

Hardman JG, Limbird LE, Gilman AG. Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 2001;10th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Hare JD, Elle E. Variable impact of diverse insect herbivores on dimorphic Datura wrightii. Ecol 2002;83(10:2711-2720.

Holloway JE. A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas and the Southern Great Plains. Ed. Neill A. Fort Worth TX: TCU Press, 2005.

Walker PL, Hudson T. Chumash healing : Changing health and medical practices in an American Indian society. Banning: Malki Museum Press; 1993.

Walker PL, Hudson T. Chumash healing : Changing health and medical practices in an American Indian society. Banning: Malki Museum Press; 1993. View abstract.

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