This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Stramonium Pharm. Edinb. Solatium faetidum, pomo spnojo oblongo C. B. Datura Stramonium Linn. Thorn-apple: an herbaceous plant, with a thick branched stalk, two or three feet high, large sinuated indented leaves, and long tubular white or purplish flowers, succeeded by large, prickly, green, fleshy seed-vessels, which open at the end in four divisions, and disclose numerous black seeds. It is sown in gardens, and sometimes found wild among rubbish. It flowers in July.
This plant, which has been long known as a narcotic poison, has been introduced into the catalogue of medicines by Dr. Stoerck. An extract made from the expressed juice of the leaves is acrid and saline to the taste, and yields crystals of nitre on standing. This preparation given in doses of from one to five grains twice or thrice a day, is said to be a very powerful remedy in various convnlsive and spasmodic disorders, epilepsy and mania. The accounts of other practitioners have confirmed that of the first introducer, and it has been received into some pharmacopoeias.
An abridged account of its medicinal properties, with some instances of its efficacy, from a treatise printed at Upsal by Dr. Weden-berg, is to be met with in the Med. Comment. vol. iii. p. 18. An ointment prepared from the leaves has been found to give ease in external inflammations and haemorrhoids.
Several instances are recorded of the bad effects of inadvertently eating the seeds of thorn-apple. Emetics and purgatives give the speedi-est relief in these cases, which it is sometimes necessary frequently to repeat, as some of the seeds have been found to lodge a considetable time in the stomach.