Thorn-Apple, the Common, or Datura Stramonium, L. originally a native of America, but now indigenous in some parts of Bri tain, where it grows among rubbish, and on dunghills ; flowering in the month of July.
The seeds of this vegetable have always been classed among the violent narcotic poisons : though, according to Baron Storck, and other German physicians, the inspissated juice of its leaves has, on the Continent, been successfully employed in maniacal cases : the close is from one to ten grains, or upwards, to be taken in 24 hours. - It may likewise be administered internally, both in convulsive and epileptic affections. Dr. Withering observes, that an ointment prepared from the leaves, affords relief in external inflammations, and especially in the piles. - Either the seeds or leaves, if swallowed by accident, occasion delirium, tremor, swelling, itching, insupportable thirst, palsy, and death: they likewise tend to inflame the skin. The most effectual antidotes will be, speedy emetics, followed by copious draughts of olive-oil and vinegar, aided by soap-clysters. - The thorn-apple is, nevertheless, eaten by cows, goats, and sheep ; but .refused by horses. Lastly, the odour of this plant is exceedingly hurtful to mankind; and, if bees happen to settle on its flowers, they die from the narcotic exhalations.