Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Properties of Datura Stramonium (Thorn Apple) – A Review

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV8IS110259

Download Full-Text PDF Cite this Publication

Text Only Version

Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Properties of Datura Stramonium (Thorn Apple) – A Review

Grace Cornelius1, Garima Lohiya2, Dr. Rashmi Sharma3

Research Scholar1,2, Associate Professor3

Zoology Department, Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan Govt.College, Ajmer

Abstract – Datura stramonium is a plant of medicinal plant family Solananceae. Plant because of its therapeutic and narcotic activity used as traditional folklore medicinal herb, this plant comprises of many primary and secondary metabolites; primary metabolites directly responsible for the growth, regulation and development as carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, minerals and secondary metabolites or phytochemicals like alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, tannis, saponins etc. possesses many biological activities as cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, antiulcer, insecticidal properties. These pharmacological activities made the plant potent to targeted organism and promote the medicinal aspects of phytomedicines in pharmaceutics industries.

Key words: Antioxidant, insecticidal, therapeutic, phytochemicals, medicines.


Medicinal plants from the ancient time have been used to prevent living organism from ailment. From the Vedic era Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani techniques has been practicised for therapeutic potential. In India around 4.5 million plant species are present in which 250,000-500,000 possesses medicinal properties [1]. These plants with their bioactive compounds (Phytoconstituents) used in pharmacological and remedial perspective. Nowadays with negligible harmful effect, plants made drugs or phytomedicines has highly in practice by the pharmaceutical companies to inhibit negative outcome from the diseases. Many medicinal plants like Datura stramonium, Eucalyptus spp, Aloe barbadensis, Butea monosperma, Calotropis procera, Allium sativum, Syzygium cumini, Mentha spicta etc. contains alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic groups, saponins, tannins, tropine, glycosides, carbohydrates, fats, proteins etc. and through these components they contributed anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, anticancer, nematicidal, antiperspirant, cercaricidal actions.

MORPHOLOGY OF PLANT- DS or (jimsonweed) is a member of Solanaceae. It is generally known by mahamohi, ghantapushpa, ghantika, devils snare. This plant distributed all over the world. Plant with 90-125 cm height or greater than that, with smooth, light weight, thin, stem. Ovate, furcated, spiny leaves 6-18 cm with light green in color has dark veins, leaves has repulsive and

pungent taste and egg shaped capsular immature (Green) fruit contains spines and after maturation fruit splits into four chamber and every chamber obtain numerous black seeds. Datura stramonium because of its secondary metabolite uttered curative potential. Datura with its bioactive compounds major and minor alkaloids enhances the immunity, through inhibits the repulsive activities.

VERNACULAR NAME OF Datura stramonium


Devika, Shivapriya, Kharjhugna


Dhattura, Kaladhatura


Apple of Peru, Devils Trumpet, Jamestown Weed




Simaiyumattai, Turutturam











Classification of Datura stramonium Kingdom – Plantae Subkingdom – Tracheobionta Superdivison – Spermatophyta Division – Magnoliophyta

Class – Magnoliopsida

Subclass – Asteridae

Order – Solanales

Family – Solanaceae

Genus – Datura L.

Species – stramonium


Thorn apple contains higher amount of chief alkaloids as hyoscymine and scopolamine and also minor alkaloid. Every part of the plant contains poisonous as well as

restorative potential; leaves, seed, fruit, bark, stem, root, seed coat with the bioactive compound exhibited pharmacological effect. Plant expressed strong nauseating and therapeutic efficacy because of its phytoconstituents.

Table – 1


Plant part(s)


Carbohydrates, fat, protein, ash, fiber

Seed coat


Phytate, tannin, oxalate



Calcium, tannin, and oxalate, iron, potassium , phosphorous

Seed coat


Glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenol, phlobatanins



Scopolamine, atropine, fastunine, daturaolone



Hyoscine, norhyoscine, hyoscimine, tropine



Daturanolone and daturadiol



Hyoscine and hyoscyamine

Whole plant


Scopolamine and fastusine




Anticancer Effect

Worked against cancer cell of breast (specially MCF-7 cell line) through MTT assay with methanolic extract of leaves and stem of Datura spp. and compared it with vero line, resulted that leaf extract expressed higher anticancer property against MCF-7 cell and vero cell line as compared to stem extract [6].Cancer inhibiting effect on head, neck (FaDu), Breast (MDA-MB231), lung (A549) cancer cell line in in vitro condition by Datura stramonium leaf- aqueous extract (1mg/mL) for 24 & 48 hrs. respectively anticipated that plant parts possesses toxicity against living cells with increasing GSSG and agitating oxidative stress as well as considered changed quantity of enzyme which expresses redox sensitivity [7].

Anti-Insect Effect

Datura stramonium seed extract among ethanol, chloroform, and acetone has strong insecticidal efficacy than methanol and n-hexane [8]. The insecticidal repellency properties of Chromolaena odorata, Senna siamea, Andrographis paniculata, Vernonia amygdalina, Datura stramonium against Callosobruchus maculates indicated C. maculatus egg laying capacity effectively reduced by Senna siamea as compared to other plants [9].

Antimicrobial Effect

Worked on review of many medicinal plants of Bulgaria including Datura stramonium explained their antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity [10]. Aerial part (mainly stem and bark) of Datura stramoniums aqueous and ethanolic extract opposite to Eschericia coli, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Shigella and Neisseria gonorrhea revealed that ethanol extract of the plant contains higher antimicrobial potential than aqueous extract but not in Neisseria and only Staphylococcus aureus displayed action to aqueous extract [11]. Methanolic extract of different parts of Datura leaves shows higher antimicrobial efficacy on Staphylococcus aureus ATCC25923 and Escherichia coli ATCC25922 by even small amount [12].

Antioxidant Effect

Investigation of anticancer activity by methanolic seed extract of Datura stramonium through DPPH radical scavenging, ABTS+ radical cation,Nitric oxide radical, Ferric reducing power assay and gained values as 35.26, 10.50, and 49.36 [13]. On behalf of in vitro study of highest free radical scavenging effect DS showed the 6.7±0.1 µg/ml inhibitiory concentration value [12].

Nematicidal Effeect

Whole plant of Datura stramonium has noxious property and because of that aqueous leaf extract of plant stated strong nematicidal activities [14].

Antifungal Effect

Many medicinal plant together with Datura stramonium acquired antifungal effect [14]. Fermented or boiled mixture of Azadirachta indica (Neem), Calotropis gigantean, Datura stramonium, and cow fertilizer with methanol & water decoction (70/30 vv) of Azadirachta indica (Neem), Calotropis gigantean and Datura stramonium beside fungi Fusarium mangiferae contains efficient antifungal effect [15].

Larvicidal and repellant Effect

Datura stramonium leaves extract with ethanol for controlling the larva of Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti, exhibited the Lethal dose values as 86.25, 16.07, 6.25 ppm and they also possesses the repellency effect of above three insects and provided the values 2.73, 71.66,117.7 in min. at 1% concentration [16].

Analgesic Effect

The analgesic property by intraperitonealy administration of alcoholic seed extract of Datura stramonium in severe but short and continual pain, through the hot plate test and formalin test, point out that pain was condensed dose dependently with Ed values = 25 and 50 mg/kg [17] .

Antifeedant Effect

Leaves and seed extract of Datura stramonium L. (Solanaceae) respond against Triboleum castenum for the

reason that, insect depicted different mortality rate at different time exposure [18].

Antiasthmatic Effect

With mild airway obstruction, Datura stramonium cigratte worked as good bronchodilator for asthmatic patients [19]. Datura stramonium plant has various phytochemical including atropine, scopolamine and hyoscymine. Scopolamine & atropine manifested anticholinergic properties and responsible for the blocking of M2 receptor of submucosal gland cell and smooth muscles of air pathway, In an observation when pregnant womens took Datura stramonium for asthma treatment, with the constant releasing of acetylcholine, nicotinic receptor could desensitize finally result displayed in as damage fetus [20].

Antiperspirant Effect

Cholinergic compound esters exhibited effectual antiperspirant activity and Scopolamine; hydrobromide also rendered this potential with the higher skin incisive property [21].

Toxicological Evaluation of Datura Stramonium in Rats

In 3 months or 90 days subchronic study of different percentage of Datura seed (0.5, 1.58 and 5.0) containing diet were given to male and female rats with the 2.71 and

0.66 mg alkaloids and atropine respectively. Many observation including body weight, water intakes, gross clinical observation and feed were observed and recorded (weekly) with the pupil dilation and tears production (in whole study). The plant seed exhibited many effect on rats as decreased serum calcium, body-weight gain and serum albumin; increased serum alkaline phosphatase, testes weights, blood urea nitrogen and liver. Female rats displayed reactions more efficiently than male by decreasing cholesterol, serum total protein and increased Red Blood Cell Count, transaminase, Chloride and serum glutamicpyruvic transaminase [22].


Since ancient time plants used as for food, shelter, fiber, tan, gum, oil, latex etc. Plants are rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins,because of that they also contributed immuno-modulatory effect. From the above information we concluded that Datura stramonium with its medicinal properties exploited for cancer, rheumatism, ear pain, head ache, wound, burn, stress, depression, insomnia, asthma, boils, and inflammation. Whole plant with secondary metabolites (Phytochemicals) such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins manifested anticancer, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, larvicidal, repellent, analgesic, nematicidal properties [23], the alleopathic property of essential oil of Datura stramonium against five crops also reported [2]. This Plant with the adequate quantity exhibits pharmacological effect and prepared as herbal or botanical drugs by pharmaceutical industries for many diseases, but not used in native form because of its lethal effect, furthermore from this plant, plant based

biopesticides also have been made to control the harmful effect from the conventional pesticides.


  1. Bamola, N., Verma, P., Negi, C. (2018) – A Review on Some Traditional Medicinal Plants. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res, 4(1).pp:1550-1556.

  2. Wang, S., You, L. (2012) – Alleolopathic potential in Different Polarity Phases of Datura stramonium L. Advance in Biomedical engineering 6.

  3. Oseni, O.A., Olarinoye, C.O., Amoo, I.A. (2011) – Studies on chemical compositions and functional properties of thorn apple (Datura stramonium L.) Solanaceae. African Journal of Food Science, 5(2). pp: 40-44.

  4. Sundarmoorthy, S., Mani, D., Nagraj, S., Sathiavelu, M., Arunachalam, S. (2014) – Antioxidant activity and Phytochemical Analysis of Datura metal. International Journal of Drug Development and Research, 6(4). pp: 46-53.

  5. Afsha, P., Vijula, K., Avinash, K.V., Ravishankar, M., Leeladhar,

    D.V. (2016) – Medicinal values of Datura: A synoptic review. International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 10(2). pp: 77-81.

  6. Kumaresan, R., Shanmugam, K., Rajasree, S. (2014) – ANTI- CANCER ACTIVITY OF Datura metel ON MCF-7 CELL LINE. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 7(1): pp. 181-183.

  7. Ahmad, I.M., Abdalla, M.Y., Mustafa., N.H., Qnais, E. Y., Abdulla,

    F.A. (2009) – Datura Aqueous Leaf Extract Enhances Cytotoxicity via Metabolic Oxidative Stress on Different Human Cancer Cells. Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences, 2(1): pp. 9-14.

  8. Jawalkar, N., Zambare, S., Zanke, S. (2016) – Insecticidal property of Datura stramonium L. seed extracts against Sitophilus oryzae L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in stored wheat grains. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 4(6):92-96

  9. Obadofin, A.A., Fatoba, T. A., Fatusin, G.F. (2015) – Insecticide Repellency of Plant Extracts Against Callosobruchus maculatus. Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries, 7(3) pp: 10-18.

  10. Ivancheva, S., Nikolova, M., Tsvetkova. (2006) – Pharmacological activities and biologically active compounds of Bulgarian medicinal plants. Phytochemistry Advances in Research, pp: 87-103.

  11. Shagal, M.H., Modibbo, U.U., Liman, A.B. (2012) – Pharmacological justification for the ethnomedical use of Datura stramonium stem-bark extract in treatment of diseases caused by some pathogenic bacteria. Int Res Pharm Pharmacol, 2(1). pp: 16- 19.

  12. Sreenivasa, S., Vinay, K., Mohan, N.R. (2012) Phytochemical Analysis, Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activity of Leaf Extract of Datura Stramonium. International Journal of Science Research. 1(2). pp: 83-86.

  13. Iqbal, S., Sivaraj, C., Gunasekaran, K. (2017) – Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Methanol Extract Seeds of Datura stramonium l. Free Radicals and Antioxidants, 7(2). pp: 184-189.

  14. Sharma, N., Trivedi, P.C. (2002) – Screening of Leaf Extracts of Some Plants for Their Nematicidal and Fungicidal Properties Against Meloidogyne incognita and Fusarium oxysporum. Asian Journal of Experimental Science. 16. pp: 21-28.

  15. Kalidindi, U., Singh, B., Praseetha, P., Deepa, N. (2007) – Antifungal activity of Datura stramonium and Azadirachta indica against Fusarium mangiferae and Floral malformation in mango. Eur J Plant Pathol, 124(4).pp:637-657.

  16. Swathi, S., Murugananthan, G., Ghosh, S. K., Pradeep, A. S. (2012)

    – Larvicidal and repellent activities of ethanlic extract of datura stramonium leaves against mosquitoes. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research, 4(1). pp: 25-27.


  18. Abbasipour, H., Mahmoudvand, M., Rastegar, F., Hosseinpour,

    M.H. (2011) – Bioactivities of jimsonweed extract, Datura stramonium L (Solanaceae), against Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera:Tenebrionidae). Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 35.pp:623-629.

  19. Charpin, D., Orehek, J., Velardocchio, J.M. (1979) – Bronchodilator effects of antiasthmatic cigratte smoke (Datura stramonium). Thorax, 34(2). pp: 259-261.

  20. Pretorius, E., Marx, J. (2006) – Datura stramonium in asthma treatment and possible effects on prenatal development. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 21(3).pp: 331-337.

  21. Mac Millan, F.S., Reller, H.H., Sunder, F.H. (1964) – THE ANTIPERSPIRANT ACTION OF TOPICALLY APPLIED ANTICHOLINERGICS. J Invest Dermatol, 43.pp: 363-377.

  22. Dugan, G.M., Gumbmann, M.R., Friedman, M. (1989) – Toxicological evaluation of jimson weed (Datura stramonium) seed. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 27(8).pp: 501-510.

  23. Afsha, P., Vijula, K., Avinash, K.V., Ravishankar, M., Leeladhar,

D.V. (2016) – Medicinal values of Datura: A synoptic review. International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 10(2). pp: 77-81.

One thought on “Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Properties of Datura Stramonium (Thorn Apple) – A Review

Leave a Reply