Horny Goat Weed


Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD.
Horny Goat Weed

Scientific Name:

Epimedium grandiflorum

Other Common Names:

Datura, Thornapple, Jamestown weed, Moon flower, Stramomium

Parts of the plant used:

The whole plant, especially the seeds.

How is it used?

Cigarettes made from this plant and other herbs have been smoked to treat bronchial asthma, but the risks of intoxication far out weigh any benefits.

What is it used for?

Many species of Datura have been used for centuries in complex religious rituals and witchcraft, due to their hallucinogenic properties. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers related to these practices. Experiments undertaken in animals with various species of Datura have shown that these plants have medicinal properties for the prospective treatment of diabetes and other diseases; as well as a source of atropine, an alkaloid that is used in the treatment of organophosphate insecticide toxicity. The closely related genera Datura and Brugmansia (“Trumpetflower” or “Floripondio”) undoubtedly possess potential medicinal value, but should never be used for home remedies or inebriation, as both of these practices can prove to be quite deadly.

Safety/Precautions

• Jimson weed or Toloache (Datura stramonium L.) and other related species have been used as a “recreational” drug for their hallucinogenic properties, a practice that is very dangerous. • All parts of the plant are dangerous due to their content of tropane alkaloids such as atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine (hyoscine); especially the seeds, which constitute the most toxic part. • There is a case on record of a patient exhibiting acute anticholinergic syndrome (dry mouth, rapid heart beat, dilation of the pupil) from ingestion of lime tea accidentally mixed with Datura innoxia. • Several cases of severe, and sometimes fatal, intoxications with various Datura species have been recorder throughout the world in both humans and animals. • Some of the symptoms in affected individuals include hallucinations and confusion, dilation of the pupil, flushing, dry mouth, and tachycardia (rapid heart beat). • This and other mind altering plants should be suspected in patients presenting altered mental status, agitation and hallucinations, as well as anticholinergic symptoms. • Each plant varies in the concentrations of alkaloids and other active substances. For this reason, it is very important for individuals, especially young people, to be aware of the toxicity and potential risks associated with the “recreational” use of these plants.

Disclaimer

Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-medication: Always be on the safe side!