Angel Trumpet Warning

Araillia(TX Z8)July 27, 2005

This was posted on one of my yahoo groups this morning. I thought it warrented passing along.

"Angels Trumpets are toxic and we should not "ingest" and part of these plants! However, read what happened to me!!!

My angels trumpets sent me to the emergency room today and I did not eat, drink or smoke any part of my plants!!!

I decided I would wash off my plants with a strong hosing of water to rid them of the caterpillars that are devouring them. My plants are about 6 feet tall (I am 5 foot tall) and as I hosed the plants off water dripped off the leaves into my hair and face.

I was also perspiring (Surprise in this heat!!!) and washed my left hand (which I had used to turn leaves or break off spent blooms) with the cool water from my hose and wiped my face.

About 1/2 hour later when I came inside, I noticed my vision was blurred and my eyes felt dry and burning. I assumed it was from the salt in my perspiration. Then I looked in the mirror and immediately became frightened. My pupils were huge!!!

A friend drove me to the emergency room, where, thanks to a doctor who not only owns angels trumpets but has a keen interest in toxic plants, I was diagnosed immediately with atropine poisoning. Here were (and are) my symptoms: blurred vision, dilated pupils, extreme thirst, headache, dizziness (I'm blond so didn't think that was unusual!), slight nausea, rapid pulse, and elevated blood pressure (mine was 168 over 86). Symptoms last from 1 to 3 days. Apparently I was not poisoned sufficiently enough to warrant any other treatment than to be told to wear dark glasses and go home. (Still have blurred vision, burning dry eyes and a headache.)

So please be very careful around your angel trumpets!!! Let the caterpillars eat them and leave spent blooms alone. I spoke to Liz Hale this afternoon and she feels that this information should be gotten out to the public. I called or spoke to some of my friends and neighbors who have them and then decided to email as many people

as I could. Please spread the word."

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You may want to post this information in the the "Brugsmansia" forum. Daturas and Brugsmansias are not vining plants although these plants are sometimes called Moon Flowers, (a common name shared with Ipomoea alba, which IS a vine, but will not affect humans in the same manner).


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 2:10PM
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Thats quite a reaction you had there!
With the little that I know about atropine poisioning, they are present in high concentrations in the seed and are toxic only if ingested. Datura stromonium/Jamestown/Gypsum weed as its called, contains the alkaloid atropine in the seeds and leaves.

Anyway, I am glad that you are alright.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 6:02PM
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Atropine can be absorbed through the skin along with some of the other myriad of alkaloids present in these plants. I read in a medicinal plant book once that some people place ONE leaf in a warm bath to help calm abdominal cramping due to the effect that atropine has on smooth muscles. (**DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!**)

When I was younger, a doctor prescribed atropine in pill form to combat IRB, (irritable bowel syndrome), before I realized that it was much better/healthier to eat properly and consume sufficient fluids. Of course, in pill form, there was strict control of the amount of atropine consumed.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 7:12PM
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Spellcheck on Gypsum weed. It is actually Jimson weed.

To add to atropine, parts of the datura also contain scopolamine and hyoscyamine both of which are used for motion sickness. Acts by decreasing the motility of the gi tract.

Didn't realise there was so much information on daturas! I will now take some renewed interest in the devils trumpets we have. I guess the purple flowered ones are the angels trumpet because they bloom in the daytime?

Lol sorry that I had to post the followup in the vines forum

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:35PM
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Hi all,
I was just reading this thread and saw atropine mentioned. I was poisoned by pesticides back io 1988, ugh, They gave me atropine to try and counter act the pesticides. How weird that they use one poison to counter act another. Both the pesticides and the atropine have similar symptoms with what they do to you when you're exposed to them. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
I hadn't heard that Angel Trumpets could be so toxic! Thanks for the warning!
~ Georgia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 12:04PM
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Ive been collecting super fuzzy white-ish yellow caterpillars (and one fat green inchworm ) fm my young 3 foot angel trumpet plants over the last 3 days.ive been wearing gloves only because the fuzzy caterpillars are suposedly poisonous.but ive handled the leaves bare-handed many times .w/ ni ill reaction.guess ive ju
st been lucky!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 3:13PM
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