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June 17, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and the John Gaston Hospital, Dr. J. B. McElroy, chief of the Division of Medicine.

JAMA. 1939;112(24):2500-2502. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800240016005

Stramonium poisoning presents a definite clinical entity which has not been emphasized sufficiently in American medical literature. While it is not common, it does occur with enough frequency to warrant a thorough discussion of its manifestations, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

This form of poisoning follows ingestion of any part of the Jimson weed, a plant prevalent in this country and in all temperate and tropical zones. Jimson weed is only one of the various names by which it is known. Other names are Jamestown weed, thorn apple, stink weed, devil's apple and apple of Peru. Datura stramonium is the botanical term; the plant is a species of Solanaceae, or nightshade family. It is a large coarse herb which attains a height of from 3 to 6 feet, depending on the richness of the soil, with its branches almost as broad. The leaves are large and angular, from 4 to 6