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Stramonium

STRAMONIUM, in medicine, a drug obtained from the leaves and seeds of the Datura stramonium. Both contain an alkaloid known as daturine. From the seeds is made extractum stramonii. The tinctura stramonii is made from the leaves. The physiological action of stramonium resembles that of belladonna, except that stramonium relaxes to a greater extent the unstriped muscle of the bronchial tubes; for this reason it is used in asthma to relieve the bronchial spasm. Cigarettes made of stramonium leaves may be smoked or the tincture may be taken internally. Frequently the leaves powdered together with equal quantities of the powdered leaves of the Cannabis Indica and lobelia mixed with potassium nitrate are burned in an open dish. The preparation gives off dense fumes which afford great relief to the asthmatic paroxysm. Numerous patent " cures " for asthma contain these ingredients in vaiying proportions. Daturine is used as daturinae sulphas. In acute mania it acts like hyoscyamine in producing sleep. In large doses stramonium is a narcotic poison producing the wellmarked stages of exaltation of function, diminution of functional activity, and later loss of function, sinking into coma and paralysis.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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