Disclaimer: this is not my study, I ran across it when I was researching the care and feeding of my Datura innoxia plants.
Here is the link: http://www.znaturforsch.com/ac/v59c/s59c0184.pdf
The authors are Strahil Berkov and Rawia Zayed.
If you are interested in the effects of soil nutrition and climate on the medicinal qualities of your plants, this article is a worthwhile read. This study uses GC-MS to demonstrate the differences between the alkaloids produced in plants raised in Egypt and those raised in Bulgaria. Both sets of plants are Datura innoxia.
“The alkaloid spectra of Datura innoxia plants grown in Egypt and Bulgaria were investigated by GC-MS. Thirty-eight alkaloids were detected in the roots, leaves and fruits of the plants. Five new alkaloids for D. innoxia are reported. Alkaloid spectra of Egyptian and Bulgarian plants differ significantly in respect to their alkaloid composition and main alkaloids accumulated in the plant organs.
Our results as well as the results of Witte et al. (1987) clearly show that the alkaloid spectra and accumulation in D. innoxia are strongly influenced by the environmental factors. Concerning this, as well as the relatively high number of alkaloids synthesized by the plant, it is not surprising that new alkaloids are reported for samples from different geographical locations. In such a case, the application of tropane alkaloids for chemo- taxonomical studies should be very cautiously. (sic) It could be reasonable when the plants are cultivated at identical growth conditions. thus, the genotype only will determine the alkaloid spectra and accumulation.”
Key words: GC-MS, Datura innoxia, Tropane Alkaloids”
As many of you may know, it was traditional to gather medicines from the same plants and/or in the same areas, year after year. What does this mean for you as a consumer of herbs or as an herbal practitioner? It means that how the plants were raised and handled before they came into your hands makes all the difference in the world. According to this study, there were some alkaloids that didn’t even appear in the other group.
If you have read about the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) product of Jitai being used for drug addiction, and that one of the ingredients is Datura flowers, and if you had read the article on the Chinese heroin addiction study ( link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092568/ ), and you wanted to try to make a salve from Datura, rather than the highly dangerous mode of consuming it internally, this information would assist the herbal practitioner to consistently make the best salve possible. AND, by growing your own plants, you are the one that controls the quality. No worries about pollution, contaminants, improper handling and storage, etc.
The variations in the amounts of scopolamine and other chemical constituents are what make using the Solanaceae such a difficult endeavor. By growing one’s own plants in flower pots or tubs, using optimal soil amendments, it is more logical to expect to have consistent results, since their care and feeding has been controlled and observed by the grower – more so than by purchasing a “green powder” from the cheapest online source.