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Phua DH, Cham G, Seow E
Correspondence: Dr Phua Dong Haur, firstname.lastname@example.org
Datura metel L. (Yangjinghua) is a toxic herb that contains anticholinergic compounds. Inappropriate consumption of this herb could result in anticholinergic poisoning. Clinical features of such poisoning have not been previously described. We report two such cases. Both patients had taken brews of Datura metel L., and developed poisoning soon afterwards. Prominent clinical features included confusion, dilated pupils, absence of sweating, and the absence of sluggish bowel sounds. No flushing of the face or skin was detected in either case. Both patients recovered fully within 12 hours with supportive measures, and no gastric elimination or antidote was used. The different names ascribed to Datura metel L. in chinese medicine can be confusing; this confusion resulted in the poisoning of one of our patients. The clinical features of Datura metel L. poisoning and concerns over inappropriate uses of herbal medicine are discussed.
Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine, Datura metel L, herbs, poisoning, traditional chinese medicine
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(5): e131-e133