An annual plant with an unpleasant aroma, 100-120 cm tall. The root is branched. Stems are bare, erect. Branches, petioles covered with soft hairs. A developed leaf is usually up to 25 cm long and 20 cm wide. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate or oblong-ovate, with sharp teeth or lobed margin. The base of the leaves is wedge-shaped. Flowers white, funnel-shaped, up to 10 cm long, in leaf spikes. The fruit is an oval, prickly button, opens with four valves. The seeds are flat, black, kidney-shaped. The whole plant is poisonous. Blooms from June to September. The fruits ripen in September, October.
For drugs, the leaves of the plant are collected during the period when the plant begins to bloom until the moment of fruit formation, collected 3-4 times during the vegetation period, watching how strongly the plant grows. The leaves of the plant are quickly dried in forced dryers at a temperature of 40-50C.
All parts of the plant contain alkaloids, mainly hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine: in the leaves 0.23-0.37%, in the stem - 0.06-0.24%, in the roots - 0.12-0.27%, in the flowers - 0.13-1.9%, in the seeds 0.08-0.22%. In addition, Thorn-apple leaves also contain essential oils up to 0.04%, carotene up to 0.1% and tannins up to 1.7%.
Thorn-apple seeds contain 17-25% vegetable fat, which consists of various glycerides: linoleic - 45%, oleic - 40%, palminte - 12%, sterol - 2% and lignoceric acids.
The therapeutic cholinolytic and spasmolytic properties of Thorn-apple are due to the presence of hyoscyamine and other alkaloids. Preparations of Thorn-apple leaves are effective in treating feverish coughs and in relieving bronchial muscle spasms.
The prickly Thorn-apple has long been known as a poisonous and medicinal plant. Medieval chronicles show that its leaves were used as a pain reliever in Europe. In the field of folk medicine, it has long been used to treat mental and nervous diseases. Also used to treat chronic and acute rheumatism, neuralgia and shortness of breath.