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Teenagers sickened by moonflower

Walnutport police want teenagers to stop eating a toxic seed contained in a plant they are calling a moonflower.

Two Walnutport teenagers were taken to a hospital yesterday with serious injuries after eating the seeds, according to a news release from Walnutport Police Chief Joseph W. Pennisi.

The news release said three Lehighton teenagers and one Slatington teenager were also taken to the hospital.

About four years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received notification that 14 Ohio youngsters ages 12 to 19 became ill shortly after eating the seeds or drinking tea brewed using the seeds.

Moonflower is not on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's list of controlled substances, according to a report filed by the CDC that documents the Ohio case.

That same report documenting the Ohio cases stated that "the illicit use of this plant might be related to the increasing knowledge of moonflower's hallucinogenic properties combined with the local availability of this plant."

The toxic seed can cause dilated pupils, tachycardia, hallucinations, seizures, coma and death, according to the news release.

According to Pennisi's news release, the moonflower plant is common in the area. It grows 3 to 5 feet tall and has large fragrant flowers to bloom at dusk, the news release said.

Note: Moonflower = Datura

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Tags : moonflower datura poisoning
Posted on: 2006-10-10 13:37:34