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Datura




Datura

datura
stramonium

Botanical Name

Datura stramonium

Common Name

Jimsonweed, thorn apple, devil's trumpet, mad apple, toé

Family

Solanaceae

Parts Used

Leaves, seeds, and roots

Native To

Central and South America, but now found worldwide as an introduced species




 


Datura stramonium and Brugmansia, also known as Angel's Trumpet, are two plants with a rich history in South American and witchcraft practices. Both of these plants belong to the Solanaceae family and are known for their psychoactive effects. Datura stramonium, also known as Jimsonweed, Thorn Apple, Devil's Trumpet, or Mad Apple, is native to Central and South America and has been introduced worldwide as an invasive species.


In South American shamanic traditions, Datura stramonium has been used for its hallucinogenic properties in various rituals, including initiation rites, vision quests, and healing ceremonies. The plant contains alkaloids such as atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which can cause intense hallucinations, delirium, and even death in high doses. Its use in witchcraft practices is also well-documented, with some cultures using the plant as an ingredient in flying ointments and other concoctions to induce altered states of consciousness.


Similarly, Brugmansia has been used for its psychoactive effects in South American cultures. The plant contains alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine, which can cause hallucinations, delirium, and even death in high doses. In South American shamanic traditions, Brugmansia has been used for its visionary properties and is often called "the plant of the ancestors.


There are numerous reports of people experiencing adverse effects after consuming datura. The effects of datura can vary depending on the dose, the method of consumption, and the individual's sensitivity to the plant. Some people have reported experiencing hallucinations, delusions, confusion, and disorientation. In some cases, these experiences can be frightening and overwhelming.


Some authors have written about their personal experiences with datura. For example, in his book "The Teachings of Don Juan," Carlos Castaneda writes about his experiences with a Yaqui Indian shaman who introduced him to datura. Castaneda describes his experiences with datura as terrifying and otherworldly, with the plant inducing vivid hallucinations that were difficult to distinguish from reality.


In the book "The Doors of Perception," Aldous Huxley writes about his experiences with mescaline, a psychoactive substance similar to datura. Huxley's experiences were not specifically with datura, but he writes about the potential dangers of using hallucinogenic substances, cautioning that they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.


There are also numerous accounts of people experiencing adverse effects after ingesting datura accidentally or without knowing the proper dosage. For example, in the book "Plant Poisonings and Mycotoxicoses of Livestock in Southern Africa," the authors describe several cases of cattle and other animals becoming ill or dying after ingesting datura accidentally.

Overall, while datura has been used in traditional medicine and for spiritual purposes, it is not recommended for recreational use due to its potential dangers and unpredictability.

 

Safety:

Despite its potential dangers, datura continues to be used by some people for recreational purposes, although its use is highly discouraged due to its toxic effects. The plant contains powerful alkaloids, including scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine, which can cause hallucinations, delirium, and other harmful side effects. In high doses, datura can be fatal and SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED.



References:

(1) "Datura stramonium". Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 14, 2023. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c377.

(2) "Brugmansia". Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 14, 2023. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=254945.

(3) Kanchanapoom, T., Taesotikul, T., and Boonmars, T. "Anthelmintic activity of medicinal herb extracts against cattle gastrointestinal nematodes, Haemonchus contortus." Tropical Biomedicine, vol. 29, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-8.

(4) Frecska, E., Bokor, P., and Winkelman, M. "The therapeutic potentials of ayahuasca: possible effects against various diseases of civilization." Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 7, 2016, pp. 1-12.

(5) Schultes, R. E., Hofmann, A., and Rätsch, C. "Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers." Healing Arts Press, 1992.

(6) Ott, J. "Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources and History." Natural Products Company, 1993.

(7) Ratsch, C. "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications." Park Street Press, 2005.

(8) "Datura: Poisoning and Information." United States National Library of Medicine. Accessed May 14, 2023. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002858.htm.





 


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