[top]Introduction to Datura
refers to any one of nine species of shrubby herbaceous plants from the Solanaceae family, which produces large, white or purple trumpet-shaped flowers. They are most commonly found in the southern United States and Mexico, but distribution cannot be certain. The Brugmansia
, originating in South America was formerly believed to be of the Datura
will produce a state of delirium when consumed, with hallucinations and confusion. The active chemicals are tropane alkaloids
: mainly scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine
. The concentration of these compounds may vary widely depending on which part is used, the time that the plant is collected, and from plant to plant. It was traditionally used for religious visionary purposes throughout the world. And used for witchcraft in medieval Europe.
There are many ways to administer the Datura plant the most common being tea made from any part of the plants, ingestion of seeds, and smoking blends made from leaves or flowers. However there is also evidence of user making ointments. Dosage varies a considerable amount from plant to plant, and person to person, therefore I will not list any dosages. It is recommended to start with very small doses when using Datura. Many people see 10 seeds as a starting dosage and recommend starting with only 1 leaf or flower. THESE DOSES ARE NOT CERTAIN! TAKE PRECAUTION WHEN USING DATURA AND REMEMBER THAT IT CAN KILL YOU!
[top]Ways of administration:
Tea can be made from any part of the plant although the leaves or flowers are usually preferred. The plant matter will be taken from the plant fresh and placed into boiling water. The plant matter should be left in the boiling/heated water for a long length of time (anything from 20 minutes to several hours has been reported) the tea will gain more alkaloids from the plant material the longer it is left to brew. Many people then reduce the tea through evaporation so that there is less to consume, as Datura has a distinctive and foul taste.
Smoking blends can be made by drying out leaves and flowers. These can be smoked alone or mixed with cannabis
, or a range of other psychedelic
plants. Usually when smoked in a blend with other psychedelics, such as cannabis a state of delirium is not the objective. At this milder dose it is said to potentiate the high, however whether or not it actually potentiates is debatable. Users may feel stranger than usual with floaty or detached feelings.
An ointment can be made from Datura which is often referred to as ‘Flying Ointment’ due to its use by witches in medieval Europe. There are reports that ointment is safer than taking Datura orally as the active chemicals are absorbed into the body slower, although this method has still claimed lives. Ointment can be made crushing up plant material; seeds are preferred, and added to molten wax or lard. This is left a stirred for days, until ready for use. It is then massaged into key areas of the body such as the temples, armpits, and genitals. Areas of soft skin are the most efficient way of getting the alkaloids into the body.
[top]Effects of Datura
Datura can produce hallucinations, which the user is unable to identify as fantasy. A user will not be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy and therefore may become confused, agitated or scared. Most users report a feeling of discomfort, and do not enjoy the trip. The peak may result in memory loss, and complete motor/communication functions. The trip can last anything from 8 to 18 hours, but there have been reports of a trip last several days. A ‘trip sitter’ is necessary every time Datura is used. Death is common with Datura use, especially at higher doses.
[top]Combinations with Datura
Datura has been combined with many other drugs
, but there are three main combinations, that are repeatedly used by those who are experienced enough. These are the ‘Flying Ointment’, ayahuasca
brews, and cannabis smoking blends.
The ‘Flying Ointment’ originates from European medieval witches who supposedly made the ointment so that they were able to fly. The ointment contains various other plants such as henbane
, hemlock, wolfsbane, and species of the nightshade family. Traditionally these would all be mixed together in animal fats before being applied to parts of the body that are able to absorb the alkaloids efficiently. Most common places to apply the ointment are the soles of the feet, armpits, and the vagina.
Datura (known by shamans as Toe) may be added to ayahuasca brews, but in very small amounts. The shamanic people who use the ayahuasca for religious purposes know of the Daturas deliriant and toxic properties and so add only 2-3 leaves of Datura to a brew for around 30 people.
Smoking blends of Datura and cannabis seem to have the most positive reports out of any that involve Datura. Users mix no more than one leaf with some cannabis in either a ‘spliff’ or bong
and proceed to smoke as usual. The effects of the Datura are said to be similar to that of the cannabis but less euphoric and more intoxicated/heavy. Many users report the flowers to be the best part of the plant to smoke as it is not as harsh and burns easier.
[top]Different Uses for Datura
Datura has been used for millennia for its medicinal value. It appears in Hindu and Greek scriptures as far back as the 4th century BCE, where it was likely used as an Indian ethnomedicine. A Persian, Avicenna (980-1037 CE) described the plant as a narcotic medicine. It was also used by South American tribes for treatment to fevers.
More recently however, the plant, or rather its main chemicals scopolamine and atropine, have been approved by the FDA for having diverse medical uses. Atropine was first used in western medicine after it was introduced by British soldiers, who learned of its use in treating respiratory problems. Since then it has been used by medical officials to treat issues such as asthma, and is claimed to be an essential medicine by the Worlds Health Organization. Together scopolamine and atropine can be used to treat a wide range of health problems because of their uses as; sedatives
, poison antidotes, and cures for motion sickness, nausea, and dizziness.
[top]The dangers of Datura
As well as the danger of a user hurting themselves while in a state of delirium, there is also the toxicity of scopolamine and atropine. Both of these chemicals are poisons and have been used for many years in murders and suicides.
Atropine increases the firing of the Sinoatrial Node (SAN) and the conductivity of the Artioventricular Node (AVN) in the heart. This means that the wave of excitation that makes a users heart beat, will happen more regularly and be passed around the heart at a faster rate. This could result in cardiac arrest. In addition to this it opposes information sent along the Vagus nerve, which conveys information about the state of the viscera (organs such as the heart and others lower in the abdomen). This means there is danger of damage to these organs.
Because of the unknown quantity of tropane alkaloids in each Datura plant, a quantity for overdose is going to be hard to predict. To reduce chance of overdose start very small and work your way up to larger doses. Remember if using another plant the dosage will be different from last time. Effects for most people will begin within an hour of consumption, however it is important to remember that in 25% of the population scopolamine is absorbed by the brain slower and can take up to 13 hours.
A SITTER IS ALWAYS NEEDED!
– Atropine overdose
Datura plants are relatively easy to grow compared to some other psychoactive
plants. They will grow out doors without too much special attention in many parts of the world, but need to be brought in at winter if your climate is cold enough to get frost. When the plant gets too big to bring inside at winter there are reports or people simply wrapping the upper part of the tree and piling straw around the base to insulate.
Articles on Datura Cultivation
[top]Species of Datura
There are nine species of the Datura genus:
Datura Discolor –Desert thorn-apple
Datura Ferox – Long spined thorn-apple
Datura Inoxia – Datura Innoxia, thorn-apple, Indian apple, Sacred Datura, Toloatzin
Datura Leichhardtii – Leichhardt’s Datura
Datura Quercifolia - Oak-leaf thorn-apple
Datura Stratonium – Jimsonweed
Datura Wrightii – Sacred thorn-apple
[top]Legal status of Datura
Datura is legal to grow and possess in both the UK and USA but it listed as ‘not for human consumption’. Generally it is seen to be legal in most countries.
In Australia plants with more that 0.25% alkaloid
content are schedule 1, and those below 0.25% alkaloid content are schedule 2. This means they are illegal to sell, possess and cultivate without and medical license.
In Brazil the Suaveolens species of Datura is controlled.
[top]History of Datura
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