Chapter: Entheogens

AKA (Datura): Concombre zombi (zombi's cucumber), Datura alba, Datura arborea, Datura aurea,

Datura Candida, Datura ceratocaula (tornaloco), Datura discolor, Datura dolicho-carpa, Datura fastuosa, Datura ferox, Datura inoxia (Datura meteloides, dekuba, toloache, toloatzin, wichri, wysocean), Datura metel (dhatura, dutra), Datura sanguinea, Datura stramonium (devil's apple, devil's trumpet, devil's weed, James Town Weed, jimson weed, loco weed, qui-qui-sa-waal, stinkweed, thorn apple, white man's plant, yerba del diablo), Datura suaveolens, Datura versicolor, Datura volcanicola, Datura wrightii, jouzmathel, man-t'o-lo, tolouaxihuitl.

AKA (Brugmansia): Borrachero, Brugmansia arborea, Brugmansia aurea, Brugmansia Candida, Brugmansia insignis, Brugmansia sanguinea, Brugmansia suaveolens, Brugmansia vulcanicola, buyes, campanilla, chamico, floripon-dios, huacacachu, huanco, huanto, huantuc, huanduj, kinde borrachero, maicoa, maikoa, misha toro, munchiro borrachero, tanga, toa, toe, tonga, tree datura, yerba de huaca.

A member of the nightshade family, the many varieties are divided into the plant forms and the tree forms, the latter of which is native only to South America and now considered to be a distinct genus: Brugmansia. The task of classifying the numerous species is made even harder by the ability of the indigenous people to produce hybrid plants. Datura was just one of the psychoactive plants used by European witches, and - according to Wade Davis - is used as an antidote to the zombi drug in Haiti. Scopo-lamine, one of the main psychoactive alkaloids, was tested as a "truth serum" by both the Nazis and the U.S. during World War II to unsatisfactory results.

Effects: Deep sleep and hallucinations. The main psychoactive alkaloids are hyoscyamine and scopolamine; the minor ones are atropine, meteloidine, and norscopolamine. Used by many shamans to foresee the future, speak with the dead, and diagnose illnesses. It has also been used in initiation ceremonies, to treat a number of physical ailments, and Datura fatuosa was once used by Incan priests to sedate patients during surgery.

Precautions: The main alkaloid is scopolamine, which is highly toxic; it has proven to have a negative effect on serial learning in doses as low as 0.5 mg. Initial intoxication may be so violent that the user may have to be physically restrained. Other side effects include diarrhea, nausea, confusion, incoherence, dizziness, agitation, and loss of motor coordination. Overdose symptoms include convulsions, coma, intoxication lasting days (up to twenty days in some cases, according to Richard Rudgley), permanent damage to the eyes, heart, and brain, and death. The side effects of Datura stramonium include fever, chills, loss of coordination, a dry burning in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, hot dry skin, rash, dizziness, pressure in the head, vomiting, loss of memory, agitation, and a blurring and distortion of vision. Overdose symptoms include mental disorientation, panic, convulsions, and coma. Like Rohyp-nol, the "date rape drug," it was once used by criminals to incapacitate their victims.

Similar methods of incapacitating a person occur in Fiji, where datura is sometimes added to kava, and Africa, where it is added to beer or wine.

Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan and subseqent books dealing with datura make up a fictional framework on which hang numerous bits of information cribbed from some 200 esoteric works, much of it inconsistent and inaccurate. The film based on Wade Davis' The Serpent and the Rainbow bears only a passing resemblance to the book, reinforcing old stereotypes; and Davis' conclusions about the ingredients of the zombi drug itself have been attacked by some as reliant on too little evidence.

Dosage: It can be smoked, eaten, drunk as a tea, or taken as an enema. In

Africa and Asia, it is often combined with cannabis or tobacco and smoked, and in Tanzania it is added to beer. Datura suaveolens is often added to ayahuasca.

The ground seeds are often added to maize beer and, in Mexico, the dried leaves of Brugmansia are added to tobacco to induce diagnostic visions for treating various diseases.

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Questions and Answers

What's the difference between Datura and Brugmansia?, I've grown Datura metel and Datura inoxia. But the description for Brugmansia sounds like the same plant. Anyone know?

At one time Brugmansia plants were included in the genus Datura, but taxonomists have divided the two groups into different genera. Brugmansias are a long-lived, woody perennial, eventually reaching heights of over 20 feet in frost-free areas. They have downward to slightly outward-facing, large (6" to 24" long) trumpet-shaped blooms, in shades of white, cream, yellow, peach, orange, pink, and red and rarely set seed. In contrast, Daturas are a short-lived herbaceous perennial (they rarely live more than 3-4 years even in frost-free areas), are usually grown as an annual, and rarely exceed heights over 6 feet. Their smaller (2" to 8" long) white, cream, yellow, lavender or purple flowers are held upright above the plants and set seed freely.

Datura fruiits are prickly but Brugmansia fruits are not.

has anyone taken datura, brugmansia or angel trumpet flowers? What where the effects and how did you take it?, I am thinking about taking a tea drink of one flower steeped for 30 min or an hour and then sipping the tea. Anyone have an experience with this flower?


When should I bring my Brugmansia/Datura and Bougainvillea plants indoors for the winter?, As its starting to get a bit colder here at night (UK) I am sure it is almost time to bring them indoors.

neither one like temps under 50F.... so get them in early... a surprise chiller could do them harm.....do the opposite of 'hardening off'.... take them in a little at a time.... remember they're going from warm outdoor temps to cooler air conditioning.....so don't shock them!!

Brugmansia/Datura - this is a lovely young plant I bought earlier this year?, Despite feeding and watering, it still hasn't flowered. Any ideas?

If you're growing it outdoors (Here in Florida we do) it will probably take about a year before it starts to flower. But be patient: once it flowers you'll be surprised by the size of flowers and the strong fragrance it emits. Usually they really start to prosper after their first rainy season. Also:the plant needs to grow to a reasonable size before they start to flower. Usually three to four feet.

Can sitting next to a brugmansia datura send me crazy?, Everytime I sit next to this plant in my conservatory, after about 30 mins I am sure I can feel some effect that it has on me.

Very possible. In a warm humid environment the Datura, which contains psychoactive chemicals could affect the more sensitive person, especially after handling leaves or flowers. There are some very nasty side effects to the `misuse`of this plant, and it has claimed the lives of some `misusers`.

Experiences with Datura Brugmansia?, Does anybody here have experiences with Datura Brugmansia? If so, how did you use it, what did you feel, how long did it take? What are the dangers?

Can you compare it with other hallucinogetics like mushrooms, salvia, lsd?

I think you should be able to answer this question at the link I've included below in my sources. You can compare two different substances there and everything. And, they have "trip" reports available for your review...

Otherwise, I suggest you check your local library for a book called "The Long Trip." There's a lot of ethnobotanical information in that book. It's a great resource. =)

Has anyone ever smoked datura? I read the effects are milder and more tolerable if you smoke it?, And please dont copy and paste from erowid.org. I have already read most of everything there about datura and brugmansia. Yup.

Also, if you have how long did the effects last?

do you mean Jimson Weed? if so, a friend of mine once did it & i didn't hear from him for 3 days. then, i got a call from him & he was freaking out, saying, "don't ever let me do this again!". and this was coming from a emergency room nurse who knew his way around drugs.
needless to say, i never tried it. it grows out here in the wild everywhere. every once in a while, we hear of some horse that eats it & dies.
in Carlos Castanedas' books, he is told by the "brujo" Don that of all the guides to the other worlds, datura is the least trustworthy. she is capable of giving great power, but inevitably, she gains control over the user & leaves him a wreck. "humito" is the friendliest guide to the "crack between worlds" and past the Guardian, if that's where you're going.

I have brugmansia and datura that produced seeds after flowering.?, I would like to know if I need to do anything prior to planting those seeds or do I just plant them? When and how do I do this?

These plants are not hardy. Sow seeds at 61 degrees Fahrenheit in the Spring. All parts are highly toxic if ingested so be careful. Outdoors these plants grow in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil in full sun.

What pollinates a Brugmansia? (Angel's Trumpet)?, I live in NE Ohio, and have babied a "pet" Brugmansia for more than ten years. It reached 8 feet tall and stopped, thank goodness, for I have to drag the poor thing inside in October. What I've never been able to find out is: what pollinates those huge, white flowers? A bat? It's fragrant at night time. And whatever it is, it does not live in Ohio. I've never seen seeds. A note: a Brugmansia is NOT a Datura. The flowers are very simular, but the plants are different. Brugmansia flowers hang downward, while Datura flowers point upward.

I believe that it is a moth, although I have never gotten seeds on a Brugmansia in northern California, either.