In this video, Dan de Lion, of www.returntonature.us discusses a misunderstood but sacred plant; datura aka. Jimson weed, and its lesser known application as a topical pain relieving plant.
Also, here is his notes from his journey to Colombia, in 2015, while contemplating datura as a magical and shamanic plant…
Brugmansia and Datura – Seeking the Medicine, Colombia, 2015
Scopolamine and atropine are the main “active constituent alkaloids” in many plants of the nightshade family, namely datura, Brugmansia, and belladonna, henbane, they are medicinal in low doses, and very toxic in high doses and synthetic concentrates can be deadly.
Some people try to trip on datura (Jimson weed) and there are mainly 3 datura species. D. Stramonium, D. innoxia and D. metel. It is not hallucinogenic and is actually more commonly classified as a deleriant. Is very off putting, disorienting, and very hard to make meaning from, can also be very dangerous because one can easily convince themselves that their delusions are true.
Brugmansia also contains tropanes as do most if not all solanaceous plants. And even In our drug phobic culture we don’t even bother to make them illegal because it’s generally felt that these were more like poisoning than tripping.
Yet, whole civilizations have built themselves around this kind of experience such as with Southern California tribes; the Catalina and louisenyo, and the Chumash to name a few. The Tolache religion of Mexico is also based around Jimson weed.
That said, the indigenous shaman of South America have worked with these species in a shamanic context, but very few would ingest this as the main plant.
In the brew ayahuasca, which is worked with by shaman of most South American countries it is said that a small amount of Brugmansia is said to give the ayahuasca stronger visions/colors/geometric patterns.
This all said one should always be with a competent guide and personal exploration can be dangerous if there is a lack of training which then makes everyone else look bad 🙂 each of us have a responsibility to understand the Ethnobotanical and sacred context of the medicines and must be careful not to steal from ancient herbalists that have been practicing their materia medica for unbroken thousands of years.
These cultural models are very different than our taboo repression vs rebellion model where responsibility and training was put on the individuals who choose to seek vision, not jail or a mental institute.
Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way – Check out more at www.returntonature.us.