30.3.10

The Devils Trumpet

My Brugmansia Datura is close to flowering. It's my favorite of all plants and I'd collect a house load if I had the space. 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. 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.

2 comments:

violetcaesars said...

Interesting history particularly its uses as a sedative. I have been reading about stress from the medical perspective where it is said that Haitian voodoo priests, when placing a curse on a person, activate the person's vagus nerve which controls the heart beat, thereby slowing down the heart beat to zero, killing the victim of the curse. (Do they do this by hypnosis - or Devil's Trumpet extract?)
And it's a beautifully striking flower!

Eccabin said...

I have no idea...I would imagine both... Was infact at the Barbican Conservatory yesterday and they have loads of much more established ones that are getting ready to flower and the smell is amazing!