The healing power of datura

Datura tree comes from the nightshade family. The datura is not edible; It is even very poisonous. It contains, among other things, hallucinogenic substances and can kill you. Because the plant looks special, it is grown as an ornamental plant. This plant originally comes from North America. Shortly after discovering this plant, it was introduced into Europe. It does very well in the wild; it is now distributed worldwide in all temperate areas of the world. You see it most often on fallow land and manure heaps. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing datura / Source: Franz Eugen Köhler, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Contents:

  • Be careful, never use datura yourself
  • Naming
  • Datura in history
  • Active substances
  • Danger of medicinal efficacy datura
  • Datura for the digestive organs
  • Datura for the respiratory tract
  • Safety datura

Be careful, never use datura yourself

Datura is just as poisonous as Atropa belladonna or belladonna. It is a plant that was used by Native Americans for its hallucinogenic properties. According to tradition, datura is a component of flying ointment, an ointment that witches used to fly spiritually through another world. However, it is highly inadvisable to use this plant to hallucinate, if it is good to want to hallucinate at all. People who tried to use the datura for recreational reasons all had to pay for their urge to hallucinate with a bad trip. In addition, the outcome can be fatal.

Naming

The Latin name of datura is Datura stramonium . In Dutch this plant is also called Dolappel, Mollekruid, Wonderboom and Duvelkruut. Datura means ‘anaesthetic’ in Latin. This of course refers to the functioning of the plant. the meaning of stramonium is not entirely clear. The Dutch names all refer to the hallucinogenic effect. However, that doesn’t mean the plant can be used for that purpose; on the contrary. The hallucinations are never positive and there is a high risk of memory loss, coma and to a lesser extent even death.

Datura in history

Datura asthma cigarettes were used in the past, especially in India when it was an English colony. The cigarettes were rolled with asthma paper made from datura leaves. Unfortunately, someone has fallen prey to poisoning several times. The plant contains, among other things, atropine and hyoscyamine, but in different concentrations in each season. That is why it can happen that one time you notice little and the next time you receive a lethal dose. The gypsies used magic and used, among other things, datura for that purpose. Sun priests in the Andes used the datura and were therefore in direct contact with the other world. The Indians and the sun priests probably knew exactly when you could and could not use the datura and it was not a danger to them.

Active substances

Only the leaf is used for medicinal purposes. The main active substances for datura are hyoscyamine and scopolamine and trace amounts of atropine.

Danger of medicinal efficacy datura

Datura is one of the medicinal plants that have fallen into disuse. Only a few herbalists prescribe datura. This is because the therapeutic amount used is very close to the toxic value. If someone still wants to use it, this should only be done on the prescription of a recognized doctor.

Datura for the digestive organs

First of all, it can be stated that there are safe, natural alternatives for almost every condition for which datura can be used. Datura has sedative and calming properties in minute concentrations. Cramps are also prevented by this plant. It is mainly applied to cramps in the abdominal area. In the past it was mainly used in phytotherapy, but there are still some physiotherapists who use it for the following indications:

  • abdominal cramps,
  • Flower datura / Source: Júlio Reis, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

gastralgias or stomach pain,

  • Bile and hepatic colic,
  • renal colic,
  • Cramps associated with enteritis or intestinal inflammation,
  • Cystitis,
  • Inflammation of the uterus.

Because datura does not cause habituation, some doctors prefer it to opium preparations.

Datura for the respiratory tract

The antispasmodic effect of datura is not only good for the digestive organs but also for the respiratory tract. It is used for all kinds of throat and lung disorders, but here too it must be said that there are safe alternative natural medicines available. Datura can be used in phytotherapy for:

The datura has no pulp but only seeds. / Source: Nova, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-3.0)

  • Asthma,
  • Spastic cough,
  • Whooping cough,
  • Chronic laryngeal inflammation.

Some doctors give a drug based on datura to patients with Parkinson’s because the trembling and stiffness of the limbs decreases.

Safety datura

The safe dose is in milligrams and can therefore only be measured with a precision scale.

  • 50 to 100 milligrams per time, a maximum of 200mg per time and a maximum of 600 mg per day.
  • 200 mg tincture to 1 gram of tincture at a time and a maximum of three grams of tincture per day.
  • It is urgent advice that, if it is necessary to use datura as a medicine, to only use standardized preparations prescribed by a doctor. The seeds are deadly, especially for children. All dangers that apply to belladonna also apply to datura.