nightshade brains on Flickr.
Datura seeds in a half-dry pod
This plant is so cool! Datura stramonium, also known as Datura, Jimson Weed, Thornapple, Devil’s Apple, Devil’s Trumpet, or Mad-apple, is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat asthma symptoms and as an analgesic. The plant is also a powerful hallucinogen and can be fatally toxic if ingested above medicinal dosage.
I want to note that Datura can act as a powerful deliriant, not a “regular” hallucinogen. Hallucinogenic experience can be considered an augmentation or distortion of reality that a person (more or less) navigates with conscious awareness. Deliriants can remove reality and conscious awareness from the equation completely.
I’m of the opinion that no one should ever ingest any part of Datura with the intention to get high or see pretty color trails. If the alkaloids contained within these plants don’t end up killing the person that ingests them, then she or he stands to have to endure intense cognitive dissociations, highly increased heart rate, fluctuation in body temperature and compromised circulatory function, possible organ and/or brain damage, painful sensitivity to light owing to acute dilation of pupils, and perhaps amnesia… all of which can last for three or four days, with other side effects lasting for weeks (source 1, source 2; there are many more if you check).
Daturas are my favorite group of plants, and I’m very familiar with their use (along with other nightshades) in magic, shamanism and witchcraft. But the only intoxication I recommend with them is a deep whiff of their newly opened flowers.