Devil’s Weed- Datura, A Witch’s Herb

My mother and I went on a walk and found Datura Stramonium growing wild on the side of the road. What a lucky find for a Witch!

Datura is part of my much beloved Nightshade family, the Solanaceae and forms part of what are known as Cursing Herbs. Datura Stramonium is also known as Jimsonweed, Thorn apple, Witch’s Thimble and Ghost Flower, here in South Africa they are called Malpitte (Mad seeds).

Datura Stramonium is extremely poisonous and should be handled with care like all poisonous plants. Like its cousins, Datura is ruled by Saturn and is a veritable Witch’s weed along with Mandrake, Belladonna and Henbane, and also sometimes included in Flying ointments for its psychotropic effects.

According to Cunningham’s encyclopedia of Magical herbs it is used in Hex Breaking, sleep and protection. p 100

Datura has been used necromantically in order to see ghosts, and can be included in concoctions for that purpose. I do not recommend Datura for consumption as doses of atropine, hyoscyamine and Scopolomine are so varied within plant matter.

Datura is also linked in folklore to shape-shifting and can form part of therianthropic ointments. As a love  potion, datura is intoxicating and deadly, and can evoke the seductive powers of the Siren.

Datura has been used in the past to induce visionary states, as it is a hallucinogen. As it is so poisonous, death can result if proper precaution isn’t taken. My stepfather’s  mother once worked on the police force and had been called down when children had gotten hold of the fruit. The children were off their heads with delirium.

“Datura intoxication typically produces a complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy (delirium, as contrasted to hallucination); hyperthermia;tachycardia; bizarre, and possibly violent behavior; and severe mydriasis with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days. Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect. The antidote of choice for overdose or poisoning is physostigmine.Wikipedia*

No wonder with these effects Datura is called “Malpitte” down here.

This plant has been used in sacred ceremonies in Native American and Asian cultures. This plant can be dedicated to Hekate as an offering.

Christopher Penczack, states that all Datura have a “[W]itchy, dark goddess quality to them” p334.

Works Cited:

Scott Cunningham -Cunninghams Encyclopedia  of Magical Herbs 1985

Christopher Penzcack- The Temple of shamanic Witchcraft 2005

Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_stramonium, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura

For more information:

How to Grow Daturas

Datura

Datura: Herbcyclopedia

Daturas and Brugmansias

In the Witch’s Garden: Hells Bells and the Zombie Drug

All blog content is copyright of Nightshade 2012 author of http://www.thepurplebroom.wordpress.com unless otherwise stated

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2 thoughts on “Devil’s Weed- Datura, A Witch’s Herb

  1. Pingback: Datura study | articulatedwhimsy

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