datura hallucination

datura hallucination
   Datura is known under many names, including apple-Peru, angel's trumpet, devil's trumpet, devil's weed, devil's cucumber, hell's bells, jim-sonweed, pricklyburr, toloache, and thornapple. Etymologically, the Latin name datura is thought to stem from the Hindi or Old Indian name dhattura, which means thornapple. It covers a genus of some 11 species of vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae.The term datura hallucination is used to denote a variety of hallucinatory phenomena mediated by the use of preparates from species such as Datura stramonium, Datura discolor,andDatura wrightii. These species contain the powerful tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscine (i.e. scopolamine), and hyoscyamine. They have been used since ancient timesasan" entheogen, an aphrodisiac, a therapeutic, an anaesthetic, and a poison. Today a person intentionally employing datura for the purpose of exploring the psyche may be called a " psychonaut. Using the criterion of psychoactive potential as a guiding principle, datura is usually classified as a "deliriant. As to its effects, the German anthropologist and ethnopharma-cologist Christian Rätsch (b. 1957) maintains that "The Indian division into three stages has particular relevance here: A mild dosage produces medicinal and healing effects, a moderate dosage produces aphrodisiac effects, and high dosages are used for shamanic purposes." The symptoms of datura intoxication are quite similar to those of atropine intoxication. They include mydria-sis, blurred vision, tachycardia, vertigo, a sense of suffocation, an extremely dry throat, constipation, urinary retention, "illusions, hallucinations, "delirium, sopor, and ultimately respiratory failure, coma, and death. Pathophysiologically, these symptoms are attributed to the inhibition of the action of acetylcholine at the acetylcholine receptor in the nerve synapse, thereby blocking the physiological function of the parasym-pathetic nervous system. Today datura is occasionally used for recreational purposes, at considerable risk of accidental overdosing. It is either smoked, ingested raw or consumed in the form of a tea. In all cases, datura is reputed to mediate vivid "visual or "compound hallucinations. The content of these hallucinations is described as either metaphysical, or quite banal. The Canadian anthropologist and ethnobotanist Edmund Wade Davis (b. 1953) lists datura as one of the possible ingredients of a potion believed to evoke an extreme form of "twilight state, called zombi-fication.
   Davis, W. (1985). The serpent and the rainbow. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
   La Barre, W. (1975). Anthropological perspectives on hallucination and hallucinogens.In: Hallucinations. Behavior, experience, and theory. Edited by Siegel, R.K., West, L.J. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
   Rätsch, Chr. (2005). The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants. Ethnopharmacology and its applications. Translated by Baker, J.R. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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