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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Datura Revisited - Scopolamine and Brugmansia.

A while back, this blog covered a genus of plants called Datura. All Datura species are highly poisonous in every single part. It's related to nightshade and...tomatoes. Yeah, be very afraid of tomatoes.

Datura was also mentioned in a book called The Serpent and the Rainbow. The Serpent and the Rainbow centered around the creation of zombies through drug use. Datura was one of those substances. Recent investigation suggests that Datura may be all that is needed to create a zombie mind slave.
Datura is closely related to the trees mentioned above. The video is slightly incorrect in that the plant in question is in Brugmansia, not Datura. The plant is so feared in Columbia that children are discouraged from sleeping under it. Apparently the plant can also be found in New Zealand, where people just plain don't touch it because of the horror stories. Yeeep.

Scopolamine, the active chemical in Brugmansia, is notorious amongst conspiracy theorists. The Czech police, and supposedly the U.S. government as well, have used it as a truth serum of sorts. However, this may not have been the best idea; the victim, while suggestible, is still tripping. In theory, they could answer "how many fingers am I holding up?" wrong.  Greeeat truth serum, guys.



Now, as per Wikipedia, scopolamine can be used for things besides carrying out crimes using another person's body. It is mostly used for treating things like motion sickness and seasickness. Some people do use it for tripping, but by no means is it a regular thing. Most people stick with the dozens of other drugs available in those parts.

As I noticed, though, the data in the video is slightly off. The interviews seem legit, so it's probably not the drug dealers' fault that they got the genera mixed up. A drug that inhibits free will like that sounds unbelievable, but since when has anything been impossible in this world? Who knows? Truth might be stranger than fiction this time around.

7 comments:

  1. I found some Datura growing wild when lived in the desert. Tried transplanting it to my garden. It's probably a good thing it didn't work.

    North Korea was not without interest, but I'd like a link to the other video you mentioned.

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    1. OK, NOW it works. I didn't realize I was linking all of Vice's playlist- sorry about that!

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  2. Whoops, linked to the wrong one! Good catch.

    And Datura? Was it at all woody?

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    1. No, it looked more like a Morning Glory on steroids.

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    2. After checking Wiki I'd guess it was Datura wrightii. I was in the northern Mojave Dessert.

      Thanks for the new link.

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  3. I have a Brugmansia "Temple Goddess" in my living room. It has a flower on it (first time for me) and the fragrance is AMAZING!!! It smells like a blend of lemon chiffon, vanilla wafers and stargazer lily. :)

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  4. I have two big datura plants in my yard. You do have to take care with it. Touch it and then rub your eyes, and they can be dilated for up to three days. As for its other reputed qualities, I have no idea. I wash my hands after touching it, always.

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