The (Safe) Uses of Jimson Weed (Datura wrightii, D. stramonium, etc.)

I have the occasional asthma attack. I usually dont have any clue before-hand that I will have major trouble breathing. Sometimes I have drunk an unfamiliar type of beer, other times, I have exorcised in a place with the wrong thing blooming. For just such an occasion, I keep some leaf of Foxes Glove, more commonly known as Jimsonweed or Datura, (and not to be confused with the very different Foxglove) in my wallet, along with some matches. While large doses of the medicinally active principles can cause hallucinations, dehydration and death, the amount taken in the lungs when smoking is not on the same order of magnitude. Usually, one, sometimes two or three inhalations of the smoke, either with a pipe or free air is enough to relax the bronchial tubes, regardless of cause (unless they are coated on the inside with something). The dried leaf burns for a short time and goes out, so hold the flame to it until just before inhaling or while inhaling. The primary action is general tissue relaxant and I have used crushed, fresh leaf to reduce swelling and pain from bee sting and swelling from allergic reaction to mosquito bites. My uses closely parallel certain native American tribes’ uses and that found in medieval English herberia manuscripts. I can site sources if any are interested.

I wonder how well that works as a vasodilator… could be a cool natural replacement for nitro for heart attack victims or angina sufferers if it can do the job.

If you wanted vaso-dilating properties you would want the active terpine alcaloids (I believe thats the technical term) to be in contact with the entire blood stream. A tea might work, but that is a difficult method to dose correctly, as the potency of the plant varies according to moon phase, season, night or day, part of plant and individual plant. If you become familiar with one part (like leaves, open blossoms, root (possibly most potent part), or seeds) of one Datura sp. plant, you might be able to gauge dose for that kind of thing. Concievably, you could do an alcohol or other type of extraction to get the active principles and be able to know the dose easier. My local kind of Datura is called the ‘sacred thorn apple’ because the tribes in my area used a root tea of it for adulthood rituals and to talk with the dead. Many tribes around the world have used this genus of plants and more distantly related plants with the same or similar chemicals for nearly the same things, including in most of europe and at least some parts of western and eastern asia. WARNING: DUE TO THE UNPREDICTABLE DOSE, MANY HAVE OVERDOSED (DIED)