WEED datura stramonium|
Jamestown weed, Datura, Giant
When Europeans came to the Colony of
Virginia, they found a weed with pretty white/purple flowers on a thorny
stalk that had a large brown seed pod. The local Indian medicine men
knew of the powers of this very dangerous plant that grows in waste
locations throughout the southern United States. The Indians used the
leaves as a smoke for asthma and other breathing problems. If taken
incorrectly, this herb can cause severe neurological damage. The East
Indian "Bidis" cigarette contains a small amount of datura.
Even skin contact with flowers, and especially seeds can cause dangerous
neurological disorders and powerful hallucinations. This plant is the
source of the "witches" of the colonies who touched the seeds
or smoked the leaves and thought they had been flying on their brooms
(those who survived the experience to tell of it).