Psychoactive plants are all around us. You can even find some psychoactive plants in your garden. There are a few plants, however, that are both psychoactive, and extremely toxic. Many people believe that these plants are the strongest natural psychedelics, but that's only because of the delirium they cause, which is almost always considered to be unpleasant. Here are three of the most toxic psychedelic plants.
Datura belongs to the Solanaceae family, and it's commonly referred to as devil's trumpet. Datura is extremely toxic, and it has a long history of use. Datura is part of the "witches' weeds", which they used for causing delirious states and even death. Almost all the parts of the plant are considered to be toxic, but their seeds and flowers contain the highest amount of toxins. The amount of toxins in datura depends on the age of the plant, where it is growing, and how the local weather conditions are. All of these variations play a big part in how toxic the plant is, and that makes datura very dangerous when it's used as a drug.
Datura's active ingredients include scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine, which is very similar to henbane's ingredients. In traditional times, knowledge about datura was crucial to minimize harm. There has been many deaths caused by datura from people who intentionally ingested it. Datura's psychedelic effects include delirium, hyperthermia, tachycardia, bizarre, and possibly violent behavior, and amnesia. Many people claim that their experiences were extremely unpleasant, but their is some indigenous groups that use the plant for spiritual purposes.
Hyoscyamus niger is also known as henbane, and it is known for being highly toxic. Research suggests that henbane's name originated around AD 1265, and that "hen" most likely meant death. There's also some speculation that henbane's name may have meant "crazy plant". Henbane was used in combination with other plants, such as mandrake. It was primarily used by "witches" in their "magic brews" to cause visual hallucinations and the sensation of flight. It was mostly used in Europe, Asia, and in the Arab world.
The main psychoactive ingredients are hyoscyamine and scopolamine. The immediate effects when henbane is consumed are peripheral inhibition and central stimulation. Henbane's effects last up to 4 hours, and aftereffects can last up to 3 days. The most common effects are hallucinations, restlessness and dilated pupils. Dosages are hard to measure accurately, and therefore it's easy to overdose on henbane, which will cause delirium, respiratory paralysis, and death. Low dosages may only cause inebriation and aphrodisiac effects. Henbane is toxic to most animals, but pigs are immune to its toxicity, and it has been reported that they enjoy the effects caused by henbane.
Atropa belladonna is better known as belladonna or deadly nightshade. Belladonna, just like datura and henbane, is part of the Solanaceae family. It's most commonly found in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, but it can also be found in Canada and the United States. Belladonna has been used for thousands of years as a medicine and poison. Today belladonna is primarily used in the medical world as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. It has also been used as an anesthetic before the Middle Ages. Belladonna means "beautiful woman". Women used eye-drops made from belladonna to dilate their pupils that would then make them appear more seductive.
It should be noted that belladonna is considered to be one of the most toxic plants. Toxins can be found in all of the plant, but the berries pose the greatest threat, since they look attractive, and they have a sweet taste. In modern times people use belladonna for recreational purposes. The average dose is around five berries. The effects of belladonna include sensitivity to light, blurred vision, loss of balance, headaches, dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, confusion, hallucinations, and delirium. The delirium state can be dangerous, since users normally can't distinguish hallucinations from reality. While belladonna is extremely toxic when orally consumed, it is actually not that dangerous to smoke it. Research suggests that smoked belladonna produces a pleasant psychoactive effect.
There are many more plants that are both toxic, and psychedelic, but these are my top 3. I've mentioned in my other articles that plants can be extremely potent, even more potent than synthetic drugs, and I still strongly believe that. Never underestimate any part of nature.