Botanical Database

  • Plant Family: Nightshades (Solanaceae)
  • Origin: our own belladonna grown in-house or sustainably wild harvested belladonna from Bulgaria and the Ukraine.
  • Medicinal Constituents: atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolomine.
  • Medicinal Actions: analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, anticholinergic, antisialagogue, and hypnotic-sedative.
  • Toxicity: Toxic. Do not ingest except for flower essences. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep away from children. Consult a physician or pharmacist before ointment use if taking any medications.
  • Medicinal Preparations:

Belladonna Folklore:

Belladonna is many things: a deadly poison, a potent medicine, a sacred plant since prehistory, a plot device in ancient and modern literature, and the ultimate witches’ herb. It is so beloved of the Devil, it’s said he only leaves it unattended on May Eve while he is busy being worshipped at the witches’ sabbath. Of the witches’ flying ointment recipes surviving today, almost all of them contain belladonna and it is usually the main active ingredient. Belladonna is a dream herb par excellence. Apply a belladonna ointment 1-3 hours before bed to use for dream work.

Ancient Greek mythology and literature ties belladonna to famous witches like Circe and Medea who learned about it from the titans Hekate and Prometheus. The whole Atropa genus is named for Atropos, one of the primodial “Three Fates” who are the dark children of Nyx (night) along with sleep (Hypnos), dream (Oneiros), death (Thanatos) and others. Atropos is the one who cuts the individual threads of life that leads to all our deaths. Though belladonna is named for Atropos, in mythology poisons like it were birthed by Hekate and knowledge of their use was taught by her. It is often connected to pagan initiation ceremonies and rites of passage much like its fellow poisonous nightshades.

Belladonna also has associations with the ancient ecstatic cults of Artemis and Dionysus, the planet and deity Saturn, death, necromancy, the underworld, and the ancestors. Belladonna ointment can be used in reverential ceremonies to connect with ancestors and underworld deities, but can just as accurately be used for intoxicant-fueled debaucherous ecstatic rituals in honour of the gods of madness and chaos (beware of maenads).

In European folk magic belladonna is often treated as an elf of fairy and live plants were petitioned to grant wishes like a genii. Depending on the region it is usually approached by women and asked for prosperity, aid with a problem, or, more commonly, to make the petitioner more sexually attractive so they can rope in some suitors. If you try this just be careful not to fall for belladonna’s woodland siren song of sweet, juicy berries as they will kill you (that’s how the seeds germinate).

In modern folk magic belladonna can help with purification in the form of cutting harmful and unwanted people, habits, and emotions out of your life and protect you from letting them back in. Borrow Atropos’ scissors and Marie Kondo the crap out of your life.

  • Plant Family: Nightshades (Solanaceae)
  • Origin: our own ethically wild harvested bittersweet nightshade.
  • Toxicity: Toxic. For external use only. Do not ingest except for flower essences.
  • Medicinal Preparations: Bittersweet Nightshade Flower Essence
  • Plant Family: Nightshades (Solanaceae)
  • Origin: our own ethically wild harvested black nightshade.
  • Toxicity: Toxic. Do not ingest except for flower essences.
  • Medicinal Preparations: Black Nighshade Flower Essence
  • Plant Family: Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)
  • Origin: our own in-house bleeding heart plants.
  • Medicinal Constituents: isoquinoline alkaloids
  • Medicinal Actions: analgesic, nervine
  • Toxicity: Toxic. Do not ingest except for flower essences.
  • Medicinal Preparations: Bleeding Heart Flower Essence
  • Plant Family: Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)
  • Origin: our own in-house bloodroot plants.
  • Medicinal Constituents: isoquinoline alkaloids
  • Medicinal Actions: antimicrobial, cytotoxic
  • Toxicity: Toxic. Do not ingest. Deemed unsafe for topical application as it can cause skin necrosis, tissue damage, and disfiguring scarring. Do not ingest except for flower essences
  • Medicinal Preparations: Bloodroot Flower Essence
  • Plant Family: Iris Family (Iridaceae)
  • Origin: our own ethically wild harvested blue flag
  • Medicinal Constituents: iridin
  • Medicinal Actions: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, emetic, purgative, sialagogue
  • Toxicity: Toxic. For external use only. Do not ingest except for flower essences.
  • Medicinal Preparations: Blue Flag Flower Essence
  • Plant Family: Nightshades (Solanaceae)
  • Origin: our own datura grown in-house
  • Medicinal Constituents: atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolomine.
  • Medicinal Actions: analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, anticholinergic, antisialagogue, and hypnotic-sedative.
  • Toxicity: Toxic. Do not ingest without a prescription from a healthcare practitioner except for homeopathic products. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep away from children. Consult a physician or pharmacist before ointment use if taking any medications.
  • Medicinal Preparations:

Datura Folklore:

Datura species grow wild all over the world in both hemispheres from the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Africa to North and Central America and have a vast history of use and body of mythology requiring a book rather than a simple product listing. The Datura inoxia used in this ointment originates from Central America and its native range is from Mexico and Texas to Arizona, Nevada, and southern Califiornia. It is revered by the local tribes as a sacred plant with the status of a deity or medicine man. It is called “toloache” which means the nod of respect one gives to show reverence.

Some tribes are documented by ethnographers as describing datura inoxia’s spirit as a powerful old grandmother associated with deer and others see it as a more masculine trickster spirit tied closely to coyote. Either way what they have in common are folk tales that liken them to fairy tale witches in the woods in that datura can both harm or heal those who seek them out (but datura inoxia is more like a beautiful fairy-witch of the southwest desert with a powerful siren song of intoxicatingly sweet-smelling flowers).

Where datura inoxia grows, the people use it for medicine but also for many important rituals like rites of passage, purification rituals, and addressing the ancestors during times of community crisis. It is also curiously used in folk magic for uncrossing and reversing curses as well as purifying oneself after breaking a taboo or causing harm.

Datura is a potent magical herb of protection with the sharp, wicked spikes sheltering its precious but poisonous seeds. It is very connected with the underworld and the dead. Datura can be used to better commune with spirits and the ancestors but it can alternately be used to banish spirits and protect from malicious ones. Many ancient cultures, including the Greeks and Egyptians, used ointments to align themselves with the divine. Use the ointment to purify yourself before rituals and communing with ancestors, nature spirits or deities.

Datura is a very ancient and potent divination and dream herb. Datura inoxia was used in Chumash dream rituals – a form of divination where one would ask a question under the influence of datura and then dream the answer. Datura and belladonna ointments are the ones we recommend most for dream work and lucid dreaming.

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