The dangerous Beauty

“1 part thorn apple and 8 parts tobacco are smoked against asthmatic spasms.  5 – 15 drops of the tincture seminum stramonii are applied in cases of nymphomania and Satyriasis. If applied to the skin it eases pain.”

” The leafs are cooling against burns and inflammations and the seed is relaxant and narcotic.”

Elisabeth Blackwell  (1821 – 1910)

The genus name is derived from ancient Hindu dhatura, meaning “plant”.  Oriental datura species were brought to Europe by the gypsies. Thorn-apple has been used in ceremonies for contacting the spirit world and in rites of passage.

In Europe the common thorn-apple is associated with witchcraft, flying ointments and hex rituals. The seeds  have been added to beer as a narcotic. Gypsies knew the thorn-apple well: they use(d) the seed in ritual to banish and attract ghosts. In the night of the 30th of November the seeds were placed outdoors and the next day thrown into a fire. If the seeds cracked loudly, the winter would be hard and dry. For divination gypsies placed 9-21 seeds on a marked animal skin and beat upon it, so that the seeds moved and, depending on the position – on or between the marked lines – a sick person could be cured or was damned.





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