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Angel's trumpet (Brugmansia and Datura species)

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Also listed as: Brugmansia, Datura
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Alkaloid, alkaloids, Andes datura, angel's-tears, angel's trumpet tea, anticholinergic, apple-peru, Atlinan (Aztec), atropine, baumartige Engelstrompete (Dutch), borrachero, Brugmansia, Brugmansia arborea, Brugmansia aurea, Brugmansia candida, Brugmansia sanguinea, Brugmansia suaveolens, Brugmansia versicolor, campana (Spanish), chamico, concombre-zombi (Caribbean French), Datura candida, Datura condida, Datura cornigera, Datura fastuosa, Datura ferox, Daturainnoxia, Datura meteloides, Datura metel, Daturatatula, Datura, Datura arborea, Datura inoxia, Datura stramonium, Datura suaveolens, Datura wrightii, devil's cucumber, devil's trumpet, devil's weed, dhatura (Hindi), downy thornapple, floripondio (Spanish), golden angel's trumpet, herbe aux sorciers (Caribbean French), hyoscine, hyoscyamine, Iresine herbstii (Amaranthaceae), jimson weed, jimsonweed, kubijara, Lagerheim, maikoa, man-t'o-lo (Chinese), orange angel's trumpet, pricklyburr, red angel's trumpet, red floripontio, San Pedro cactus, scopolamine, serotonin, shredded white, Solanaceae (family), toloache (Aztec), tree datura, thornapple, trumpet lilies, weissliche Engelstrompete (German), white angel's trumpet.

Background
  • Angel's trumpet is a common name for two closely related genera in the family Solanaceae: Brugmansia, comprising woody plants with pendulous flowers and Datura, comprising herbaceous plants with erect flowers. Some species formerly included in Datura are now classified in the separate genus Brugmansia.
  • Angel's trumpet has a long history of use in native Central and South American cultures. There is archaeological evidence of the use of this herb for medicinal purposes in pre-Colombian times in northern Peru as far back as 1500 B.C. Use of angel's trumpet continues into contemporary times as Andean shamans ritually use the herb in healing rites and in order to diagnose disease.
  • Parts of the angel's trumpet contain the poisonous belladonna alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. In the 1990s and 2000s, the U.S. media reported stories of adolescents and young adults dying or becoming seriously ill from intentionally ingesting angel's trumpet. Because of the high potential for overdose and accounts indicating the rising rates of this herb as a hallucinogen by teenagers in the United States, medicinal uses are often discouraged. Angel's trumpet is considered poisonous and it is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Poisonous Plants List.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Anesthesia, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, arthritis, asthma, autonomic dysfunction, bone fractures, bruises, curative, euphoric, hallucinations, hemorrhoids, improved mental clarity, musculoskeletal injuries (feet), narcotic, pain, psychoactive, rheumatic diseases, sedation, skin conditions (pustules), swelling, ulcers, wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • Based on cases of poisoning and potential dangerous constituents, angel's trumpet is not recommended. Traditionally, angel's trumpet has been used as an enema, tea, or inhalant to induce visions.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • Based on cases of poisoning and potentially dangerous constituents, angel's trumpet is not recommended for children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with known allergy/hypersensitivity to angel's trumpet, its constituents (atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine), or Datura or Brugmansia species.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Parts of the angel's trumpet contain the poisonous belladonna alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Angel's trumpet is considered poisonous, and it is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Poisonous Plants List. Because of the high risk for overdose and reports of increasing rates of this herb as a hallucinogen by teenagers in the United States, medicinal uses are often discouraged.
  • Fever, flushing, intense thirst, disorientation, hyperactivity, ataxia, delirium, motor restlessness, over-talkativeness, convulsive sobbing, sexual excitement, changes in blood pressure, dry skin, vomiting, acute anticholinergic syndrome, excessive muscular tone, muscular weakness, muscular paralysis, clonus, disorientation, incoherent thought, fever, tangential thinking, illusions, seizures, convulsions, coma, alternating levels of consciousness, and audio-visual disassociation, mydriasis, anisocoria, anxiety, amnesia, psychosis, respiratory distress and weakness, constipation, delayed gastric emptying, suppression of gastrointestinal motility, decreased lower esophageal pressure, increase ocular tension in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma, increased urinary retention, and aggressive and autoaggressive behavior, have been reported after ingestion.
  • Angel's trumpet may worsen obstructive gastrointestinal tract diseases (including atony, paralytic ileus, and stenosis).
  • Angel's trumpet may cause increased heartbeat (tachycardia) and worsen congestive heart failure.
  • Avoid in individuals with toxic megacolon, as angel's trumpet might worsen the condition by suppressing intestinal motility.
  • Individuals with Down syndrome may be hypersensitive to the antimuscarinic effects of angel's trumpet.
  • Angel's trumpet may increase the risk of hypothermia in patients with fever.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Based on case reports and epidemiological study, the entire plant is considered poisonous and is unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Angel's trumpet may have additive effects when taken with alcohol, anticholinergic agents (such as amantadine, atropine, belladonna alkaloids, phenothiazines, scopolamine, and tricyclic antidepressants), anesthesia, and anticoagulants.
  • Angel's trumpet may also interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, blood pressure-lowering agents, antipsychotic agents, salicylic acid (aspirin), and opiates.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Angel's trumpet may have additive effects when taken with alcohol, anticholinergic agents (such as amantadine, atropine, belladonna, phenothiazines, scopolamine, and tricyclic antidepressants), anesthesia, and anticoagulants.
  • Angel's trumpet may also interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, blood pressure-lowering agents, antipsychotic agents, willow bark, and opiates/poppy.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Carod-Artal, FJ and Vazquez-Cabrera, CB. [Mescaline and the San Pedro cactus ritual: archaeological and ethnographic evidence in northern Peru]. Rev Neurol 4-16-2006;42(8):489-498.
  2. De, Feo, V. Ethnomedical field study in northern Peruvian Andes with particular reference to divination practices. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;85(2-3):243-256.
  3. Francis, PD and Clarke, CF. Angel trumpet lily poisoning in five adolescents: clinical findings and management. J Paediatr Child Health 1999;35(1):93-95.
  4. Gopel, C, Laufer, C, and Marcus, A. Three cases of angel's trumpet tea-induced psychosis in adolescent substance abusers. Nord.J.Psychiatry 2002;56(1):49-52.
  5. Hall, RC, Popkin, MK, and McHenry, LE. Angel's Trumpet psychosis: a central nervous system anticholinergic syndrome. Am J Psychiatry 1977;134(3):312-314.
  6. Havelius, U and Asman, P. Accidental mydriasis from exposure to Angel's trumpet (Datura suaveolens). Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2002;80(3):332-335.
  7. Isbister, GK, Oakley, P, Dawson, AH, et al. Presumed Angel's trumpet (Brugmansia) poisoning: clinical effects and epidemiology. Emerg Med (Fremantle.) 2003;15(4):376-382.
  8. Marneros, A, Gutmann, P, and Uhlmann, F. Self-amputation of penis and tongue after use of Angel's Trumpet. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2006;256(7):458-459.
  9. McHenry, LE and Hall, RC. Angel's trumpet. Lethal and psychogenic aspects. J Fla Med Assoc 1978;65(3):192-196.
  10. Mobus, U, Demmler, G, and Schulz, K. [Accidental drowning due to tropane alkaloid abuse]. Arch Kriminol 2002;210(1-2):16-21.
  11. Nencini, C, Cavallo, F, Bruni, G, et al. Affinity of Iresine herbstii and Brugmansia arborea extracts on different cerebral receptors. J Ethnopharmacol 5-24-2006;105(3):352-357.
  12. Niess, C, Schnabel, A, and Kauert, G. [Angel trumpet: a poisonous garden plant as a new addictive drug?]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 12-3-1999;124(48):1444-1447.
  13. Paetzold, W, Schneider, U, Emrich, HM, et al. [Angel trumpets: case report of drug-induced psychosis caused by Brugmansia insigniis]. Psychiatr Prax 1999;26(3):147-148.
  14. Van, der Donck, I, Mulliez, E, and Blanckaert, J. Angel's trumpet (Brugmansia arborea) and mydriasis in a child--a case report. Bull Soc Belge Ophtalmol 2004;(292):53-56.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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