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c. 5th Century BCE Legend has it that when the Buddha preaches, dew or raindrops fall from the heaven onto Datura plants. 1  
c. 301 BCE Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle, writes about the hallucinogenic effects of Datura stramonium. The text contains one of the earliest references to the concept of tolerance to a drug. 2  
circa 40-70 CE Datura as "thorn apple" included in Greek De Materia Medica (Περὶ ὕλης ἰατρικῆς) by Pedanius Dioscorides, describing its intoxicating properties. 3   [Details]
c. 4th-6th Century CE The Kamasutra of Vātsyāyana includes at least two references to datura. One reference instructs a man to annoint his penis with honey infused with datura before sexual intercourse, to make his partner "subject to his will". 4  
c. 8th Century The Buddhist scripture Guhyasamāja Tantra instructs in the ritual use of datura. 5   [Details]
c. 10th Century The Buddhist scripture Vajramahabhairava Tantra refers to Datura metel several times. 6  
11th - 12th century Datura is associated with the worship of Shiva, the Indian god associated with the creative and destructive aspects of the universe. 1  
11th Century Arabian doctor Avicenna reported on Datura metel under then name 'Jouzmathal ('metel nut'). This report was later repeated in Dioscorides's writings. 1  
1543 Leonard Fuchs includes a drawing of Datura stramonium in his herbal. 1  
1578 Datura is used as an aphrodisiac in the East Indies. 1  
1676 A group of soldiers in Jamestown, Virginia ingest boiled datura and become delirious for days. 7   [Details]
Apr 18, 1961 Datura as "Jimson weed" used as poison in popular TV series, "The Rifleman". 8   [Details] [More Info]
1967 Asthmador, a smokeable product containing Datura stramonium, belladonna, and potassium perchloride was sold as an asthma remedy. 9   [More Info]
1968 Datura over-the-counter remedies for asthma are banned after people begin using them recreationally   
1968 Carlos Castaneda gives a fictionalized account of the use of datura in his best-selling book The Teachings of Don Juan. 10  
Oct 24, 1968 In response to reports of the recreational use of medications containing Datura stramonium, the FDA adopted a policy that preparations of D. stramonium that are labelled with directions for use in self-medication will be considered "misbranded", a federal crime. 11   [Details]
Jul 23-27, 2006 Solanaceae - Genomics Meets Biodiversity    [Details] [More Info]

  1.   Schultes RE, Hofmann A. Plants of the Gods. Inner Traditions, 1992.
  2.   Theophrastus. Historia Plantarum. c. 201 BCE.
  3.   Dioscorides P. "De Materia Medica / Περὶ ὕλης ἰατρικῆς". aybe Book IIII:75.
  4.   Vātsyāyana. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. trans. Richard Burton. Modern Library. 2002. p 181.
  5.   Fremantle F. A Critical Study of the Guhyasamāja. Doctoral Dissertation, University of London. 1971. p 103.
  6.   Siklós B. "Datura Rituals in the Vajramahabhairava-tantra". Curare. 1993;16(2):71-76.
  7.   Beverly R. The History and Present State of Virginia, In Four Parts. 1705. Part II, pg. 24.
  8.   The Rifleman. The Mescalero Curse. Season 3, Episode 30. 18 Apr 1961.
  9.   Keeler MH, Kane FJ. "The Use of Hyoscyamine as a Hallucinogen and Intoxicant". American J Psychiatry. Dec 6, 1967;124:852-854.
  10.   Castaneda C. The Teachings of Don Juan. Univ. of California Press, Simon & Schuster. 1968.
  11.   Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Microgram. Jun 1969;2(2):55.