La Yierba del Diablo...
Citation: wish I had never.... "La Yierba del Diablo...: An Experience with Brugmansia (exp2305)". Erowid.org. Oct 9, 2000. erowid.org/exp/2305
I had read about datura in Carlos Castaneda's book, 'The Teachings of Don Juan' and could not believe that the plant was hallucinogenic. At the time I was very naive and had no experience with drugs of any kind (still don't) and almost killed myself that way. I broke a whole branch off a tree datura (Brugmansia) tree and took it home where I made a little salad out of it, chopped the leaves, mixed with some olive oil and started eating it. The taste was awful, very bitter, thankfully I only had 2 or 3 mouthfulls and then sat down and started reading the Sunday paper.
About 20-30 minutes later, I started seeing the whole room in red color, as if I was looking through a sheet of red plastic. I tried to focus on the Sunday paper's classified and much to my horror, all the news were dated of the late 1800s and were about slaves being sold, traded, etc. The paper looked very authentic, sepia tone and all and no pictures like modern papers have. Then I turned the page and saw one picture of a female slave (whom I somehow knew was myself) attached to a torture pole being whipped and bleeding. When I tried to focus on the picture, the slave turned her head and looked at me. I freaked out and left the apt and took a taxi to my grandmother's house. She sent for my oldest uncle, who was a shaman (this happened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) but he wasn't home and I just returned home by myself.
That night they took me back to see my uncle and he didn't find anything unusual with me because I never mentioned I had eaten the leaves of Brugmansia. So I went back home and laid down in bed next to my husband and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, probably about 1AM, I wake up and turn around and instead of my husband, I find his skeleton lying down next to me. I screamed at the top of my lungs and woke up my parents (we were spending the night at their place) and would not stop screaming until they came and told my husband to leave the room. From that night on, I could not look at my husband without seeing him envolved in red color and somehow I felt like he had a demonic presence in him and I would always scream until someone would come and take him out of the room.
The next day my parents took me to a doctor who happened to be a Japanese neurologist who was famous for dealing with teenagers and young people having psychological problems. I don't know what he prescribed but I remember reading the labels and telling my parents that I was not going to take that stuff because it was probably too strong for me. They insisted, though, because it had been prescribed by a doctor and it was supposed to stop my wandering around. Still to this day I do not know what was prescribed to me but I got 100% worse and ended up in a psychiatric hospital about six weeks later.
During those six weeks I had several hallucinations about the devil and I would feel his presence very close to me, sometimes licking my face and my ears, sometimes whipping me with his tail but I never saw a face, only the body from the waist down, which looked like it belonged to an animal (black, shiny fur and two goat-like feet). One time I was lying in a hammock in my mom's yard being closed watched by her and my aunt, and I got up all of a sudden saying that a horrible storm was approaching and I could feel the wind, the dust and very heavy rain fall all over me while I felt totally blind. My mom and her sister walked me back to the hammock and made me lye down and then I could not move any more. Now I was blind and paralized, could not move a finger. They decided to take me to their spiritualist church in the evening and I remember being led there totally blind but after about 5 minutes of being there I started regaining my vision and movements.
When people who knew me since I was little came to talk to me I never answered them and just begged my parents to take me back home. Then my mom took me to one of her prayer partners house for praying and I asked for a glass of water and when the lady came back with the water I just threw the whole thing on her face (every time she looked at me earlier, I could see her twisting her face and her eyes in mockery, so that was my way of responding to that). She held me by the arm and walked me to a big picture of Christ hanging on her wall and said a few words in the sense that whomever was trying to take over me had to know that Christ was the father, etc., etc. I remember regaining conciousness immediately after that.
Then on a Sunday one of my brothers friends came to visit and when I looked at her face, the flesh started falling off as if it was rotten, and I was terrified and again screamed at the top of my lungs until someone took the girl away from the room. I remember having the same hallucination when looking at a magazine cover and also when looking at myself in the mirror, which made me avoid mirrors for a long time.
In the meantime, my parents kept taking me to the neurologist doctor who kept drugging me more and more totally oblivious to the descriptions of my parents about my condition. At this time I had been practically locked up in my parents home but anytime anyone came to visit I would try to escape and would run straight into the traffic (I guess I was trying to kill myself). Then for a while the hallucinations stopped and I was allowed to go back to my own apartment with my husband but one night he woke up and found me on the window of the sixth floor apt and took me down and back to my parents house. I remember clearly waking up in the middle of the night and hearing a very insistant voice telling me to climb on the windowsill to jump off. I did what the voice was telling me to do, not without much hesitation, but the voice was stronger than my will. I remember that it was cold and I decided to grab a blanket to cover my shoulders before climbing on the window and apparently that's what startled my husband and made him wake up and grab me before I jumped off.
Back at my parents I went on seeing people's flesh fall off their faces or them turn into apes right before my eyes and whenever that happened I wanted to run down the street to escape that vision. One day I did succeed and ran away but when I got around the block I saw a lady that owned a cafe' in my parents' neighborhood and decided to sit down and have a chat with her. My mom had come down the street trying to catch me when she saw her brother's car approach and she asked him to go after him. They found me sitting at the cafe' peacefully chatting with the lady owner and put me in my uncle's car and took me back to the neurologist's office for one more visit.
By this time I was equating the doctor's office to a place linked to death for some reason and I remember walking down the entrance with my uncle holding my arm but the minute I opened the door and stepped into the office I saw myself alone in an empty room with a coffin lying in the middle of it. When I looked inside of it, there was my uncle lying in it, dead. I screamed again and took off to the streets. The doctor's office was in an older neighborhood and had 6 ft. high iron gates with spikes around it. I remember climbing the gate and jumping on the street with my uncle trying to grab me. I ran (as always) right onto the busiest traffic and when I was about to step into it I saw a guy standing up on the curb. He looked back at me and calling me by my name, said: go back to your uncle. He had a very assertive smile on his face so I decided to obbey him and just turned around and went back to my uncle who was coming running down the street trying to catch me.
After this incident, my parents decided to take me to see a psychiatrist. Then I knew that that would be the end and I fought against it. They had to have 3 or 4 people grab me and lock me up in my dad's car for the one-hour ride to the psychiatrist's office. When we arrived I realized that my husband and my brother were also meeting with the psychiatrist and as soon as the meeting started I just stripped right in front of everybody and went from person to person asking them if they wanted to fuck me. In my mind I had been taken there to be fertilized by the devil (a la Rosemary's baby), so I just decided to go ahead and be done with it. I thought that maybe if I seduced one of those people (my own husband and my dad and brother) that would somehow keep me from being raped by the devil.
The psychiatrist told my parents to lock me up and they did. He told them I would be in for at least six months and after I went in the hallucinations went on. One time I looked out of the hospital's window and saw a river of fire coming down the concrete steps of the property next to it and in the middle of all the fire there were all these mad dogs, barking and being pushed down the river of fire. Simply horrible. Neither the doctors nor my family knew what I had taken but somehow the one in charge of me decided to do a detox and that saved my life. Two weeks later I was out of the hospital and it took me at least two years of therapy (without any medication, though) with an orthodox freudian doctor, the same one that had me detoxed, for me to go back to having a normal life.
I agree with one of the people that described their experience that this herb aims to kill and after regaining consciousness I heard several stories of people killing themselves after drinking the tea. I guess I was extremely lucky to come out of the experience alive because I felt all the time that if I died under the effect that my soul was going to be in the devil's service to act on other people who took the herb. It was more or less like this other guy describes below, that it seems like once you die under the effect of datura, you belong to an evil group and you can never free yourself again.
By the way, my mom said that right after I was put in the hospital, my uncle the shaman had a session for me in the middle of the forest and told her that she could rest assured that I would be out of the hospital in no time (not in six months as predicted) and that I would be safe after that. The year now is 2000 and I still haven't fully recovered from that experience. Whatever the temptation is, watch out, DON'T DO IT!!! Had it been now and in America, I would have sued the neurologist who prescribed all those drugs and never had a clue that I was intoxicated. It could have cost my life. The plant alone, though, has claimed many lives and it hasn't been funny, so DON'T GO THERE!
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.