Brugmansia

Botanical Name :Brugmansia spp
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Datureae
Genus: Brugmansia
Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Solanales

Species:Sanguinea

Synonyms:Datura candida (Pers.) Safford,Datura brugmansia

Common Name :Belladonna Tree, Bloodred Angel’s Trumpet, Borrachero Rojo, Chamico, El Guantug,  Floripondio, Guantug, Huacacachu, Huanto, Humoco, Misha Colorada, Perecillo, Poroporo, Red Brugmansia, Tonga, Yerba de Huaca

Habitat :Brugmansia trees are native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil,
where it grows on sloping terrain under damp conditions.

Description:

Brugmansia Sanguinea is a perennial shrub-like tree, indigenous to the midlands of South America. It can grow 15 feet (5 meters ) tall, with long thin oval shaped leaves that grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. The flowers are up to 9 inches (23 cm) long, narrow and trumpet shaped, and range in color from a light pink to a deep blood-red, but it can also produce flowers that are pure yellow, yellow–red, green¬–red and pure red. Unlike the closely related Golden Angel’s Trumpet, the Sanguinea’s flowers do not produce an aromatic fragrance and tend to be slightly smaller.

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Brugmansia are long-lived, woody trees or bushes, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit.It is a genus of seven species of flowering plants  Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit.

Cultivation:
Brugmansia are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid to late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection, but the roots are hardy and will resprout in April or May. The species from the higher elevations, in B. section Sphaerocarpium, prefer moderate temperatures and cool nights, and may not flower if temperatures are very hot. Most Brugmansias may be propagated easily by rooting 10–20 cm cuttings taken from the end of a branch during the summer.

Chemical Constituents:The plant’s stems, flowers, leaves and seed are known to contain large quantities of tropane alkaloids. Recent research has shown that the main active compound in this plant is Scopolamine, it also contains aposcopolamine, atropine, hyoscyamine, meteloidine, and norscopolamine. All of these compounds may be illegal in most parts of the world when extracted from their naturally occurring sources.

Medicinal Uses:
Although the plant is poisonous, natives in Brazil smoke the leaves for a strong narcotic effect that it is said to relieve asthma.
(Schultes, R. E. 1976. Ethnobotany.)

It seems that almost every tribe in region had a different medicinal use for this magical plant, most prominently it was used to treat rheumatism and arthritis. It has also been used to treat sore throats, stomach pains caused by parasitic worms, to cleanse wounds of infected pus, and to help sooth irritated bowels and reduce flatulence. Due to many undesirable side effects and after effects there are no currently accepted medicinal uses for this plant. Although, today in Ecuador, the pharmaceutical industry grows Brugmansia to produce pure Scopolamine for medicinal purposes.

Traditional preparations : There are several traditional ways in which the seeds, flowers, and leaves were prepared to produce various intoxicating drinks, teas and powders. The native Canelo Indians would scrape the pith from the stem and flowers and squeeze out the juices, which were then consumed straight away. Other preparations include steeping the leaves and flowers in hot water to make delirium inducing teas; in some areas the seeds would be dried and powered and then added to Chica, a fermented maize beer; there are also reports of Indians mixing the dried leaves with tobacco and smoking the resulting blend. One of the most powerful decoctions was exclusively made and consumed by shaman, they boiled the fruits and seeds of the plant to produce a potent drink called tonga.

Other Uses:
Traditional uses: Mestizo Shamans have used the Bloodred Angel’s Trumpet as a sacrament in their burial ceremonies and grieving rituals. It was believed that widows would be gently lulled into the afterworld by consuming a hallucinogenic maize beer, Chicha, while they were being buried alive with their deceased husband. Chicha was made from corn, tobacco and the Sanguinea flowers and allowed to ferment. Modern day shaman’s use this traveling plant to communicate with their ancestors as well as the animal spirit world, diagnose disease, find lost objects, prophesize and to predict the future. The native tribes still use the seeds, mixing them in with coffee, to induce sexual arousal or to harm someone and put them into a coma or even kill them, depending on the dosage.

As with Datura, all parts of Brugmansia are highly toxic. The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal.

Ritualized Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of the shamanic complexes noted among many indigenous peoples of western Amazonia, such as the Jivaroan speaking peoples. Likewise, it is a central component in the cosmology and shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru.

Planted in ganden for beautification.

Scientific Research:
Brugmansia ×candida is a hybrid between Brugmansia aurea with Brugmansia versicolor. This hybrid can be found growing wild in nature therefore it is a “natural hybrid”.

Native Legends and Names:
Brugmansia is named after Sebald Justin Brugmans (1763-1819).
Even though Brugmansia has been in the USA for many many years, it has always been portrayed as a “Plant of Evil” and something undesirable to have growing in your yard.

Known Hazards:All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested or absorbed through the mucous membranes. Be careful to not rub your eyes after touching Brugmansia.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://treesandshrubs.about.com/od/commonshrubs/p/angelstrumpet.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brugmansia

http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=11850

http://www.entheology.org/edoto/anmviewer.asp?a=31&z=5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brugmansia_arborea_with_fruit.jpg

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