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.
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, dhatūrā (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.
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.