The Solanaceae are an ancient family of deliriants and hallucinogens that have been venerated as ‘Witches’ Weeds’ since the earliest disciples of plant lore learned of their properties. Among them are counted Henbane and Hemlock, Datura, also known as Angel’s Trumpet, Belladonna and Mandrake. Weed encounters with many of them in the course of the Poison Diaries.
Beautiful Datura has a long history of causing delirious states; it has distinctive bell-shaped flowers that trumpet upwards in waves of colour ranging from delicate yellow to pink to purple. Belladonna, which means ‘beautiful woman’ in Italian is especially well known as an essential ingredient in love potions. Mandrake is abundant in Atropine, a drug common to all the Solanaceae, which is considered a core medicine in the World Health Organisations ‘Essential Drugs List’ and is used to quicken a deadened heart-beat.
All of these herbs would be used in ancient rituals, which gave the consumers sensations of flying, madness, frenzy and lust. The effects lasting for several days, under the influence of said poisons, the users might actually believe themselves to be supernatural beings while under trial and interrogation.
Be warned: Weed does not feel poisons as the rest of us might, and the Solanaceae are all fatal in heavy doses.