Encyclopedia Article


Datura is a genus of flowering plants that is used as a narcotic in various cultural traditions throughout the Americas. Because of its hallucinatory properties, its effects are associated with divination or witchcraft. This genus is also often associated with the classic “witches weeds,” such as Deadly Nightshade and mandrake. It has a root that is poisonous, and so it used with caution.

In some Navajo curing ceremonials, the first time datura is taken for divination,or seeing into the future, it is supervised by a singer, or haatali. Divination is most often sought in order to restore people to their balanced state and only as a last resort after other means of restoring equilibrium have been attempted.

Photo Credit: 

"Datura blossom in the morning, Embudo, NM, August 16, 2012" by Mike Lewinski is licensed under CC BY.