Medicine of the month: Floripondio ( Brugmansia)

Medicine of the month: Floripondio ( Brugmansia)
This morning I was wondering what the Medicine of the Month might be. Nothing was openly and obviously talking to me, or so I thought.
I considered Sunflower because it's a Summer flower and because is one of my favorites. But I haven't met one therefore writing about it would be dry. Besides isn't it more exciting when I can share with you my new discoveries? I decided to wait and allow for the right teachings to flow into my life.
Then my friend Tanya came for lunch and on her way out she looked around and said " You have a beautiful Floripondio tree out here."
Sure enough, it has been standing there all along but I didn't pay attention to it. Although I admired its beautiful flowers, I associated them with stories of people going mad or being heavily poisoned.
"Do you know it's medicine?" Asked Tanya who is a skilled and respected Wicca. "Really? Isn't it Datura ?" I replied. My prejudice deterred me from connecting to this beautiful Medicine Plant. " It's from the same family but this one is medicinal if taken with caution" said Tanya. It turns out that Floripondio is widely used by the Maya in this region and by the Aztecs up north.
We pay respect to its relative Datura Stramonium but this article is NOT about Datura. In fact I looked it up on Wikipedia just to make the distinction clear "Brugmansia is a genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. They are woody trees or shrubs, with pendulous flowers, and have no spines on their fruit. Their large, fragrant flowers give them their common name of angel's trumpets, a name sometimes used for the closely related genus Datura. (Datura differs from Brugmansia in that they are herbaceous bushes, with erect rather than pendulous flowers - and most have spines on their fruit)."
Floripondio or Brugmansia has many medicinal properties, mainly used for its Narcotic and Antispasmodic qualities. It can be taken internally with great caution because overdose can cause vertigo, hallucinations and delirium with convulsions. It extreme cases it can cause death. So Use in Moderation! A little goes a long way.
Floripondio is used to cure Rheumatism, Worms, Inflammation, Colds, Fever, Cramps, Asthma and Hemorrhoids. It's also used as a Vermicide and in a Poultice to Relieve Pain. It's believed to calm Epileptic Convulsions.
To calm down bouts of Asthma the dry leaves are grounded and burned over the ashes. The smoke they produce is then inhaled from the mouth and nose.To relieve Rheumatic pain grind fresh leaves and seeds, boil them with oil and let to cool down. Then apply the paste to the affected area. Another effective method is boiling 25 grams of leaves in 1 liter of water, strain and mix with linseed flour and finally apply the poultice to the affected area.
An extract of the leaves can be made to prevent and treat Epilepsy and other imbalances of the nervous system. The extract is taken in one ml per day.
The Flowers give out a scent at night that can be intoxicating and make them considered Divine in some cultures. To counteract Insomnia place a flower under your pillow. Don't overdo it though. It's believed that sitting under the tree induces deep sleep with vivid dreams from which you may never wake up...
Finally the Floripondio tree is widely used as an ornamental, providing beauty and scent to the garden.
If you feel called to use this medicine please be cautious or consult a herbalist, and let us know how it goes.
Floripondio is a powerful Medicine that teaches moderation, caution and respect. It reminds us that strong has its place just as gentle, that every medicine has its time and its place. Like in homeopathy, even poison can heal if taken in the right way. Like anger, if overused it can poison relationships and destabilize a healthy mind and heart, but in some cases and in small doses it's a life saver. I feel that the beautiful, poisonous flowers of Floripondio encourages us to reclaim our Innate Medicine from the dark recesses of our seasoned soul so we can learn to use it rather than fear it. Underneath the beauty lies the ogre, each one powerful and essential in their own dimension.
I also feel that Floripondio Medicine is relevant to the times we are living, when we have to thread cautiously on uncharted territory and while we navigate turbulent waters as individuals and collectively and we are called to integrate the duality more than ever. Let's embrace it with humility and respect. Let's embrace the totality of who we are, free from fear or shame.
The spell has been broken, thanks Tanya!
Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy at Ixchel Healing Arts Studio