Mystical Trumpets

Today I decided to combine in my post Gardening, Science and potential life saving advice or motivation to get you high as a kite depending on your common sense.

I was compiling a list of various hallucinogenic and mind altering plants but before I make that post I wanted to focus on 2 of them and see if anyone at all is interested. There is about 50 I found and that’s without going into their families or strains.

So why the mystical trumpets? That’s because one of the plants is commonly called Angels Trumpet and the other is often called Devils Trumpet hence the mystical.

Lets start with the angel trumpet which I had to research and then move to devils trumpet which I know a bit more personally then just from the internet.

Burgmansia – Known as the Angels Trumpet is a large shrub or a small tree whatever you like to call it coming from the Solanaceae family.

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As you can see it looks beautiful and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens even though it is on the red list of extinct plants. Many people are not aware what this plant can do. The name comes from the pendulous flowers it has. They come in shades of white, yellow, pink, orange, green, and red. Most have a strong, pleasing fragrance that is most noticeable in the evening like with many other plants. I’m sure your inner Pinkman is anxious now so let’s get to the effects.

All parts of this plant are toxic especially seed and leaves so if you were touching this plant and then you accidentally rubbed your eyes, well get ready for a nasty trip. Yes that is enough to get you high. What can you expect after consumption? Apart from seeing wild shit, howling at the moon and beating down the cops that come to arrest you because you will get aggressive here are some medical effects; Headache, dry skin, dry mouth, dilated pupils, cycloplegia which paralyses certain muscle in your eyes and causes your pupils to stay dilated regardless of light intensity, increased heart rate, diarrhea, confusion, visual and auditory hallucinations paralyses of soft muscles and death. Are you tempted to try it? Most accounts if not all were described as Terrifying rather than pleasurable.  To give you a better idea I allowed myself to copy an extract from an account made by Swiss naturalist and explorer Johann von Tschudi on an individual who ingested Burgmansia.

“Soon after, the man fell into a dull brooding, he stared vacantly at the ground, his mouth was closed firmly, almost convulsively and his nostrils were flared. Cold sweat covered his forehead. He was deathly pale. The jugular veins on his throat were swollen as large as a finger and he was wheezing as his chest rose and sank slowly. His arms hung down stiffly by his body. Then his eyes misted over and filled with huge tears and his lips twitched convulsively for a brief moment. His carotids were visibly beating, his respiration increased and his extremities twitched and shuddered of their own accord. This condition would have lasted about a quarter of an hour, then all these actions increased in intensity. His eyes were now dry but had become bright red and rolled about wildly in their sockets and all his facial muscles were horribly distorted. A thick white foam leaked out between his half open lips. The pulses on his forehead and throat were beating too fast to be counted. His breathing was short, extraordinarily fast and did not seem to lift the chest, which was visibly fibrillating. A mass of sticky sweat covered his whole body which continued to be shaken by the most dreadful convulsions. His limbs were hideously contorted. He alternated between murmuring quietly and incomprehensibly and uttering loud, heart-rending shrieks, howling dully and moaning and groaning.”

While another person made tea from it which is a common practice, just after one cup amputated his penis and tongue. So next time you will see this plant will you lick the leaves or keep your distance?

Datura – Has gathered more names over the time, you may know it as Devils Trumpet, Moonflowers, Jimsonweed, Devil’s weed, Hell’s Bells and Thorn-apple. Despite these names made to warn people, many like to try it but never twice.

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It is also an ornamental plant and looking at the fruits I think it was growing in our small garden back in Poland and if I’m wrong it was definitely growing around town.

This plant is very toxic and highly dangerous with its strength depending on age location and whether but even the so-called weak strains can easily kill you. Sadly some time ago there was a trend between teenagers to eat it and see what happens, hopefully it’s gone now. Due to high concentration of tropane alkaloids and anticholinergic substances it contains, it makes it impossible for the person to differentiate fantasy from reality. Sounds cool doesn’t it? but would something that gets its name from the devil give you pleasure? have a think. So when you are running around town thinking it’s fairy land or hell, dealers choice, you are unaware your pupils are getting extremely dilated and will suffer from photophobia for several days, your heart is beating like crazy and you are going into hyperthermia and your body overheats while often behaving bizarre or violently with possible amnesia. Also the effects last from 24-36hrs. Children are more vulnerable to poisoning from it than adults and like me they like to play with its fruits, while sometimes bees can collect nectar from its flowers poisoning everyone who eats their honey. Maybe that’s why I often seen ghosts in the building opposite of mine when I was a child.

Abuse of Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Related Drugs, Few substances have received as many severely negative recreational experience reports as Datura. Majority found their experiences extremely unpleasant both mentally and physically. I have never tried it and never will intentionally but a person I hold dear gave into that trend long time ago and seeing him suffer the effects from it has burnt in my mind listening to him talking with imaginary people, seeing his mother crying and hitting him hoping to snap out of it while he just laughed was heartbreaking.

Tell me if anyone would like a longer list of mind altering plants maybe you have some in your garden and don’t know their properties like Salvia or Morning Glory. And remember trumpets are bad for you even brass if people can’t play them.

Sleep Deprivation

I wanted to write about sleep deprivation because I suffered from it for a year and occasionally still do therefore I can account for some of the symptoms and give you my general experience of it.

Why did I suffer from it? It was basically out of my own will, I was thinking of the present moment for me and my partner and not future consequences. It all started with getting a second job. I was working already in a shop on a full-time position with random shifts while the open hours were 7am-10pm. I always did 40 hours there , 45 if you count the unpaid lunch breaks. After some time we tried to help what we thought to be a friend to find a job while he stayed in our apartment. We pulled some strings and got him for an interview and he was sure to get it. It was nothing special, cleaning the gym at night nonetheless it was a start so he could get money and look for something else. Being grateful for all our help he didn’t bother taking it so I decided to give it a shot as extra money doesn’t hurt (not entirely true). Starting every day at 10:30pm and finishing at 3:30am I was now doing 65hr a week, Yes I know some people do more but that’s not what it’s about. Did I mention that I was still going to he gym whenever I could?

For the most of the year when I was working I only slept 2.5-4 hours. So let’s get to facts and science, I will list the effects of sleep deprivation and comment me experience on each.

Generally, sleep deprivation may result in:

  • yawning – To be honest I don’t know if there ever was a day I didn’t yawn but during that period it occurred more often with each week.
  • aching muscles – very soon most of my muscles started to be sore and tense.
  • periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes” – commenting this seems pointless you know how it is with bags.
  • hand tremor – After a while I noticed my hands to be very shaky and getting worse for a certain period to a point where I occasionally dropped objects but then declined again for some reason.
  • headaches – I noticed them quickly and had them almost every day but they were minor and not worth complaining about , they were getting worse with less sleep while occasionally unbearable.
  • malaise – It was kicking in but wasn’t serious, malaise is feeling of unease, discomfort or pain and I had trouble to be comfortable anywhere.
  • confusion, memory lapses or loss – After few months I had trouble telling what day it was as going to work on monday and coming back home on Tuesday made it hard to track, I often forgot what I was doing when performing certain tasks and I had real trouble recalling events from previous days and weeks.
  • development of false memory – This was rare , it happened maybe 4 or 5 times over the year where I was completely certain I did some things that actually never happened most of it was work related like forgetting to order stock because I thought that last weeks events were actually happening yesterday etc.
  • depression – This is an uneasy topic to discuss due to many stages of depression and people not entirely understanding what it actually is. But after some reasearch I was well on track to it as common symptoms suggested I should have it I personally didn’t fell depressed but I can’t say I was happy either.
  • stye – Although it felt like it every morning, thankfully I did not have any bad swelling of the eyelids.
  • increased blood pressure – I did not check my pressure in that year so I can’t say anything except that it is normal at present day.
  • increased stress hormone levels – Stress was already part of the daily routine and kept increasing all the time.
  • increased risk of diabetes – we run into that risk every day but for now I’m safe.
  • increased risk of fibromyalgia – Check on that one, heightened pain sensitivity , tiredness , weakness in limbs , muscle twitching and few other symptoms.
  • irritability – Most of the time everything  irritated me, sometime it would come in waves where I was sitting happy and next second I was really angry and wanted to destroy everything in sight.
  • nystagmus (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement) – I am not sure, nobody ever pointed it out so it’s probably another false memory, so I say no to this one.
  • obesity – No, I lost 5 kg in first 3 weeks but regained it after few months and my weight was constantly shifting somewhere between 70-75kg.
  • seizures – Thankfully I didn’t have any
  • temper tantrums in children – I guess there is some child left in me, luckily I was able to very quickly control myself
  • mania – I don’t think I can assign it to me, scientific description is a little bit fitting but not full on.
  • Insomnia – This also developed but not in severe stages.

Making this list made me realize how bad it actually was for me, I always knew that sleeping so little while putting out so much energy is bad, but never thought so many side effects come from it. There is also many risks that come from it like diabetes , heart disease , growth suppression, and risk of car accidents.

Did you know that sleeping too little or too much can cause Turrets? Also it is impossible to stay completely sleep deprived unless you have Fatal familial insomnia which is very rare and as the name suggest is always fatal as there is no cure. It is impossible due to micro sleeps which we do involuntarily when we try to keep awake our brain goes to sleep for less than a second sometimes more which we all experienced when you try to stay up but every now and then your head falls and you wake up. I am still experiencing it at work during night shifts during monotonous tasks. I occasionally get short hallucinations with the micro sleeps which sometime are disturbing.

While moving houses last month I was driving 1000km a week and I had serious trouble staying awake and micro sleeps coming relentlessly. Thankfully I was lucky enough to not have an accident behind the wheel.

There is definitely more symptoms of sleep deprivation out there and to experience the ones I did you don’t have to be sleeping bad for so long they come on pretty quickly, so if someone tells you he doesn’t sleep well for some time be thoughtful and don’t annoy him more than he is and if possible just let them sleep.

It is time to cut this post short as I am depriving myself of sleep again by writing untill 2am. This post might be edited and extended so check back in near future and have a good sleep it’s worth it.