Skip to main content

Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)

 


BRIEF: My daughter made tea from some unknown yellow bell shaped flowers...


QUESTION:
My teenage daughter and her friends took a yellow bell like flower (hangs upside down on the tree or schrub) They boiled them, then drank the Juice. They call it "Hells Bells". They were nauseous at first, they had very dilated pupils, vision and equilibrium was off and said they were hallucinating for a period of 48 hours, Please help, have you heard of this, and how dangerous is it, detox information if any etc. as it seems to be very popular here in Southern California.

ANSWER:

Without a picture or sample, I can't be sure, and I have read of, but not seen a yellow form of this, but from the description, I would say that your daughter and her friends have made a teas from flowers of the genus Brugmansia - Angel's Trumpets - (sometimes included in the genus Datura with jimsonweed, they are close relatives and have the same poisons). Hyoscyamus niger (Black henbane) is also related and it has yellower flowers. These plants have very large amounts of tropane alkaloids such as scopolamine, (found also in some cold medicines), atropine (another powerful medical drug), hyoscyamine and a few others. If you have a picture or flower, I might be able to identify it exactly. Consult your doctor or local poison control center for treatments, since I am not a physician. This kind of activity is a dangerous practice in itself, and can be lethal, but there are other even more poisonous shrubs out there, so these exploratory tea parties need to stop. I would suggest tighter supervision until the kids can be convinced not to poison themselves. I am fully aware how difficult that can be, but it is potentially more effective than any antidote and a lot cheaper than a funeral.