Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: South American Flower ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: South American Flower
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: flamethrowerchief-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 03 Feb 2003 12:34 PST
Expires: 05 Mar 2003 12:34 PST
Question ID: 156832
In South America, there is a rumor about a flower that criminals dry,
crush into a fine powder, and blow into the faces of their intended
victims.  The
powder produces a mind-numbing effect and renders the victim helpless.
 Victims under the influence of this flower have been forced to
surrender their cash, empty their bank accounts, and even submit to
rape.  Is this true?  What is this flower?
Subject: Re: South American Flower
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 03 Feb 2003 14:03 PST
I believe you are referring to "burundanga," a plant-based substance
containing the powerful drug scopalamine.

Here are a few references to the drug and its use by criminals in
South America:

"Thousands of people in Colombia have been robbed or raped in the past
two decades after being slipped the drug scopalamine. Often used as a
treatment for motion sickness or Parkinson's disease, the drug --
known locally as 'burundanga' -- can render a person "disoriented and
powerless to resist the criminal's orders," warns the U.S. State
Department; some people have emptied their entire bank accounts for
crooks. Burundanga can be blown in a victim's face or offered in
chewing gum. Victims rarely remember their assailants. In rural
Colombia, a tree that supplies the drug is grown in front yards, as a

Earth Ops Central: Richters Herbletter 

"There is a report of the use of extracted scopolamine from Brugmansia
leaves being used as a form of assault. He said the case reports
involve someone being sprayed in the face with something and then
losing their memory for the next few hours. When they go to the
hospital, scopolamine is found in their blood... When used this way
this extract is apparently called "Burundanga."

The Vaults of Erowid: Ayahuasca Conference

"Scopalamine... also has a reputation as a truth-serum. Like sodium
amytal, it can render a person somewhat disoriented and talkative.
Like the stronger benzodazepines, it can induce retrograde amnesia. It
can also induce waking-trances where the individual is unaware that
the dream they seem to be having is indeed all too real, and persons
under the influence of scopalamine can be ordered to release
passwords, empty bank accounts, and engage in sexual acts without
their consent or even full knowledge... In Colombia, South America,
however, the drug has been used as a weapon within some segments of
the culture, and it now appears that plant-sourced scopalamine,
possibly potentiated by other as-yet-unknown amines in the raw plant
extract of the Borrachio ("drunken") tree, is hitting the streets of
America, traded as currency in certain immigrant-criminal and
illegal-alien-criminal markets. Most Americans have no idea that this
chemical exists, and many Americans are doubtless still trying to
figure out what has happened to them on that long night they cannot
remember, the night when they weren't careful enough about their
drinks and woke up the next day penniless and lost."

Earth Ops Central: Burundanga/Borrachio - Plant-Sourced Scopalamines

"Recent reports of date-rapes, thefts, kidnapping and other crimes in
the U.S. and Canada have been attributed to Burundanga - a potent form
of scopalamine that has been used for decades in Columbia in native
rituals, as a weapon and by criminals who prey on tourists... A State
Department Consular Warning issued last month warns tourists to avoid
unnecessary travel to Columbia because of terrorist activities in
general - and particularly to Bogata and Cali where Burundanga is
given to unsuspecting visitors in chewing gum, chocolate, drinks or
dusted on pieces of paper. Even small doses of the drug are reported
to cause "submissive" behavior, while larger doses apparently cause
almost instantaneous unconsciousness, followed by complete anterograde
amnesia. A 1991 article "Scopalamine intoxication as a model of
transient global amnesia" by A. Ardila and C. Moreno describes
Burundanga as an extract of the Borrachio ("drunken") tree and other
plants belonging to the Daturu or Brugsmania genus. Hollister
classified Datura and related plants as hallucinogens in his classic
volume on "Chemical Psychoses" but it is probably more accurate to
view these drugs as sedative-hypnotics on the basis of their powerful
hypnotic and amnesic effects."

Corpus Delicti: Burundanga - The Next Colombian Drug Threat

"When Colombians talk about a national drug problem, it's sometimes
not cocaine or heroin they mean. It's burundanga. A tasteless and
odorless powder, burundanga sends those who consume it into a
voodoolike trance. Dozens of times each week, somewhere in Colombia, a
criminal sprinkles the soluble powder into the food or drink of a
victim and then waits for the person to turn into a disoriented zombie
- awake and talkative but powerless to resist orders. Criminals then
tell their victims to make bank withdrawals, hand over their car keys
and clothing, perhaps deliver narcotics or even help empty their
apartments of furniture... Burundanga-bearing criminals lurk around
airports, bus terminals and popular bars, or go door to door
pretending to be salespeople, persuading housewives to take whiffs of
products containing the powder and some sort of gaseous mixture."

Seattle Times: Crooks in Colombia cook up crime wave with zombie drug

Burundanga is made from plants of the Deadly Nightshade family,
Brugmansia (also known as "Datura."

Killer Plants: Brugmansia suaveolens

My Google search strategy:


Thanks for asking an interesting question. If anything I've said is
unclear or incomplete, or if any of the links do not function, please
request clarification before rating my answer, and I'll be glad to
offer further assistance.

Best regards,
There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy