"The psychotropic potency of Datura and certain other plants of the Solanaceae is well known to Western pharmacology, their hallucinogenic properties being due primarily to their high content of hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine. 2 Preparations from these plants tend to produce, in large dosages, a state of excitation, delirium, and hallucinations, followed by a state of narcosis. The Jivaro obtain their hallucinatory experiences with Datura by ingesting the raw juice of the green bark of the stems. The effects begin to be felt within about three to four minutes of ingestion, probably because of the fast action of the atropine. The arutam seeker ingesting the Datura juice is never supposed to do it without the presence of an adult who is not taking the drug. It is the responsibility of the latter to provide psychological suppon or, in Jlvaro terms, to "encourage" him, and also to hold him down, if necessary, during the first phase of the intoxication, when the drug taker tends to become delirious and is in danger of running off into the forest in his highly agitated state and, as a result, possibly falling off a cliff or into a river and drowning. The other pilgrims in the party do not take the substance themselves, partially so that they can protect the maikua drinker from running off. They also believe that an arutam is not likely to come to a vision seeker if he is a coward, which would be evidenced if he were unwilling to take Datura alone and enter the normally invisible world unaccompanied."
- Harner, Michael J. The Jivaro: People of the Sacred Waterfals. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1972.
- Harner, Michael J. The Jivaro: People of the Sacred Waterfals. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1972. p. 137-8.