Flying ointments are a marvelously sinister creation that have had a revival in recent times due to the popularity and resurgence of European Traditional Witchcraft. A flying ointment is a balm or oil that has been infused with psychoactive plants such as Atropa Belladonna, Hyoscyamus Niger, Mandragora Officinarum, Datura Inoxia, Datura Stramonium, Papaver Somniferum, Cannabis, Foxglove, Aconite, and many other ingredients to purportedly allow the witch to fly to the sabbath to partake in devilish revelries and celebrations. Through modern research and testing we now know to stay away from plants such as Aconite as they are much more poisonous and lethal compared to Atropa Belladonna, Hyoscyamus Niger, Mandragora Officinarum, Datura Inoxia, and Datura Stramonium which are the plants I most commonly include in my flying ointments. These four plants contain either 2 or all 3 of the alkaloids that give flying ointments their psychoactive effects. The alkaloids are Hyoscyamine, Scopolamine, and Atropine. Each of these alkaloids have different effects on the body.
Scopolamine: Scopolamine is used commonly to prevent nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness.
"Scopolamine, dubbed the “Devil’s Breath,” is often referred to as the most dangerous drug in the world. Mainly prevalent in South America, the drug is used to commit the perfect crime — while under the influence of scopolamine, someone could convince you to willingly withdraw and give away your life savings from your bank account, but you would wake up and remember nothing.
What’s particularly unsettling is that anyone could be unknowingly sent under scopolamine’s strong spell within seconds. The drug comes in a powder form, and according to a documentary by VICE, people have been known to ask for directions and pull out a map sprinkled with the drug, or hand over a drug-soaked business card. Then, with just a quick blow of the powder into the victim’s face, he or she will expectedly lose all power of free will." (Source)
Scopolamine is a "downer" as you can see. When large amounts of this are found in a flying ointment you will notice it is very sedating and mind altering. The side effects of too much scopolamine can be losing track of time to full on amnesia, extreme drowsiness, and hallucinations among other things.
Hyoscyamine: Hyoscyamine is used in modern medicine to relieve muscle spasms. Hyoscyamine reduces the fluid secretions of the stomach, pancreas, lungs, saliva glands, sweat glands, and nasal passages. Hyoscyamine has been proven to be an effective reducer of tremors in people with symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Hyoscyamine is very much an "upper" in the fact that it produces an aphrodisiac effect in larger doses as well as sensations of euphoria.
Atropine: Atropine is a antimuscarinic. Atropine slows down the heart rate and increases exocrine secretion. Atropine is commonly used to dilate the pupils. Belladonna has high levels of atropine which is why it was used historically by women to dilate their pupils for cosmetic reasons. Atropine can cause disorientation, confusion, and hallucinations in large doses.
All of these chemicals are present in the flying ointments I craft however they are only present in fairly low amounts.