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HALLUCINOGENIC
PLANTS
by
RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES
Illustrated by
ELMER W. SMITH
® GOLDEN PRESS • NEW YORK
Western Publ i shi ng Company, I nc.
Raci ne, Wi sconsi n
F OREWORD
Hal l uci nogeni c pl ants have been used by man for thou­
sands of years, probabl y si nce he began gatheri ng pl ants
for food. The hal l uci nogens have conti nued to recei ve
the atenti on of ci vi l ized man through the ages. Re­
centl y, we have gone through a period during which so­
phi sticated Western soci ety has "di scovered" hal l uci no­
gens, and some sectors of that soci ety have taken up,
for one reason or another, the use of such pl ants. Thi s
trend may be desti ned to conti nue.
I t i s, therefore, i mportant for us to l earn as much
as we can about hal l uci nogeni c pl ants. A great body of
sci enti fc l i terature has been publ i shed about thei r uses
and thei r efects, but the i nformati on i s often l ocked away
i n techni cal j ournal s. The i nterested l ayman has a right
to sound i nformation on whi ch to base h i s opm1ons.
Thi s book has been wri tten partl y to provi de that ki nd
of i nformati on.
No mater whether we bel i eve that man' s i ntake of
hal l uci nogens i n pri mi tive or sophi sti cated soci eti es
consti tutes use, mi suse, or abuse, hal l uci nogeni c pl ants
have undeni abl y pl ayed an extensive rol e i n human
cul ture and probabl y shal l conti nue to do so. I t fol l ows
that a cl ear understandi ng of these physi cal l y and
soci al l y potent agents shoul d be a part of man' s general
educati on.
R. E. S.
Copyright © 1976 by Western Publishing Compny, Inc. All rights resered, including
rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any means, including the making
of copies by any photo proess, or by any electronic or mechanical device, printed
or written or oral, or recording for sound or visual reproduction or for use
in any knowledg retrieval system or device, unless permission in writing is
obtained fo the coyright porietor. Prouced in the U.S.A. Published by Golden
Press, New York, N.Y. library of Congress Catalo Card Number: 74-21666.
CONT E NT S
What Are Hal l uci nogeni c Pl ants? . 5
Hal l uci noens in Pri mitive Soieties 7
Use in Modern Western World . 1 0
Fami ly Tree of the Pl ant Ki ngdom 1 2
Di stri bution of Hal l ucinogens 1 4
Chemi cal Composi tion . . . . 1 6
Pseudohal l ucinogens . . . . . 20
How Hal l uci nogens Are Taken 2 1
Ol d Worl d Hal l uci nogens . . . 22
Fl y Agaric Mushrom, 24 • Agra, Ereriba, 28 • Kwashi,
Gol anga, 29 • Mari huana, 30 • Turkestan Mi nt, 42 •
Syrian Rue, 43 • Konno, 44 • Bel l adOna, 46 • Henbane,
48 • Mandrake, 50 • Dhatura, 52 • l boa, 54
New Worl d Hal l uci noens . . . . . . . . 56
Pufbl l s, 57 • Mushrooms, 58 • Rape dos Indios, 72
Sweet Flag, 73 • Vi rolas, 7 4 • Masha-hari , 83 • Jurema,
84 • Yopo, 86 • Vi l ca, 92 • Genista, 93 • Mescal Bean,
94 • Colori nes, 96 • Pi ul e, 97 • Ayahuasca, 98 •
Shonshi , 1 07 • Si ni cui chi , 1 08 • San Pedro, 1 1 0 •
Peyote, 1 1 4 • "Fal se Peyotes, " 1 24 • Hierb loco, 1 26 •
Sacred Morni ng Glori es, 1 28 • Hojas de Ia Pastore, 1 37 •
Col eus, Borrachera, Arbol de los Brujos, 1 38 • Chiri c­
Caspi , 1 40 • Daturas, 1 42 • Tree Daturas, 1 45 •
Cul ebra Borrachero, 1 48 • Shan i n, Keul e, Tai que, 1 50 •
Tupa, Zacatechi chi , 1 52
Psychoparmacology.
1 54
Other Hal l uci noenic Plants .
1 56
More Information 1 57
I ndex 1 58
B
E
R
M
u
0
A
8
9
Hal l uci nogenic pl ants have been featured on many postage stamps:
( 1 , 6) Amanita muscaria, (2) frui t of Peganum hormala, (3) Atropa
belladonna, (4) Pancratium trianthum, ( 5) Rivea corymbosa, (7) Datura
stramonium, (8) Datura candida, (9) Hyoscyamus niger.
4
WHAT ARE
HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS?
I n hi s search for food, earl y man tried al l ki nds of pl ants.
Some nouri shed hi m, some, he found, cured hi s i l l s, and
some ki l l ed hi m. A few, to hi s surpri se, had strange
efects on his mind and body, seemi ng to carry hi m i nto
other worl ds. We cal l these pl ants hal l uci nogens, because
they di stort the senses and usual l y produce hal l uci nati ons
-experi ences that depart from real i ty. Al tough most
hal l uci nati ons are vi sual , they may al so i nvol ve the senses
of heari ng, touch, smel l , or taste-and occasi onal l y
several senses si mul taneousl y are i nvol ved.
The actual causes of such hal l uci nati ons are chemi cal
substances in the pl ants. These substances are true nar­
coti cs. Contrary to popul ar opi ni on, not al l narcoti cs are
dangerous and addi ctive. Stri ctl y and etymol ogi cal l y
speaki ng, a narcotic i s any substance that has a de­
pressive efect, whether sl i ght or great, on the central
nervous system.
Narcoti cs that i nduce hal l uci nati ons are vari ousl y
cal l ed hal l uci nogens ( hal l uCi nation generators) , psy­
chotomi meti cs ( psychosi s mi mi ckers) , psychotaraxi cs
( mi nd di sturbers) , and psychedel i cs ( mi nd mani festers) .
No one term ful l y sati sfes sci enti sts, but hal l uci no­
gens comes cl osest. Psychedel i c is most wi del y used i n
the Uni ted States, but i t combi nes to Greek roots
i ncorrectl y, i s bi ol ogi cal l y unsound, and has acqui red
popul ar meani ngs beyond the drugs or thei r efects.
I n the hi story of manki nd, hal l uci nogens have prob­
ably been the most i mportant of al l the narcoti cs. Their
fantasti c efects made them sacred to pri mi ti ve man and
may even have been responsi bl e for suggesti ng to hi m
the i dea of dei ty.
5
Paramount among the hal l ucinogens of rel i gi ous si gni fcance i s the
peyote cactus . Thi s i l l ustration, cal led "Morni ng Prayer in a Peyote
Ceremony, " is adapted from a pai nting by Tsa Toke, a Kiowa I ndi an.
These I ndi ans ore ri tual users of peyote. Central fre and crescent­
shaped al tar are fanked b
y
ceremoni al eagle-feather fans; feathers
symbol i ze morni ng, and the bi rds, ri si ng prayers.
6
HALLUCINOGENS
IN PRIMITIVE SOCIETIES
Hal l uci nogens permeate nearl y every aspect of l i fe i n
pri mi tive soci eti es. They pl ay rol es i n heal th and si ck­
ness, peace and war, home l i fe and travel , hunti ng and
agri cul ture; they afect rel ati ons among i ndi vi dual s,
vi l l ages, and tri bes. They are bel i eved to i nfuence l i fe
before bi rth and after death.
MEDICAL AND RELIGI OUS USES of hal l uci nogeni c
pl ants are parti cul arl y i mportant i n pri mi tive soci eti es.
Abori gi nal peopl e attri bute si ckness and heal th to the
worki ng of spi ri t forces. Consequentl y, any "medi ci ne"
that can transport man to the spi ri t worl d i s consi dered
by many abori gi nes to be better than one wi th purel y
physi cal efects.
Psychi c powers have al so
been attri buted to hal l u­
ci nogens and have be­
come an i ntegral part of
pri mi ti ve rel i gi ons. Al l over
the worl d hal l uci nogeni c -...l
pl ants are used as hoi
medi ators beteen man
and hi s gods. The prophe­
ci es of the oracl e of Del phi ,
for exampl e, are thought
to have been i nduced
through hal l uci nogens.
Makuna I ndi an medi ci ne man
under i nfuence of coapi ( aya·
huasca or yaje) prepared from
bark of Banisteriopsis caapi.
7
Nicotiana
tabacum
Rivea
carymbasa
Statue of Xochi pi l l i , the Aztec " Pri nce of Fl owers," unearthed i n
Tlal manal ca on the sl opes of t he volcano Popocatepetl and now on
di splay i n t he Museo Nacinal in Mexico Ci ty. Label s i ndi cate
pobable botanical interpretation of stylized gl yphs.
8
OTHER ABORI GI NAL USES of hal l uci nogens vary
from one pri mi tive cul ture to another. Many hal l uci no­
geni c pl ants are basi c to the i ni ti ati on ri tual s of adol es­
cents. The Algonqui n I ndi ans gave an i ntoxi cati ng medi ­
ci ne, wysoccan, to thei r young men, who then became
viol entl y deranged for 20 days. Duri ng thi s peri od, they
l ost al l memory, starti ng manhood by forgetti ng they
had been boys. The i boga root i n Gabon and caapi in
the Amazon are al so used i n such ritual s.
I n South Ameri ca, many tri bes take ayahuasca to
foresee the future, settle di sputes, deci pher enemy
pl ans, cast or remove spel l s, or i nsure the fdel i ty of
thei r women. Sensati ons of death and separati on of
body and soul are someti mes experi enced duri ng a
dreaml i ke trance.
The hal l uci nogeni c properties of Datura have been
thoroughl y expl oi ted, parti cul arl y i n the New Worl d. I n
Mexi co and i n the Southwest, Datura i s used i n di vi na­
ti on, prophecy, and ritual i sti c curi ng.
Modern Mexi can I ndi ans val ue certai n mushrooms
as sacraments and use morni ng gl ori es and the peyote
cactus to predi ct the future, di agnose and cure di sease,
and pl acate good and evi l spi ri ts.
The Mi xtecs of Mexi co eat pufbal l s to hear voi ces
from heaven that answer thei r questi ons. The Wai kas
of Brazi l and Venezuel a snuf the powdered resi n of a
j ungl e tree to ri tual ize death, i nduce a trance for di ag­
nosi ng di sease, and thank the spi ri ts for vi ctory in war.
The Wi totos of Col ombi a eat the same powerful resi n
to "tal k with the l i ttle peopl e. " Peruvi an medi ci ne men
dri nk ci mora to make themsel ves owners of another' s
i denti ty. I ndi ans of eastern Brazi l dri nk j urema to have
gl ori ous vi si ons of the spi ri t worl d before goi ng i nto
battle with thei r enemi es.
9
USE IN MODERN WESTERN WORLD
Our modern soci ety has recentl y taken up the use,
someti mes i l l egal l y, of hal l uci nogens on a grand scal e.
Many pe·opl e bel i eve they can achi eve "mysti c" or
" rel i gi ous" experience by al teri ng the chemi stry of the
body with hal l uci nogens, seldom real i zi ng that they are
merel y reverting to the age-ol d practices of pri mi tive
soci eti es. Whether drug-i nduced adventures can be
i denti cal with the metaphysi cal i nsi ght cl ai med by some
mysti cs, or are merel y a counterfei t of i t, i s sti l l con­
troversi al . The wi despread and expandi ng use of hal l u­
ci nogens in our soci ety may have l i ttl e or no val ue and
may someti mes even be harmful or dangerous. I n any
event, i t i s a newl y i mported and superi mposed cultural
trait wi thout natural roots in modern Western tradi ti on.
Detai l of a pai nti ng of a pri mi ti ve ayahuasca vi si on by Yando del Ri os,
contemporary Peruvi an artist.
FAMILY TREE OF THE PLANT KINGDOM
Si mpl er pl ants are the mushrooms and molds ( fungi ) ,
seaweeds ( algae) , masses and l iverorts ( bryo­
phytes) , and ferns ( pteridophytes) . More complex
are the seed plants ( spermataphytes) , subdi vi ded
into cone-bearers ( gymnosperms) and fower-barers
( angiosperms) , with one seed leaf ( monocots) or two
( dicots) , with petal s absent or seprate ( archi­
chl amydeae) or petal s joined ( metachl amydeae) .
1 2
PTERIDOPHYT A
BRYOPHYTA
DISTRIBUTION OF HALLUCINOGENS
The majority of hal l uci nogeni c speci es occur among
the hi ghly evolved floweri ng pl ants and i n one
divi si on ( fungi) of the si mpler, spore-beari ng pl ants.
No hal l uci nogeni c spci es are yet known from the
other " branches" of the pl ant ki ngdom ( see pp. 1 2-
1 3) . Pl ants ill ustrated are representative psycho­
acti ve speci es.
1 4
Gymnospermae
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION
Hal l uci nogens are l i mi ted to a smal l number of types
of chemi cal compounds. All hal l uci nogens found in pl ants
are organi c compounds -that is, they contai n carbon
as an essenti al part of thei r structure and were formed
i n the l i fe processes of vegetabl e organi sms. No i norgani c
pl ant consti tuents, such as mi neral s, are known to have
hal l ucinogeni c efects.
Hal l ucinogeni c compounds may be di vi ded conven­
ientl y i nto to broad groups: those that contai n ni trogen
in thei r structure and those that do not. Those wi th
nitrogen are far more common. The most i mportant of
those l acking ni trogen are the active princi pl es of mari ­
huana, terpenophenol i c compounds cl assed as di ben­
zopyrans and cal l ed cannabi nol s-i n parti cul ar, tetrahydro­
cannabi nol s. The hal l uci nogeni c compounds with ni trogen
i n thei r structure are al kal oi ds or rel ated bases.
16
" THC"
A1-TETRAHYDROCANNABI NOL
carbon atom
Q hydroen atom
@oxygen atom
QUI NI NE
• carbon atom
hydroen atom
g


oxygen atom
nitroen atom
ALKALOI DS are a di verse group of some 5, 000 com­
pounds wi th compl ex mol ecul ar structures. They con­
tai n ni trogen as wel l as carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
Al l al kal oi ds are of pl ant ori gi n, though some proto­
al kal oi ds occur i n ani mal s. All are sl i ghtl y al kal i ne, hence
thei r name. They are cl assifed i nto seri es based on
thei r structures. Many hal l uci nogeni c al kal oi ds are
i ndol es ( see below) or are rel ated to i ndol es, and the
majori ty have or may have ori gi nated i n the pl ant
from the ami no aci d known as tryptophan.
Most medi ci nal and toxi c pl ants, as wel l as hal l uci no­
geni c pl ants, owe thei r bi ol ogi cal acti vi ty to al kal oi ds.
Exampl es of wi del y val ued al kal oi ds are morphi ne,
qui ni ne, ni coti ne, strychni ne, and cafei ne.
I NDOLES are hal l uci nogeni c al kal oi ds or rel ated bases,
al l of them ni trogen-contai ni ng compounds . I t i s most
surpri si ng that of the many thousands of organi c com-
1 7
pounds that act on vari ous parts of the body so few
are hal l uci nogeni c. The i ndol e nucl eus of the hal l uci nogens
frequentl y appears i n the form of tryptami ne deri vatives.
It is composed of phenyl and pyrrol segments ( see di a­
gram on opposi te page) .
Tryptami nes may be "si mpl e" -that i s, wi thout sub­
stituti ons -or they may have vari ous "si de chai ns" known
as hydroxy ( OH), methoxy (O), or phosphogl oxy
(OP03H) groups i n the phenyl ri ng.
The i ndol e ri ng ( shown i n red i n the di agram) i s evi ­
dent not onl y i n the numerous tryptami nes ( di methyl tryp­
tami ne, etc. ) but al so in the vari ous ergol i ne al kal oids
{ergi ne and others), in the i bogai ne al kal oi ds, and in the
,-carbol i ne al kal oi ds ( harmi ne, harmal i ne, etc. ) . lysergi c
aci d di ethyl ami de (lSD) has an i ndol e nucl eus. One
reason for the si gni fcance of the i ndol i c hal l uci nogens
may be thei r structural si mi l arity to the neurohumoral
tryptami ne serotoni n ( 5- hydroxydi methyl tryptami ne) , pres­
ent i n the nervous ti ssue of warm-bl ooded ani mal s.
Serotoni n pl ays a maj or rol e i n the bi ochemi stry of the
central nervous system. A study of the functi oni ng of
hal l uci nogeni c tryptami ne may experi mental l y hel p to
expl ai n the functi on of serotoni n i n the body.
A chemi cal rel ati onshi p si mi l ar to that beteen i n­
dol i c hal l uci nogens and serotoni n exists between
mescal i ne, an hal l uci nogeni c phenyl ethyl ami ne base i n
peyote, and the neurohormone norepi nephri ne.
These chemi cal si mi l ari ti es between hal l uci nogeni c com­
pounds and neurohormones wi th rol es i n neurophysi ol ogy
may hel p to expl ai n hal l uci nogeni c acti vi ty and even
certai n processes of the central nervous system. Other
al kal oi ds -the i soqui nol i nes, tropanes, qui nol i zi di nes, and
isoxazol es -are more mi l dl y hal l uci nogeni c and may
operate di ferentl y i n the body.
18
HALLUCI NOGENI C ALKALOI DS WI TH
THE I NDOLE NUCLEUS
H
Serotoni n
H
Psi l ocybi n
(C
H2
h-N ( C
H
3h
H
N,N = Di methyl tryptami ne

Harmal i ne
THE I NDOLE RI NG
®
(C
H2h-NH (CH3)2
H
Ergi ne
PSEUDOHALLUCINOGENS
These are poi sonous pl ant compounds that cause what
might be cal l ed secondary hal l uci nati ons or pseudo­
hal l uci nati ons. Though not true hal l uci nogeni c agents,
they so upset normal body functi ons that they i nduce
a ki nd of del i rium accompani ed by what to al l practi­
cal purposes are hal l uci nations. Some components of
the essenti al oi l s-the aromatic elements responsi bl e
for the characteristic odors of pl ants-appear to act
i n thi s way. Components of nutmeg oi l are an exampl e.
Many pl ants havi ng such components are extremel y dan­
gerous to take i nternal l y, especi al l y i f i ngested i n doses
hi gh enough to i nduce hal l uci nati ons. Research has not
yet shed much l i ght on the ki nd of psychoacti vi ty pro­
duced by such chemi cal s.
Myristico frogrons is
the source of nutmeg
and mace.
20
Nepeto cataria
is known for its
sti mul ati ng
efect on cots.
HOW HALLUCINOGENS ARE TAKEN
Hal l uci nogeni c pl ants are used in a vari ety of ways,
dependi ng on the ki nd of pl ant materi al , on the acti ve
chemi cal s i nvol ved, on cul tural practi ces, and on other
consi derati ons. Man, i n pri mi ti ve soci eti es everywhere,
has shown great i ngenui ty and perspi caci ty i n bendi ng
hal l uci nogeni c pl ants to hi s uses.
PLANTS MAY BE EATEN, ei ther
fresh or dri ed, as are peyote
and teonanacatl ; or juice from
the crushed leaves may be drunk,
as wi th Salvia divinorum ( i n
Mexi co). Occasi onal l y a pl ant
deri vati ve may be eaten, as wi th
hasheesh. More frequentl y, a
beverage may be drunk:
ayahuasca, caapi , or yaje from
the bark of a vine; the San
Pedro cactus; j urema wi ne; i baga;
.
leaves of toloche; or crushed
seeds from the Mexi can morni ng
gl ories. Ori gi nal ly pcul i ar to
New Worl d cul tures, where i t
was one way of usi ng tobacco,
smoki ng i s now a wi despread
method of taki ng cannabi s. Nar­
cotics other than tobcco, such
as tup, may al so be smoked.
SNUFFING is a preferred meth­
o for usi ng several hal l uci nogens
-yopo, epena, sebi l , rap dos
indios. like smoki ng, snufng
is a New Worl d custom. A few
New World I ndi ans have taken
hal l uci nogens rectal l y-as in
the case of Anadenanthera.
One curious method of i n­
duci ng narcotic efects i s the
African custom of i nci si ng the
scal p and rubbi ng the juice from
the oni onl i ke bul b of a species
of Pancratium acrss the i n­
ci si ons. Thi s method i s a ki nd
of primitive counterpart of the
modern hypodermi c method.
Several methods may be used
i n the case of some hal l uci no­
geni c pl ants. Virola resi n, for
exampl e, i s l i cked unchanged, i s
usual ly prepared i n snuf
form, i s ocas ional l y mde i nto
pl lets to b eaten, and my
someti mes be smoked .
PLANT ADDITIVES or admi x­
tures to major hal l uci noeni c
speci es are becomi ng i ncreas­
i ngl y i mportant in research.
Subsi diary pl ants are sometimes
added to the preparation to
alter, i ncrease, or l engthen the
narcotic efects of the mai n
ingredients. Thus, i n maki ng the
ayahuasca, caapi , or yaje
drinks, prepared basi cal l y from
Banisteriopsis caapi or B.
inebrians, several additives are
often thrown in: leaves of
Psychotria viridis or Banisteriopsis
rusbyana, whi ch themsel ves con­
tai n hal l uci nogeni c tryptami nes;
o Brunfelsia or Dtura, both of
whi ch are hal l uci nogeni c i n thei r
own ri ght.
2 1
OLD WORLD HALLUCINOGENS
Exi sti ng evi dence i ndi cates that man in the Ol d Worl d
-Europe, Asi a, Afri ca, and Austral i a-has made l ess
use of native pl ants and shrubs for thei r hal l uci nogeni c
properti es than has man i n the New Worl d.
There is l i tl e reason to bel i eve that the vegetati on of
one hal f of the gl obe is poorer or ri cher in spci es wi th
hal l uci nogeni c properti es than the other hal f. Why, then,
should there be such di spari ty? Has man i n the Ol d
Worl d si mpl y not di scovered many of the nati ve hal l u­
ci nogeni c pl ants? Are some of them too toxi c in other
ways to be uti l i zed? Or has man i n the Old Worl d been
cul tural l y less i nterested i n narcoti cs? We have no real
answer. But we do know that the Ol d Worl d has fewer
known speci es employed hal l uci nogeni cal l y than does the
New Worl d: compared wi th onl y 1 5 or 20 speci es used in
the Eastern Hemi sphere, the speci es used hal l uci nogen­
i cal l y i n the Western Hemi sphere number more than 1 00!
Yet some of the Old Worl d hal l uci nogens today hol d
pl aces of pri macy throughout the worl d. Cannabi s,
undoubtedl y the most widespread of al l the hal l uci nogens,
i s perhaps the best exampl e. The several sol anaceous
ingredients of medi eval witches' brews -henbane, ni ght­
shade, bel l adonna, and mandrake-greatl y i nfuenced
European phi l osophy, medi ci ne, and even hi story for many
years. Some pl ayed an extraordi nari l y vi tal rel i gi ous
rol e i n the earl y Aryan cultures of northern I ndi a.
The rol e of hal l uci nogens i n the cul tural and soci al
devel opment of many areas of the Ol d Worl d i s onl y
now bei ng i nvesti gated. At every turn, i ts extent and
depth are becomi ng more evident. But much more
needs to be done i n the study of hal l uci nogens and
thei r uses i n the Eastern Hemi sphere.
22
Amanita muscaria
variant
yel l ow form
young
"button"
stage
white
spores,
greatl y
enl arged
23
FLY AGARI C MUSHROOM, Amanita muscaria, may be
one of man' s ol dest hal l uci nogens. It has been sug­
gested that perhaps its strange efects contri buted to
man' s earl y i deas of dei ty.
Fl y agari c mushrooms grow i n the north temperate re­
gi ons of both hemi spheres. The Eurasi an type has a
beauti ful deep orange to bl ood-red cop fecked wi th
whi te scal es. The cop of the usual North Ameri can
tpe vari es from cream to on orange-yel l ow. There ore
al so chemi cal di ferences beteen the two, for the New
Worl d tpe is devoi d of the strongl y hal l uci nogeni c
efects of i ts Ol d Worl d counterpart .
The use of thi s mushroom as on orgi asti c and shaman­
i sti c i nebri ant was di scovered i n Si beri a i n 1 730. Sub­
sequentl y, i ts uti l izati on has been noted among several
i sol ated groups of Fi nno-Ugri on peopl es ( Ostyak and
Vogul ) in western Si beri a
and three pri mi ti ve tribes
( Chuckchee, Koryok, and
Komchodol ) i n northeast­
ern Si beri a. These tribes
hod no other i ntoxi cant
unti l they l earned recentl y
of al cohol .
These Si beri ans i ngest
the mushroom al one, ei ther
sun-dri ed or toasted sl owl y
over a fre, or they may
toke it i n rei ndeer mi l k
or with the jui ce of wi l d
pl ants, such as a speci es
Amanita muscaria typi cal l y oc­
curs in associ ati on wi th bi rches.
A Si beri an Chukchee man wi th wooden uri ne vessel , about to recycl e
and extend i ntoxi cati on from Amanita muscaria.
of Vaccinium and a speci es of Epilobium. When eaten
al one, the dri ed mushrooms are moi stened i n the
mouth and swal l owed, or the women may moi sten and
rol l them i nto pel l ets for the men to swal l ow.
A very ol d and curi ous practi ce of these tri besmen
i s the ri tual i sti c dri nki ng of uri ne from men who
have become i ntoxi cated wi th the mushroom. The acti ve
pri nci pl es pass through the body and are excreted
unchanged or as sti l l active deri vati ves. Consequentl y,
a few mushrooms may i nebri ate many peopl e.
The nature of the i ntoxi cati on vari es, but one or
several mushrooms i nduce a condi ti on marked usual l y
by twi tchi ng, trembl i ng, sl i ght convul si ons, numbness of
the l i mbs, and a feel i ng of ease characteri zed by hap­
pi ness, a desi re to si ng and dance, col ored vi si ons,
and macropsi a ( seei ng thi ngs greatl y enl arged) . Vi ol ence
gi vi ng way to a deep sl eep may occasi onal l y occur. Par­
ti ci pants are someti mes overtaken by curi ous bel i efs,
25
such as that experi enced by an anci ent tri besman who
i nsi sted that he had j ust been born! Rel i gi ous fervor
often accompani es the i nebri ati on.
Recent studi es suggest that thi s mushroom was the
mysteri ous God-narcotic soma of anci ent I ndi a. Thou­
sands of years ago, Aryan conquerors, who swept
across I ndi a, worshi ped soma, dri nki ng i t i n rel i gi ous
ceremoni es. Many hymns i n the I ndi an Ri g-Veda are de­
voted to soma and descri be the pl ant and i ts efects.
The use of soma eventual l y di ed out, and i ts i denti ty
has been an eni gma for 2,000 years. Duri ng the past
century, more than 100 pl ants have been suggested,
but none answers the descri pti ons found in the many
hymns. Recent ethnobotani cal detective work, l eadi ng
to i ts i denti fcati on as A. muscaria, i s strengthened by
the reference i n the vedas to ceremoni al uri ne dri nki ng,
si nce the mai n i ntoxi cati ng consti tuent, musci mol e ( known
uo

e

o


´´ -
·
´
,
El ×u,·u
,o

u
,
o
lboteni c Aci d
u


o-c¸_ cu
-
coo

o
I
El ×u,
Muscazone
26
Musci mol e
Chemi cal formul as of
the imprtant Amanita
muscaria al kaloi ds.
onl y in thi s mushroom) , is the sol e natural hal l uci nogeni c
chemi cal excreted unchanged from the body.
Onl y in the l ast few years, too, has the chemi stry
of the i ntoxi cati ng pri nci pl e been known. For a century,
i t was bel i eved to be muscari ne, but muscari ne i s present
i n such mi nute concentrati ons that i t cannot act as the
i nebri ant. It i s now recogni zed that, i n the dryi ng or
extracti on of the mushrooms, i boteni c aci d forms several
deri vati ves . One of these is musci mol e, the mai n
pharmacol ogi cal l y acti ve pri nci pl e. Other compounds,
such as muscazone, are found i n l esser concentrati ons
and may contri bute to the i ntoxi cati on.
Fl y agari c mushroom i s s o cal l ed because of i t s age­
ol d use in Europe as a fy ki l l er. The mushrooms were
l eft i n an open di sh. Fl i es attracted to and settl ing on
them were stunned, succumbi ng to the i nsecti ci dal
properti es of the pl ant.
Birches and Pines
-Chukchee-Koryok peoples
� ARTIC OCEAN
.
. ,.
-Uralic peoples (Ostyok, Vogul, etc.
Mop of northern Eurasi a shows regi ons of bi rches and pi nes, where
Amanita muscorio typi cal l y grows, and areas i nhabi ted by ethni c groups
that use the mushroom as on hal l uci nogen.
27
AGARA (Galbulimima Belgraveana) is a tal l forest tree
of Mal aysi a and Austral i a. In Papua, nati ves make a
dri nk by boi l i ng the l eaves and bark wi th the l eaves
of ereri ba. When they i mbi be i t, they become vi ol ently
i ntoxi cated, eventual l y fal l i ng i nto a deep sl eep duri ng
whi ch they experi ence vi si ons and fantasti c dreams.
Some 28 al kal oi ds have been i sol ated from t hi s tree, and
al though they are bi ol ogi cal l y active, the psychoacti ve
pri nci pl e is sti l l unknown. Agora is one of four speci es
of Galbulimima and bel ongs to the Hi mantandraceae,
a rare fami l y rel ated to the magnol i as.
ERERI BA, an undetermi ned speci es of Homo/omena, i s
a stout herb reported to have narcotic efects when its
l eaves are taken wi th the l eaves and bark of agara.
The active chemi cal consti tuent i s unknown. Ereri ba i s a
member of the aroi d fami l y, Araceae. There are some
1 40 speci es of Homo/omena nati ve to tropi cal Asi a
and South Ameri ca.
Galbulimima Homalomena
lauterbachii
Bushman appl yi ng
Pancrotium bul b
to scal p i nci si ons.
KWASHI (Pancratium trianthum) i s consi dered to be
psychoactive by the Bushmen i n Dobe, Botswana. The
bul b of thi s perenni al is reputedl y rubbed over i nci si ons
i n the head to i nduce vi sual hal l uci nati ons. Nothi ng i s
known of its chemi cal consti tuti on. Of the 14 other spe­
ci es of Pancratium, mai nl y of Asi a and Afri ca, many
are known to contai n psychoactive pri nci pl es, mostl y
al kaloi ds. Some speci es are potent cardi ac poi sons.
Pancratium bel ongs to the amaryl l i s fami l y, Amaryl l i daceae.
GALANGA or MARABA (Kaempferia galanga) i s an
herb ri ch i n essenti al oi l s. Natives i n New Gui nea eat
the rhi zome of the pl ant as an hal l uci nogen. I t i s val ued
l ocal l y as a condi ment and, l i ke others of the 70
speci es in the genus, i t is used in l ocal fol k medi ci ne to
bri ng boi l s to a head and to hasten the heal i ng of burns
and wounds. I t i s a member of the gi nger fami l y, Zi ngi ­
beraceae. Phytochemi cal studies have reveal ed no
psychoacti ve pri nci pl e.
29
Hemp fel d in Afghani stan, showing portly harested crop of the short,
coni cal Cannabis indica grown there.
MARIHUANA, HASHEESH, or HEMP ( speci es of the
genus Cannabis) , al so cal l ed Ki f, Bhang, or Charas, i s
one of the ol dest cul ti vated pl ants. I t i s al so one of the
most wi del y spread weeds, havi ng escaped cul ti vati on,
appeari ng as an adventi ti ous pl ant everywhere,
except in the pol ar regi ons and the wet, forested tropi cs.
Cannabi s i s the source of hemp fber, an edi bl e
frui t, an i ndustri al oi l , a medi ci ne, and a narcoti c. Despi te
its great age and its economi c i mprtance, the pl ant
i s sti l l poorl y understood, characterized more by what
we do not know abut i t than by what we know.
Cannabi s i s a rank, weedy annual that i s extremel y
vari abl e and may attai n a hei ght of 18 feet. Fl ouri shi ng
best i n di sturbed, ni trogen-ri ch soi l s near human habi ta­
ti ons, i t has been cal l ed a "camp fol l ower, " goi ng with
man i nto new areas.
I t i s normal l y di oeci ous-that i s, the mal e and fe­
mal e parts are on di ferent pl ants. The mal e or stami ­
nate pl ant i s usual l y weaker than the femal e or pi sti l ­
l ate pl ant. Pi sti l l ate fowers grow i n the l eaf axi l s. The
i ntoxi cati ng consti tuents are normal l y concentrated i n a
resi n in the devel opi ng femal e fowers and adj acent
l eaves and stems.
30
CLASSIFICATION OF CANNABIS is di sputed by
btani sts. They di sagree abut the fami l y to whi ch i t
bel ongs and al so about the number of speci es. The
pl ant is someti mes pl aced i n the fg or mul berry fami l y
( Moraceae) or the nettl e fami l y ( Urti caceae) , but i t i s
now usual l y separated, together wi th the hop pl ant
(Humulus), i nto a di sti nct fami l y: Cannabaceae.
I t has been wi del y thought that there i s one speci es,
Cannabis sativa, whi ch, partl y as a resul t of selecti on
by man, has devel oped many "races" or "vari eti es, "
for better fbr, for more oi l content, or for. stronger
narcotic content. Sel ection for narcoti c activity has been
especi al l y notabl e i n such areas as I ndi a, where i ntoxi ­
cati ng properti es have had rel i gi ous si gni fcance. En­
vi ronment al so has probabl y i nfuenced thi s bi ologi cal l y
changeabl e speci es, especi al l y for fber excel l ence and
narcotic acti vi ty. Current research i ndi cates that there
may be other speci es : C. indica and C. ruderalis. Al l
Cannabis i s nati ve t o central Asi a.
Cannabi s leaves ore palmately divi ded-normal l y i nto 3-7 l eafets,
occasi onal l y i nto 1 1- 13. Leafets vary in l ength from 2 to 6 i nches.
/
MARI HUANA
Cannabis sativa
seedl i ng
33
Chi nese characters T A MA, the
ol dest known name far cannabi s.
; = TA ( pronounced DA).
Literal l y thi s means an ault
man, and by extensi on may
si gni fy great or tal l .
J = MA. I t represents a
fber plant, l i teral l y a cl ump of
pl ants ( � ) , growi ng near a
dwel l i ng (} ). Hence, the
two symbol s together mean
" the tal l fi ber pl ant,"
whi ch everywhere i n
Chi na si gni fies cannabi s.
HISTORY OF CANNABIS USE dates to ancient times.
Hemp fabrics from the late 8th century B.C. have
been found in Turkey. Specimens have turned up in
an Egyptian site nearly 4,000 years of age. In ancient
Thebes, the plant was made into a drink with opium­
like efects. The Scythians, who threw cannabis seeds
and leaves on hot stones in steam baths to produce
an intoxicating smoke, grew the plant along the Volga
3,000 years ago.
Chinese tradition puts the use of the plant back
4,800 years. Indian medical writing, compiled bfore
1000 B.C., reports therapeutic uses of cannabis. That
the early Hindus appreciate its intoxicating properties
is atested by such names as "heavenly guide" and
"soother of grief." The Chinese referred to cannabis
as "liberator of sin" and "delight giver." The Greek
physician Galen wrote, about A.D. 160, that general
34
use of hemp in cakes produced narcoti c efects. In 1 3th­
century Asi a Mi nor, organi zed murderers, rewarded wi th
hasheesh, were known as hashi shi ns, from whi ch may
come the term assassi n i n European l anguages.
Hemp as a source of fber was i ntrouced by the
Pi l gri ms to New Engl and and by the Spni sh and Portu­
guese to thei r col oni es i n the New Worl d.
Objects connected with t he use
of cannabis were found in frozen
tombs of the ancient Scythians,
i n the Altai Mountains on the
brder between Russia and Outer
Mongolia.
The smal l , tepee-like structure
was covered with a fel t or
leather mat and stood over the
copper censer ( four-l egged stool ­
l ike object) . Carbnized hemp
seeds were found nearby. The
two-handl ed pot contai ned can­
nabis fruits. The Scythi an cus­
tom of breathing cannabi s fumes
in the steam bath was men­
tioned abut 500 B. C. by the
Greek naturalist Herodotus.
35
THE MEDICINAL VALUE OF CANNABI S has been
known for centuri es. I ts l ong hi story of use i n fol k medi ­
ci ne i s si gni fcant, and i t has been i ncl uded more re­
centl y i n Western pharmacopoei as. I t was l i sted i n the
Uni ted States Pharmacopoeia unti l the 1930' s as val u­
abl e, especi al l y i n the treatment of hysteri a. The proress
made i n modern research encourages the bel ief that
so prol i fc a chemi cal factory as Cannabis may i ndeed
ofer potential for new medi ci nes.
THE CHEMI STRY OF CANNABIS i s compl ex. Many or­
ganic compunds have been i sol ated, some wi th nar­
cotic properties and others wi thout. A fresh pl ant
yi el ds mai nl y cannabi di ol i c aci ds, precursors of the
tetrahydrocannabi nols and rel ated consti tuents, such as
cannabi nol , cannabi di ol , tetrahydrocannabi nol -carbxyl i c
aci d, sterei somers of tetrahydrocannabi nol , and can­
nabi chromene.
It has been demonstrated recentl y that the mai n ef­
fects are atri butabl e to delta- 1 -tetrahydrocannabi nol . The
tetrahydrocannabi nol s, which form an oi l y mi xture of
several i somers, are non-ni trogenous organi c com­
punds derived from terpenes ( see page 16). They are
not al kal oi ds, al though traces of al kal oi ds have been
reprted i n the pl ant.
Unti l recentl y, l i ttl e was known about the efects of
pure tetrahydrocannabi nol on man. Control led studi es
are basi c to any progress. These are now possi bl e wi th
the recent synthesi s of the compound, a maj or advance
i n studyi ng the mechani sm of physi ol ogi cal activity of this
i ntoxi cant. Because the crude cannabi s preparations
normal l y used as a narcotic vary greatl y i n their chemi ­
cal composi ti on, any correl ati ons of thei r bi ol ogi cal
activity woul d be rel ativel y meani ngl ess.
36
<aput.lmj.
A crude woodcut i l l ustrati on of cannabi s from the 151 7 edi ti on of the
European herbal Ortus sonitotis de herbis et plontis.
37
three contemporary desi gns
si lver hookah
from I ndio
Assortment of cannabi s pipes and water pi pes.
METHODS OF USING CANNABIS vary. In the New
World, marihuana ( maconha in Brazil) is smoked-the
dried, crushed fowering tips or leaves, often mixed
with tobacco in cigarettes, or ''reefers.'' Hasheesh, the
resin from the female plant, is eaten or smoked, ofen
in water pipes, by millions in Moslem countries of
northern Africa and western Asia. In Afghanistan and
Pakistan, the resin is commonly smoked. Asiatic Indians
regularly employ three preparations narcotically: bhang
consists of plants that are gathered green, dried, and
made into a drink with water or milk or into a candy
(majun) with sugar and spices; charas, normally smoked
or eaten with spices, is pure resin; ganjah, usually smoked
38
wi th tobacco, consi sts of resi n-ri ch dri ed tops from the
femal e pl ant. Many of these unusual l y potent prepara­
ti ons may be deri ved from C. indica.
NARCOTI C USE OF CANNABIS has grown in popu­
l arity i n the past 40 years as the pl ant has spread to
nearl y al l parts of the gl obe. The narcoti c use of
cannabis in the Uni ted States dates from the 1 920' s
and seems to have started i n New Orl eans and vi­
ci ni ty. I ncrease i n the pl ant' s use as an i nebri ant in
Western countri es, especi al l y i n urban centers, has l ed
to maj or probl ems and di l emmas for European and
Ameri can authori ti es. There is a sharp di vi sion of
opi ni on as to whether the wi despread narcotic use of
cannabi s is a vi ce that must be stamped out or is an
i nnocuous habi t that shoul d b permi tted l egal l y. The
subj ect i s debated hotl y, usual l y wi th l i mi ted knowl edge.
We do not yet have the medi cal , soci al , l egal , and moral
i nformati on on whi ch to base a sound j udgment. As
one writer has sai d, the mari huana probl em needs
" more l i ght and l ess heat. " Control l ed, sci enti fcal l y
val i d experi ments wi th cannabi s, i nvol vi ng l arge num­
bers of i ndi vi dual s, h
a
ve not as yet been made.
Contemporary Ameri can cannabi s shoul der paches.
EFFECTS OF CANNABIS, even more than of other
hal l uci noens, are highl y vari abl e from person to pr­
son and from one pl ant strai n to anoter. Thi s vari a­
bi l ity comes mai nl y from the unstabl e character of some
of the constitents. Over a perio of ti me, for exampl e,
te i nactive cannabi diol i c aci d convers to acti ve tetra­
hydroannabi nol s and eventual l y to i nacti ve cannabi nol ,
such chemi cal changes usual l y taki ng pl ace more rapi dl y
i n tropi cal than i n cool er cl i mates. Materi al from pl ants
of diferent ages may thus vary i n narcoti c efect.
The pri nci pal narcotic efect is euphori a. The pl ant
i s sometimes not cl assifed as hal l uci noeni c, and i t i s
true that its characteri sti cs are not typi cal l y psychoto­
mi meti c. Everyti ng from a mi l d sense of ease and
wel l -bei ng to fantasti c dreams and visual and audi tory
hal l uci nati ons are reported. Beauti ful si ghts, wonderful
musi c, and abrrati ons of sound ofen entrance the
mind; bi zarre adventures to fl l a century take place i n
a matter of mi nutes.
Soon after taking the drug, a subject may fnd hi m­
sel f i n a dreamy state of al tered consci ousness. Normal
tought i s i nterrupted, and i deas are someti mes pl enti -
I n many parts of Asi a the
use of cannabi s preparai ons
i s both soci al l y and l egl l y
acceptable. In predmi nantl y
Mosl em countries, cannabis i s
usual ly smoked i n waer pi ps,
someti mes cal l ed hookahs.
The i l lustration shows an
Afghani usi ng one of the
mny ki nds of water pipes
seen i n Asi a.
Market forms of cannabi s i ncl ude fnel y ground or " mani cured"
mari huana, "reefers" (smal l er than commercial tobacco ci garettes) ,
pure hasheesh, and compressed ki l o bricks.
ful , though confused. A feel i ng of exaltation and i nner
joy may al ternate, even dangerousl y, with fel i ngs of
depressi on, modi ness, uncontrol l abl e fear of death,
and pni c. Perception of ti me i s al most i nvari abl y
altered. An exaggeration of sound, out of al l rel ation to
the real force of the sound emi tted, may be accompani ed
by a curi ousl y hypnotic sense of rhythm. Although the
occasi onal vivid vi sual hall uci nati ons may have sexual
colori ng, the often-reported aphrodi si ac properties of
the drug have not ben substantiate.
Whether cannabi s shoul d be cl assi fed primari l y as a
sti mul ant or depressant or bth has never been deter­
mi ne. The drug' s acti vi ti es byond the central nerous
system seem to be secondary. They consi st of a ri se i n
pul se rate and bl od pressure, tremor, vertigo, di f­
cul ty in muscular coordi nation, i ncreased tacti l e sensi ­
tivity, and di l ati on of the pupi l s.
Al though cannabi s i s defni tely not addi ctive, psy­
chologi cal dependence may often resul t from conti nual
use of the drug.
4 1
TURKESTAN MI NT (Lagochilus inebrians) is a smal l shrub
of the dry steppes of Turkestan. For centuri es i t has
been the source of an i ntoxi cant among the Taj i k,
Tartar, Turkoman, and Uzbek tri besmen. The leaves,
gathere i n October, are toasted, sometimes mi xed
with stems, frui ts, and fowers. Dryi ng and storage in­
crease teir aromati c fragrance. Honey and sugar are
often added to reduce thei r i ntense bitterness.
Val ued as a fol k medi ci ne and i ncl uded in the 8th
edi ti on of the Russi an pharmacopoei a, it is used to
tret ski n di sese, to hel p check hemorrhages, and to
provide sedation for nervous di sorders. A crystal l i ne
compund i sol ated from the pl ant and name l ago­
chi l i ne has proved to be adi terpene. Whether or not i t
produces the psychoactive efects of the whol e pl ant i s
unknown. There are some 34 other speci es of Lagochilus.
Members of the mi nt fami l y, labi atae, they are native
from central Asia to I ran and Afghani stan.
Peganum harmala ,
w
seeds,
enl arged
Aower
SYRI AN RUE (Peganum harmala) grows from the Medi ­
terranen to northern I ndi a, Mongol i a, and Manchuri a.
Everywhere i t has many uses i n fol k medi ci ne. I ts sees
have been employe as a spice, and its frui ts are the
source of a re dye and an oi l .
The sees pssess known hal l uci noeni c al kal oi ds,
especi al l y harmi ne and harmal i ne. The esteem i n whi ch
te peopl es of Asi a hol d the pl ant i s so extraordi nary
that it mi ght i ndi cate a former rel i gi ous use as an hal ­
l uci noen, but the purposeful use of the pl ant to i n­
duce vi si ons has not yet ben establ i shed through the
l i terature or fel d work.
The cal trop fami ly, Zygophyl l aceae, to which Syri an
rue bl ongs, compri ses abut two dozen genera nati ve
to dry prs of the tropi cs and subtropi cs of bth
hemi spheres.
43
expansum
KANNA (Mesembryanthemum expansum and M. tor­
tuosum) is the common name of two speci es of South
Afri can pl ants. There is strong evi dence
\
hat one or both
were used by the Hotentots of southern Africa as vi si on­
i nduci ng narcoti cs. More than two centuri es ago, i t was
reported that the Hottentots chewed the root of kenna,
or channa, keepi ng the chewed materi al i n the mouth,
wi th these resul ts: "Thei r ani mal spi rits were awakened,
thei r eyes sparkled and thei r faces mani fested l aughter
and gaiety. Thousands of del i ghtsome i deas appeared,
and a pl easant j ol l ity which enabled them to be amused
by si mpl e jests. By taki ng the substance to excess, they
l ost consci ousness and fel l i nto a terri bl e del i ri um. "
Si nce the narcotic use of these two speci es has not
been observed di rectl y, vari ous btani sts have suggested
44
that the hal l uci nogeni c kenna may actual l y have been
cannabi s or other i ntoxi cati ng plants, such as several
species of Sclerocarya of the cashew fami l y. These two
species of Mesembryantemum do have the common
name kenna, however, and they al so contai n al kal oi ds
that have sedative, cocai nel i ke properti es capabl e of
produci ng torpr in man.
I
n the dri er parts of South Afri ca, there are al to­
gether 1 ,000 species of Mesembryanthemum-many,
l i ke the i ce pl ant, of bi zarre form. About two dozen
speci es, i ncl udi ng the two described here, are consi dered
by some botani sts to represent a seprate genus, Scele­
tum. Al l bel ong to the carpetweed fami l y, Aizoaceae,
mai nl y Sout Afri can, and are bel i eved to be rel ated to
the pokeweed, pi nk, and cactus fami l i es.
45
BELLADONNA (Atropa belladonna) is wel l known as
a hi ghl y poi sonous speci es capabl e of i nduci ng vari ous
ki nds of hal l uci nati ons. I t entered i nto the fol kl ore and
mytology of vi rtual l y al l European peopl es, who feared
its deadl y power. I t was one of the i ngredi ents of the
trul y hal l uci nogeni c brews and oi ntments concocted by
the so-cal l e wi tches of mei eval Europe. The attracti ve
shi ny brri es of the pl ant sti l l ofen cause it to be acci ­
dental l y eaten, with resul tant pi soni ng.
The name bel l adonna ( "beauti ful l ady" i n I tal i an)
comes from a curi ous custom practi ced by I tal i an
women of hi gh soci ety duri ng medi eval ti mes. They
woul d drop the sap of the pl ant i nto the eye to di l ate
the pupi l enormousl y, i nduci ng a ki nd of drunken or
gl assy stare, consi dered in that period to enhance
femi ni ne baut and sensual ity.
The main acti ve pri nci pl e i n bel l adonna i s the al kal oi d
hyoscyami ne, but the more psychoactive scopol ami ne
i s al so present. Atropi ne has al so been found, but
whether i t i s present i n the l i vi ng pl ant or i s formed
during extraction i s not cl ear. Bel l adonna i s a commerci al
source of atropi ne, an al kal oi d with a wi de vari ety of
uses in modern medi ci ne, especi al l y as an anti sposmodi c,
an anti secretory, and as a mydri ati c and cardi ac sti mu­
l ant. The al kal oi ds occur throughout the pl ant but are
concentrated especi al l y in the l eaves and roots.
There are four speci es of Atropa di stri buted i n
Europe and from central Asia to the Hi mal ayas. Atropa
bel ongs to the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae. Bel l a­
donna i s native to Europe and Asia Mi nor. Until the
1 9th century, commerci al col l ection was pri mari l y from
wild sources, but si nce that ti me cul tivation has been
i ni ti ated i n the Uni ted States, Europe, and I ndi a, where
it is an i mportant source of mei ci nal drugs.
46
seed,
enl arged
HENBANE (Hyoscyamus niger) was often i ncl uded in the
witches ' brews and other toxic preparations of medi eval
Europe to cause vi sual hal l uci nati ons and the sensation
of fi ght. An annual or biennial native to Europe, i t has
long been val ued i n medi ci ne as a sedative and an
anodyne to i nduce sl eep.
The pri nci pal al kal oi d of henbane i s hyoscyami ne, but
the more hal l uci nogeni c scopolami ne i s al so present i n
si gni fcant amounts, al ong wi th several other al kal oi ds
i n smal l er concentrations.
Henbane i s one of 20 species of Hyoscyamus, mem­
bers of the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae. They are
native to Europe, northern Afri ca, and western and
central Asi a.
Medieval witches cooki ng "magic" brew with toad and henbane.
Hyoscyamus niger
fruit, in
persistent
cal yx
fruit with
cal yx removed,
showing cap
49
MANDRAKE (Mandragora ofcinarum), an hallucinogen
with a fantastic history, has long been known and feared
for its toxicity. Its complex history as a magic hypnotic
in the folklore of Europe cannot be equaled by any
species anywhere. Mandrake was a panacea. Its folk
uses in medieval Europe were inextricably bound up
with the " Doctrine of Signatures," an old theory hold­
ing t hat the appearance of an object indicates its
special properties. Te root of mandrake was likened to
the form of a man or woman; hence its magic. If a
mandrake were pulled from the earth, according to
superstition, its unearthly shrieks could drive its collector
Woodcuts from
Hortus sanitatis, 1 st edition
Mayence, 1 485
mad. In many regi ons, the people cl ai med strong
aphrodi si ac properties for mandrake. The supersti ti ous
hold of thi s pl ant i n Europe persi sted for centuri es.
Mandrake, with the tropane al kal oi ds hyoscya­
mi ne, scopol ami ne, and others, was an active hal l uci no­
genic i ngredi ent of many of the witches' brews of Europe.
I n fact, i t was undoubtedly one of the most ptent
i ngredi ents i n those compl ex preparations.
Mandrake and fve other species of Mandragora be­
long to the ni ghtshade fami l y, Solanaceae, and are
nati ve to the area between the Medi terranean and the
Hi mal ayas.
Mandragora ofcinorum
5 1
DHATURA and DUTRA (Datra met/) are te common
names i n I ndi a for an i mprtant Ol d World spcies of
Datura. The narcotic properties of thi s purpl e-fowered
member of the deadl y nightshade fami ly, Sol anaceae,
have been known and value i n I ndi a si nce prehi story.
The plant has a long hi story i n other countri es as wel l .
Some writers have credited it wi t bi ng respnsi bl e for
the i ntoxi cating smoke associated with the Oracle of
Del phi . Early Chi nese writings report an hal l uci nogen
that has been i denti fe wi th this spci es. And i t i s un­
doubtedl y the plant that Avicenna, the Arabi an physi ci an,
mentione under the name jouzmathel i n the 1 1 th
century_. Its use as an aphrodi si ac in the East I ndi es was
recorded in 1 578. The pl ant was hel d sacred in Chi na,
where pepl e bel ieved that when Buddha preached,
heaven spri nkled the pl ant with dew.
Neverthel ess, te uti l ization of Datura preparati ons
i n Asi a entai l e much l ess ritual than i n the New Worl d.
In many parts of Asi a, even toay, seds of Datura are
often mi xed wi th food and tobcco for i l l i ci t use, es­
peci al l y by thi eves for stupefyi ng vi cti ms, who may re­
mai n seri ousl y i ntoxi cated for several days.
Datura mete/ is commonly mi xed wi th cannabi s and
smoked in Asi a to thi s day. leaves of a white-fowere
form of the pl ant ( considered by some botani sts to be
a disti nct speci es, D. fastuosa) are smoked wi th can­
nabi s or tobacco in many parts of Africa and Asi a.
The pl ant contai ns hi ghl y toxi c al kal oi ds, the pri nci pal
one bei ng scopolami ne. Thi s hal l uci nogen i s present i n
heaviest concentrati ons i n the leaves and seeds. Scopl a­
mi ne is found al so in the New Worl d speci es of Datra
( pp. 1 42- 1 47) . Datura ferox, a rel ated Ol d World
species, not so wi despread i n Asi a, i s also val ued for
i ts narcotic and medi ci nal properti es.
52
doubl e­
fowered
form
fruit
Datra met/
Datra ferox
fruit
IBOGA ( Tabernanthe iboga), nati ve to Gabon and the
Congo, is the only member of the dogbane fami l y,
Apocynaceae, known to be used as an hal l uci nogen.
The pl ant i s of growi ng i mportance, provi di ng the
strongest si ngl e force agai nst the spread of Chri s­
ti anity and I sl am i n thi s regi on.
The yel l owi sh root of the i boga pl ant i s empl oyed
i n the i ni ti ati on ri tes of a number of secret soci eti es,
the most famous bei ng the Bwiti cul t. Entrance i nto the
cult i s condi ti onal on havi ng "seen " the god pl ant Bwiti,
whi ch i s accompl i shed through the use of i boga.
The drug, di scovered by Europeans toward the mi d­
dle of the l ast century, has a reputation as a powerful
sti mul ant and aphrodi si ac. Hunters use it to keep them­
sel ves awake al l ni ght. large doses i nduce unworl dl y
vi si ons, and " sorcerers " ofen take the drug to seek i n­
formati on from ancestors and the spi ri t worl d.
I bogai ne i s the pri nci pal i ndol e al kal oi d among a dozen
others found i n i boga.
The pharmacol ogy of i bo­
gai ne is wel l known. In
addi ti on to bei ng an hal ­
l uci noen, i bgai ne i n
large doses i s a strong
central nervous system
sti mul ant, l eadi ng to con­
vul si ons, paral ysi s, and
arrest of respi rati on.
" Payment of t he Ancestor s, "
taki ng place btween two shrubby
bushes of Tabernanthe iboga in
the Fang Cult of Bwi ti , Congo.
( Photo by J . W. Fernandez. )
Tabernanthe
iboga
fwer,
enl argd
55
NEW WORLD HALLUCINOGENS
In the New World-North, Central , and South Ameri ca
and te West I ndi es-te number and cul tral i m­
portance of hal l uci nogens reached amazi ng hei ghts i n
the past-and i n pl aces thei r role i s undi mi ni shed.
More than ni nety speci es are empl oyed for thei r
i ntoxi cati ng pri nci pl es, compared to fewer than a dozen
i n the Old Worl d. I t woul d not be an exaggerati on to
say that some of the New World cultures, parti cul arl y
i n Mexi co and South America, were practi cal l y en­
sl aved by the rel i gi ous use of hal l uci nogens, which ac­
qui red a deep and control l i ng si gni fcance i n al most
every aspect of l i fe. Cul tures i n North Ameri ca and
the West I ndi es used fewer hal l uci nogens, and thei r
rol e often seemed secondary. Al though tobacco and
coca, the source of cocai ne, have become of worl d­
wi de i mportance, none of the true hal l uci nogens of
the Western Hemi sphere has assumed the gl obal si gnif­
cance of the Old Worl d cannabi s.
No ethnol ogi cal study of Ameri can I ndi ans can be
consi dered compl ete without an i n-depth appreci ation
of thei r hal l uci noens. Unexpected di scoveri es have
come from studyi ng the hal l uci nogeni c use of New
Worl d pl ants. Many hal l uci nogeni c preparati ons cal l ed
for the addi ti on of plant addi ti ves capabl e of al teri ng the
i ntoxi cati on. The accompl i shments of abori gi nal Ameri­
cans i n the use of mi xtures have been extraordi nary.
Whi l e known New Worl d hal l uci nogens are numerous,
studi es are sti l l uncoveri ng speci es new to the l i st. The
most curi ous aspect of the studies, however, i s why, in
view of thei r vital i mportance to New Worl d cul tures,
the botani cal identities of many of the hal l uci nogens
remai ned unknown unti l comparativel y recent ti mes .
56
PUFFBALLS ( Lycoperdon mixtcorum and L. marginatum)
are used by the Mi xtec I ndi ans of Oaxaca, Mexi co, as
audi tory hal l uci nogens. After eati ng these fungi , a
native hears voices and echoes. There is apparently no
ceremony connected wi th pufbal l s, and they do not en­
joy the pl ace as di vi natory agents that the mushrooms
do in Oaxaca. L. mixtecorum ls the stronger of the to.
I t i s cal l ed gi -i -wa, meani ng " fungus of the frst qual i ty. "
L. marginatum, whi ch has a strong odor of excrement,
is known as gi -i -sa-wa, meani ng ' ' fungus of the second
qual i ty. "
Al though i ntoxi cati ng substances have not yet been
found i n the pufbal l s, there are reports i n the l i tera­
ture that some of them have had narcotic efects when
eaten. Most of the esti mated 50 to 1 00 species of
Lycoperdon grow i n mossy forests of the temperate
zone. They bel ong to the Lycoperdaceae, a fami l y of
the Gasteromycetes.
57
J.
The use of hal l ucinogeni c mushroms, whi ch dates bck several thou­
sand years, centers i n the mountai ns of southern Mexi co.
MUSHROOMS of many speci es were used as hal l u­
ci nogens by the Aztec I ndi ans, who cal led them
teonanacatl , meani ng "fesh of the gods " i n the
Nahuatl I ndi an l anguage. These mushrooms, al l of the
fami l y Agari caceae, are sti l l val ued i n Mexi can magi co­
rel i gi ous ri tes. They bel ong to four genera: Conocybe
and Panaeo/us, al most cosmopol i tan in thei r range;
Psilocybe, found i n North and South Ameri ca, Europe,
and Asia; and Stropharia, known i n North Ameri ca, the
West I ndi es, and Europe.
58
MUSHROOM WORSHIP seems to have roots in cen­
turies of native tradition. Mexican frescoes, going back
to A. D. 300, have designs suggestive of mushrooms.
Even more remarkabl e are the artifacts called mush­
room stones (p. 60), excavated in large numbers from
highland Maya sites in Guatemala and dating back to
1000 B. C. Consisting of a stem with a human or animal
face and surmounted by an umbrella-shaped top, they
long puzzled archaeologists. Now interpreted as a kind of
icon connected with rel igious rituals, they indicate that
3,000 years ago, a sophisticated religion surrounded
the sacramental use of these fungi .
It has been suggested that perhaps mushrooms were
the earliest hal l ucinogenic pl ants to be discovered. The
other-worldl y experience induced by these mysterious
forms of plant life could easily have suggested a spiritual
pl ane of existence.
Detai l from a fresco ot
Teponti tlo ( Teoti huocan,
Mexico) representi ng
Tloloc, the god of clouds,
rai n, and waters . Note
the pole bl ue
mushrooms wi th orange
stems and al so the
"col ori nes "-the darker
blue, bean- shaped forms
wi th red spot s. See pages
96 and 97 for di scussi on of
col ori nes and pi ule.
( After Heim and Wasson. )
59
MUSHROOM STONES
Typical icons probbly associated wi th mushroom cults dti ng bck
3,000 years i n Guatemal a.
60
EARLY USE OF THE SACRED MUSHROOMS is known
mai nl y from the extensi ve descri pti ons wri tten by the
Spani sh cl eri cs. For thi s we owe them a great debt.
One chroni cl er, writing i n the mi d- 1 500' s, after the
conquest of Mexi co, referred frequentl y to those mush­
rooms " whi ch are harmful and i ntoxi cate l i ke wi ne, "
so that those who eat them "see vi si ons, feel a fai nt­
ness of heart and are provoked to l ust' ' ; the natives
" when they begi n to get exci ted by them start danc­
ing, si ngi ng, weepi ng. Some do not want to eat but
si t down . . . and see themselves dying i n a vi si on;
others see themselves bei ng eaten by a wi l d beast;
others i magi ne that they are capturi ng pri soners of war,
that they are ri ch, that they possess many sl aves, that
they had commi tted adultery and were to have thei r
heads crushed for the ofense.
A work of Atec medi ci ne menti ons three ki nds of
i ntoxi cati ng mushrooms. One, teyhui ntl i , causes " mad­
ness that on occasion i s l asting, of which the symptom
i s an uncontrol l abl e l aughter; there are others whi ch
. . . bri ng before the eyes al l sorts of thi ngs, such as
wars and the l i keness of demons. Yet others are not
l ess desi red by pri nces for thei r festival s and banquets,
and these fetch a hi gh pri ce. With ni ght-l ong vi gi l s are
they sought, awesome and terrifyi ng. "
Detai l from fresco ot Socual a, Teoti huacan, Mexi co, showi ng four
greeni sh ' ' mushrooms" that seem to b emergi ng from the mouth of
a god, pssi bl y the Sun God.
, -
6 1
SPANISH OPPOSITION to the Aztecs' worship of pagan
deities with t he sacramental aid of mushrooms was
strong. Although the Spanish conquerors of Mexico
hated and attacked the religious use of al l hallucinogens
-peyote, ololiuqui, toloache, and others-teonanacat l
was t he target of special wrath. Their rel igious fanati­
cism was drawn especiall y toward this despised and
feared form of pl ant life that, through its vision-giving
powers, held the Indian in awe, allowing him to com­
mune direct l y with his gods. The new religion, Christi­
anity, had nothing so attractive to ofer him. Trying to
stamp out the use of the mushrooms, the Spaniards
succeeded only in driving the custom into the hinter­
lands, where it persists today. Not onl y did it persist,
but the ritual adopted many Christian aspects, and the
modern ritual is a pagan-Christian blend.
The pagan gad of the underworl d speak s through the mus hroom,
teonanocat l , as represented by a Mexi can arti st i n the 1 6th century.
( From the Magliabecchiano Codex, Bi bl ioteca Nazi onal e, Fl orence. )
62
A 1 6th-century i l l ustration of teonanacatl ( a) , the i ntoxi cati ng mushroom
of the Aztecs , sti l l val ued i n Mexican magi corel i gi ous rites; i denti ty
of ( b) i s unknown. From Sahaun' s Historic general de las cosas de
Nueva Espana, Vol . IV ( Fl orenti ne Coex) .
I DENTI FI CATI ON OF THE SACRED MUSHROOMS was
sl ow in comi ng. Dri ven i nto hi di ng by the Spani ards,
the mushroom cul t was not encountered i n Mexi co for
four centuri es. Duri ng that ti me, al though the Mexi can
fora was known to i ncl ude vari ous toxi c mushrooms, i t
was bl i eved that the Aztecs had tri ed to protect thei r
real sacred pl ant: they had l ed the Spani ards to bel i eve
that teonanacatl meant mushroom, when i t actual l y
meant peyote. I t was poi nted out that t he symptoms
of mushroom i ntoxi cati on coi nci ded remarkabl y wi th
those descri bed for peyote i ntoxi cati on and that dri ed
mushrooms mi ght easi l y have been confused wi th the
shri vel ed brown heads of the peyote cactus. But the
numerous detai l ed references by careful wri ters, i n­
cl udi ng medi cal men trai ned i n botany, argued agai nst
thi s theory.
Not unt i l the 1 930' s were btani sts abl e t o i denti f
speci mens of mushrooms found in actual use in di vi no­
tory ri tes i n Mexi co. later work has shown that more
than 20 speci es of mushrooms are si mi l arl y empl oyed
among seven or eight tri bes i n southern Mexi co.
63
THE MODERN MUSHROOM CEREMONY of the Maze­
tee I ndi ans of northeastern Oaxaca i l l ustrates the im­
portance of the ri tual i n present-day Mexico and how
the sacred character of these pl ants has persi sted from
pre-conquest ti mes . The di vi ne mushrooms are gathered
duri ng the new moon on the hi l l si des before dawn by
a vi rgi n; they are often consecrated on the al tar of the
local Cathol i c church. Thei r strange growth pattern hel ps
make mushroms mysteri ous and awesome to te Maze­
tee, who cal l them ' nti -si -tho, meani ng "worshi pful ob­
ject that spri ngs forth. " They bel i eve that the mushroom
spri ngs up mi raculousl y and tat i t may be sent from
outer rel ms on thunderblts. As one I ndi an put it
poeti cal l y: " The l i tl e mushroom comes of i tsel f, no one
knows whence, l i ke the wi nd that comes we know not
when or why. "
The al l -ni ght Mazatec ceremony, led usual l y by a
woman shaman ( curandera) , compri ses l ong, compl i cated,
and curi ousl y repeti ti ous chants, percussive beats, and
Curandera with Mazatec patient and di sh af sacred mushrooms.
Scene i s typical of the al l -night mushroom ceremony. Curandera i s
under the infuence of the mushrooms.
64
prayers. Ofen a curi ng rite takes pl ace duri ng whi ch
the practitioner, through the "power " of the sacred
mushrooms, communi cates and i ntercedes wi th super­
natural forces. There i s no questi on of the vibrant
rel evance of the mushroom ritual s to modern I ndi an
l i fe i n southern Mexi co. None of the atraction of
these di vi ne mushrooms has been l ost as a result of
contact with Chri sti ani ty or modern i deas. The spi ri t of
reverence characteri sti c of the mushroom ceremony is as
profound as that of any of the world' s great rel igi ons.
KI NDS OF MUSHROOMS USE D by diferent shamans
are determi ned partly by personal preference and partly
by the purpose of the use. Seasonal and regi onal
avai l abi l ity al so have a beari ng on the choi ce. Stropharia
cubensis and Psilocybe mexicana may be the most com­
monl y employed, but hal f a dozen other speci es of
Psilocybe as wel l as Conocybe siliginoides and Panaeo/us
sphinctrinus are al so i mportant. The nati ve names are
colorful and someti mes si gni fcant. Psi/ocybe aztecorum
is cal l ed "chi ldren of the waters" ; P. zapotecorum,
" crown-of-torns mushroom"; and P. caerulescens
var. nigripes, "mushroom of superior reason. " ( See i l ­
l ustrati ons on pp. 66-67) . The possi bi l i ty exi sts that
other hal l uci nogeni c speci es of mushrooms are al so used.
I t i s possi ble, too, that Psilocybe speci es are used as
i nebri ants outsi de of Mexi co. P. yungensis has been
suggested as the mysteri ous "tree mushroom" that earl y
Jesui t mi ssi onari es reported as bei ng empl oyed by the
Yuri magua I ndi ans of Amazonian Peru as the source of
a potent i ntoxi cati ng beverage. Thi s speci es i s known to
contai n an hal l uci nogeni c pri nci pl e. Fi el d work i n modern
ti mes, however, has not di scl osed the narcoti c use of
any mushrooms in the Amazon area.
65
THE EFFECTS OF THE MUSHROOMS i ncl ude muscul ar
rel axati on or l i mpness, pupi l enl argement, hi l arity,
and difcul ty in concentrati on. The mushrooms cause
bth vi sual and audi tor hal l uci nati ons. Vi si ons are
brethtaki ngl y l i fel i ke, in col or, and in constant moti on.
They are fol l owed by l assi tude, mental and physi cal
depressi on, and al teration of ti me and space percep­
ti on. The user seems to be i solate from the worl d
around hi m; wi thout l oss of consci ousness, he becomes
whol l y i ndiferent to hi s surroundi ngs, and hi s dream­
l i ke state becomes real i ty to hi m. Thi s pecul i ari ty of
the i ntoxi cati on makes i t i nteresti ng to psychi atri sts .
One i nvesti gator who ate mushrooms in a Mexi can
I ndi an ceremony wrote that " your body l i es i n the
darkness, heavy as l ead, but your spirit seems to soar
. . . and wi th the speed of thought to travel where i t
l i steth, i n ti me and space, accompanied by the shaman' s
si ngi ng . . . What you are seei ng and . . . heari ng
appear as one; the musi c assumes harmoni ous shapes,
gi vi ng vi sual form to i ts harmoni es, and what you are
seei ng takes on the modal i ti es of musi c-the musi c of
the spheres.
"Al l your senses are si mi l arly afected; the ci garette
. . . smel l s as no ci garette before had ever smel l ed;
the gl ass of si mpl e water i s i nfni tel y better than cham­
pagne . . . the bemushroomed person i s poi sed i n
space, a di sembodi ed eye, i nvi si bl e, i ncorporeal , seei ng
but not seen . . . he is the fve senses di sembodi ed . . .
your soul is free, l oses al l sense of ti me, al ert as it
never was before, l i vi ng an eterni ty in a ni ght, seei ng
i nfni ty i n a grai n of sand . . . [The vi si ons may be of]
al most anythi ng . . . except the scenes of your every­
day l i fe. " As with other hal l uci nogens, the efects of
the mushrooms may vary wi th mood and setti ng.
68
A sci enti st' s descri pti on of hi s experi ence after eati ng
32 dri ed speci mens of Psilocybe mexicana was as fol ­
l ows: " . . . When the doctor supervi si ng the experi ment
bent over me . . . he was transformed i nto an Aztec
pri est, and I woul d not have been astoni shed if he had
drawn an obsi di an kni fe . . . i t amused me to see how
the Germani c face . . . had acqui red a purel y I ndi an
expressi on. At the peak of the i ntoxi cati on . . . the
rush of i nteri or pi ctures, mostl y abstract moti fs rapi dl y
changi ng i n shape and col or, reached such an al armi ng
degree that I feared that I would be torn into thi s
whi rl pool of form and col or and woul d di ssol ve. After
about six hours, the dream came to an end . . . I fel t
my return to everyday real i ty to be a happy return
from a strange, fantasti c but quite real l y experi enced
world i nto an ol d and fami l i ar home. "
69
CHEMI CAL CONSTI TUTI ON of the hal l uci nogeni c mush­
rooms has surpri sed scienti sts. A whi te crystal l i ne
tryptami ne of unusual structure-an aci di c phosphori c
aci d ester of 4- hydroxydi methyl tryptami ne-was i so­
l ated. Thi s i ndol e derivative, named psi locybi n, is a
new tpe of structure, a 4- substi tuted trptami ne wi th
a phosphori c aci d radi cal , a type never before known
as a natural l y occurri ng constituent of pl ant ti ssue.
Some of the mushrooms al so contai n mi nute amounts
of another i ndol i c compound-psi l oci n-whi ch i s un­
stabl e. Whi l e psi l ocybi n has been found al so i n Euro­
pean and North Ameri can mushrooms, apparentl y onl y
i n Mexi co. and Guatemal a have psi l ocybi n-contai ni ng
mushrooms been purposeful l y used for ceremoni al i n­
toxi cati on.
H
H
b I
I
H - C - H
H
Psi l oci n i s bl ieved by some
biochemi sts to b the precursor
of the more stable psi l ocybi n.
H o = P -o
-
+ I I
'
H /N-
T
-H
0 H - C -H
H
I
H - C -H
70
I
H
'
H -
C
-
H
Psi l ocybi n
H
I
0
I �
N -C -H
/
I
H - C - H H
"
H -C -H
I
H
Psi l oci n
A laboratory cul ture of Psilocybe mexicana, grown from spores,
an i nnovation that speded anal ysi s of the ephemeral mushroom.
( After Hei m & Wasso: Les Champignons Hallucinogimes du Mexique)
CHEMI CAL I NVESTI GATI ON of the Mexi can mushrooms
was di fcul t unti l they coul d be cul ti vated. They are
al most whol l y water and great quanti ti es of them are
neede for chemi cal analyses because thei r chemi cal
consti tuti on is so ephemeral . The cl ari fcati on of the
chemi stry of the Mexican mushrooms was possi bl e onl y
because mycol ogi sts were abl e to cul ti vate the pl ants
i n numbers sufci ent to sati sfy the needs of the chem­
i sts. Thi s accompl i shment represents a phase i n the stdy
of hal l uci nogeni c pl ants that must be i mi tated i n the
i nvesti gati on of the chemi stry of other narcoti cs. The
l aboratory, i n this case, became an efci ent substitute
for nature. By provi di ng sui tabl e condi ti ons, sci enti sts
have l earned to grow many speci es i n arti fci al cul ture.
Cultivation of edi bl e mushrooms i s an i mportant
commerci al enterpri se and was practiced i n France earl y
i n the seventeenth century. Cultivation for l aboratory
studi es is a more recent devel opment.
7 1
fruit ( 1 i n.
i n di ameter)
RAPE DOS INDIOS (Maquira sclero­
phylla; known also as 0/mediopere­
bea sclerophyla) is an enormous
tree of the fg fami ly, Moraceae.
I n the Parlana regi on of the cen­
tral Amazon i n Brazi l , the I ndi ­
ans formerly prepared an hal l uci no­
geni c snuf from the dri ed frui ts.
The snuf was taken i n tri bl cere­
moni al s, but encroachi ng ci vi l ization
has obl i terated its use.
Further studies of thi s narcoti c
are needed. The prel i mi nary chemi ­
cal i nvesti gati ons made so far
have not i ndi cated what the active
pri nci pl e may be.
SWEE FLAG (Acorus calamus), al so cal led sweet
cal omel , grows i n damp pl aces i n the north and south
temperate regi ons. A member of the arum fami l y,
Araceae, i t i s one of two speci es of Acorus. There i s
some i ndi rect evi dence that I ndi ans of northern Canada,
who empl oy the pl ant as a medi ci ne and a sti mul ant,
may chew the rootstock as an hal l uci nogen. In excessive
doses, i t i s known to i nduce strong vi sual hal l uci na­
ti ons. The i ntoxi cati ng properti es may be due to a-asarone
and /-asarone, but the chemi stry and pharmacology of
the pl ant are sti l l poorly understood.
Col ombi an I ndi ans usi ng a snufng tube fashi oned from bi rd bone.
VI ROLAS (Virola calophy/la, V. calophylloidea, and V.
teiodora) are among the most recentl y di scovered hal ­
l uci nogeni c pl ants . These j ungl e trees of medi um si ze
have gl ossy, dark green l eaves wi th cl usters of ti ny
yel l ow fowers that emi t a pungent aroma. The i ntoxi ­
cati ng pri nci pl es are i n the bl ood-red resi n yi el ded by
the tree bark, whi ch makes a powerful snuf.
Virola trees are native to the New Worl d tropi cs.
They are members of the nutmeg fami l y, Myri sticaceae,
whi ch compri ses some 300 speci es of trees i n 1 8 genera.
The best known member of the fami l y i s Myristica fra­
grans, an Asi ati c tree that i s the source of nutmeg
and mace.
I n Col ombi a, the species most often used for hal ­
l uci nogeni c purposes are Virola calophylla and V. cal­
ophy/loidea, whereas i n Brazi l and Venezuela the I n­
di ans prefer V. theiodora, whi ch seems to yi el d a more
potent resi n.
74
fower cl uster,
enl arged
75
Strip of br from
Vrola tree, showing
ozing red resi n.
AN INTOXICATI NG SNUFF i s
prepare from te br of Virola
tees by I ndians of the north­
western Amazon and the hed­
waters of te Ori noco. A anthro­
ploist who obsered the Yekwana
I ndi ans of Venezuel a in thei r prep­
aration and use of the snuf i n 1 909
commented:
"Of speci al i nterest are cures,
duri ng whi ch the wi tch doctor i n­
hal es hakudufha. Thi s is a magi cal
snuf used excl usivel y by wi tch
doctors and prepred from the
br of a certai n tre which,
punded up, is bi l ed in a smal l
erhenware pot, unti l al l the water
has evaporated and a sei ment
remai ns at the btom of the pt.
"Thi s sedi ment i s toaste i n the
pt over a sl i ght fre and i s then
fnely powdered wi th the blade of
a kni fe. Then the sorcerer blows a
l i tl e of the powder through a
ree . . . i nto the ai r. Next, he
snufs, whi l st, wi th the same reed,
he absorbs the powder i nto each
nostri l successivel y.
' ' The hakudufha obvi ousl y has
a strong sti mul ati ng efect, for
i mmedi ately the witch doctor be­
gi ns to si ng and yel l wi l dly, al l the
whi l e pi tchi ng the upper port of
hi s bdy backwards and forards. "
Among numerous tri bes in estern Col ombi a, the
use of Virola snuf, often cal l ed yakee or pri ca, i s
restri cted to shamans. Among the Wai k6 or Yanonamo
tri bes of the frontier regi on of Brazi l and Venezuel a,
epena or nyakwana, as te snuf i s cal led, i s not re­
stri cted to medi ci ne men, but may b snufe cere­
moni al l y by all adul t males or even taken occasi onal l y
wi thout any ritual basi s by men i ndi vi dual l y. The medi ­
ci ne men of these tri bes take the snuf to i nduce a
trance that is bel i eved to aid them in di agnosi ng and
treati ng i l l ness.
Al though the use of the snuf among the I ndi ans of
South America had been described earl i er, its source
was not defni tel y identifed as the Virola te unti l 1 954.
Waiko I ndian scrapi ng Virola
resi n into pt, prepratoy to
cooing i.
77
PEPARATION OF VI ROLA SNUFF vari es among di f­
ferent I ndi ans. Some scrape the soft i nner layer of the
bark and dry the shavi ngs gentl y over a fre. The shav­
i ngs are stored for l ater use. When the snuf i s needed,
the shavi ngs are pul veri zed by poundi ng wi th a pestl e
i n a mortar made from the frui t case of the Brazi l -nut
tree. The resul ti ng powder i s si fted to a fne, pungent
brown dust. To thi s may be added the powdered l eaves
of a smal l , sweet-scented weed, Justicia, and the ashes
of amasita, the bark of a beauti ful tree, Elizabeta
princeps. The snuf i s then ready for use.
Other I ndi ans fel l the tree, stri p of and gentl y heat
the brk, collect the resi n i n an erhenware pt, bi l
78
Dried Justicia leaves ore ground
bfore bi ng added to snuf.
it down to a thi ck paste, sun-dry the paste, crush i t
wi th a stone, and si f i t. Ashes of several barks and
the l eaf powder of Justicia may or may not be added.
Sti l l other I ndi ans knead the i nner shavi ngs of
freshl y stri pped bark to squeeze out al l te resi n and
then bai l down the resi n to get a thi ck paste that i s
sun-dri ed and prepared i nto snuf wi th ashes added.
The same resi n, appl i ed di rectl y to arrowheads and
congeal ed i n smoke, i s one of the Wai ka arrow poi sons.
When suppl i es of snuf are use up i n ceremoni es, the
I ndi ans often scrape the hardened resi n from arrow
tips to use it as a substi tute. It seems to be as ptent
as the snuf itsel f.
Woi ka I ndian si fti ng ground
Justicio l eaves to mke fne pw­
dr for aditive to Vrolo snuf.
79
A SNUFF-TAKI NG CEREMONY is conducted annual l y
by many Wai ka tri bes to memorial ize those who have
died the previ ous year. Endocanni bal i sm compri ses part
of the ri te; the ashes of cal ci ned banes of te departed
are mixed into a fermented bnana dri nk and are
swal l owed wi th the beverage.
The ceremony takes pl ace in a l arge round house.
Fol lowi ng i ni ti al chanti ng by a master of ceremony, the
men and ol der bays form groups and bl ow huge amounts
of snuf through l ong tubes i nto each other' s nostri l s
( p. 74) . They then begi n to dance and to run wi l dly,
shouti ng, brandi shi ng weapns, and maki ng gestures of
bravado. Pai rs or groups engage i n a strange ritual in
whi ch one parti ci pant thrusts out his chest and i s pounded
forceful l y wi th fsts, cl ubs, or rocks by a compani on,
who then ofers hi s own chest for reci procation. Al though
thi s puni shment, in retri bution for real or i magi ned
gri evances, often draws bl ood, the efects of the nar­
coti c are so strong that the men do not fi nch or show
si gns of pai n. The opponents then squat, throw thei r
arms about each other,
and shout i nto one another' s
ears. Al l begi n hoppi ng
and crawl i ng across the
foor i n i mi tati on of ani ­
mal s. Eventual l y al l suc­
cumb to the drug, l osi ng
consci ousness for up to
hal f on hour. Hal l uci na­
ti ons ore sai d to be ex­
perienced duri ng thi s ti me.
Wai ka rond house i n
cl earing in Amazon frest.
EFFECTS OF VI ROLA SNUFF are fel t wi thi n mi nutes
from the ti me of i nitial use. Fi rst there i s a feel i ng of
i ncreasi ng exci tabi l ity. Thi s i s fol l owed by a numbness
of the l i mbs, a ti tchi ng of the face, a l ack of muscul ar
coordi nati on, nasal di scharges, nausea, and, frequentl y,
vomi ti ng. Macropsi a-the sensati on of seei ng thi ngs
greatl y enl arged-i s characteri sti c and enters i nto Wai k6
bel i efs about hekul as, the spi ri t forces dwel l i ng in the
Virola tree and control l i ng the afai rs of man. Duri ng
the i ntoxi cati on, medi ci ne men often wi l dl y gesti cul ate,
fghti ng these gi ganti c hekul as.
CAUSE OF THE NARCOTIC EFFET of Virola has been
shown by recent studi es to be an excepti onal l y hi gh con­
centration of tryptami ne al kal oi ds i n the resi n. Wai k6
snuf prepared excl usivel y from the resi n of Virola
teiodora has up to 8 percent of tryptami nes, mai nl y
the hi ghl y acti ve 5-methoxy-N, N-di methyl tryptami ne.
Two new al kal oi ds of a diferent tpe-,-carbl i nes­
have al so been found i n the resi n; they act as monoami ne
oxi dase i nhi bi tors and make it possi bl e for the tryptami nes
to take efect when the resi n i s taken oral l y.
OTHER WAYS OF TAKI NG VI ROLA RESI N besi des
snufng i t are someti mes empl oyed. The pri mi ti ve nomadi c
Maku of Col ombi a often merel y scrape resi n from the
brk of the tree and l i ck i t i n crude form. Te Wi toto,
Bora, and Mui nane of Col ombi a prepre l i ttl e pel l ets
from the resi n, and these are eaten when, to practice
witchcraft or di agnose di sease, the medi ci ne men wish
to " tal k wi th the spi ri t peopl e" ; the i ntoxi cati on begi ns
fve mi nutes afer i ngesti on. There i s .some vague evi ­
dence that certai n Venezuel an nati ves may smoke the
bark to get the i ntoxi cati ng efects.
8 1
USE OF VI ROLA AS AN ARROW POISON by the
Waika I ndi ans i s one of te recent di scoveri es i n the
study of curare. Te red resi n from the bark of Virola
teiodora is smeared on an arrow or dart, whi ch i s
then gentl y heate i n te smoke of a fre ( shown i n
the i l l ustration below) to harden the resi n. The ki l l i ng
action of the poi son is slow. Te chemi cal consti tuent
of the resi n responsi bl e for this action i s sti l l unknown.
I t i s i nteresti ng that al though the arrows are ti ppe
whi l e the hal l uci nogeni c snuf i s bei ng prepare from
resi n from the same tree, the two operati ons are car­
ri ed out by diferent medi ci ne men of the same tri be.
Many oter pl ants are empl oyed i n South Ameri ca i n
prepari ng arrow pi sons, most of them members of the
fami l i es Loani aceae and Meni spermacee.
Wai k6 I ndi an hol ding pison
dars i n smoky fre to congeal
Virola resi n, appl ied by dippi ng
or spreai ng with fngers.
82
fowering
branch
Justicia
pectoralis
var.
stenophylla
MASHA-HARI (Justicia pectoralis var . stnophylla) is a
smal l herb cul ti vated by the Wai ka I ndi ans of the
Brazi l i an-Venezuel an fronti er regi on. The cromati c l eaves
are occasi onal l y dri ed, powdered, and mi xed wi th the
hal l uci nogeni c snuf made from resi n of the Virola tree.
Other speci es of Justicia have ben reporte to be em­
pl oyed i n that regi on as the sol e source of a narcoti c
snuf.
Hal l uci nogeni c consti tuents have not yet been found
i n Justicia, but i f any speci es of the genus is uti l i zed as
the onl y i ngredi ent of an i ntoxi cati ng snuf, then one or
more active constituents must be present. The 300
speci es of Justicia, members of the acanthus fami l y,
Acanthaceae, grow in the tropi cs and subtropi cs of both
hemi spheres.
83
JUREMA (Mimosa hostilis) is a poorly understood shrub,
the roots of whi ch provi de the "mi racul ous j urema dri nk, "
known in estern Brazi l as aj uco or vi nho de j uremo.
Other speci es of Mimosa ore al so l ocal ly cal l ed j urema.
Several tri bes i n Pernambuco-the Kari ri·, Pankaruru,
Tusha, and Ful ni o-consume the beverage i n ceremoni es.
Usual l y connected wi th warfare, the hal l uci nogen was
used by now exti nct tri bes of the area to • ' pass the
ni ght navi gati ng through the depths of sl umber " j ust
pri or to sal l yi ng forth to war. They woul d see "gl ori ous
vi si ons of the spi ri t l and . . . ( or) catch a gl i mpse of
the cl ashi ng rocks that destroy souls of the dead j our­
neyi ng to thei r gol or see the Thunderbi rd shooti ng
l i ghti ng from a huge tuft on hi s head and produci ng
cl aps of thunder . . . " It appears, however, that the
hal l uci nogeni c use of M. hostilis has nearl y di sappeared
in recent ti mes.
Li ttl e i s known about the hal l uci nogeni c properti es of
thi s pl ant, which was di scovered more than 1 50 years
ago. Earl y chemi cal studi es i ndi cated an active al ka­
loid given the name ni geri ne but later shown to be
i denti cal wi th N, N-di methyl tryptami ne. Si nce the tryp­
tami nes are not active when taken oral ly unl ess in the
presence of a monoami ne oxidase i nhi bitor, i t i s obvi ous
tat the j urema dri nk must contai n i ngredi ents other than
M. hosti l i s or that the pl ant i tsel f must contai n an i n­
hi bi tor in i ts ti ssues.
The genus Mimosa, cl osel y al l i ed to Acacia and
Anadenantera, compri ses some 500 speci es of tropical
and subtropi cal herbs and smal l shrubs. The mi mosas
bel ong to the subfami l y Mi mosoideae of the bean fami ly,
Legumi nosae. Most of them are Ameri can, al though some
occur i n Afri ca and Asi a. Jurema i s nati ve onl y to the
dry regi ons of eastern Brazi l .
84
Mimosa
hostilis
si ngl e fower,
enl arged
Anadenanthera
YOPO or PARICA (Anadenanthera peregrina or Pipta­
denia peregrina) is a South Ameri can tree of the bean
fami l y, Legumi nosae. A potent hal l uci nogeni c snuf is
prepared from the seeds of tis tree. Te snuf, now
used mai nl y in the Ori noco basi n, was frst reprted
from Hi spani ol a in 1 496, where the Tai na I ndi ans cal l e
it cohoba. I ts use, whi ch has di ed out in the West I ndi es,
was undoubtedl y i ntroduced to the Cari bbean area by
I ndi an i nvaders from South Ameri ca.
The hal l uci nogeni c pri nci pl es found in A. peregrina
seeds i ncl ude N, N-di methyl tryptami ne, N-monometyl ­
tryptami ne, 5-methoxydi methyl tryptami ne, and several
rel ated bases. Bufoteni ne, al so present i n A. peregrina
seeds, apporentl y is not hal l uci nogeni c. El uci dati on of
the chemi col make-up of the seeds of the yopo tree has
onl y recentl y been accompl i shed. Future studi es may
i ncrease our knowl edge of the acti ve pri nci pl e of these
seeds.
86
THE PRE PARATION OF YOPO SNUFF vari es somewhat
from tri be to tribe. The pods, whi ch are borne pro­
fusel y on the yopo tree, are Aat and deeply con­
stri cted beteen each seed. Gray-bl ack when r i pe,
the seed pods break open, exposi ng from three to
about ten Aat seeds, or beans. These are gathered
duri ng January and February, usual l y i n l arge quanti ti es
and often ceremoni al l y. They are frst sl i ghtl y moi stened
and rol l ed i nto a paste, whi ch is then roasted gentl y
over a sl ow fre unti l i t i s dried out and toasted. Some­
ti mes the beans are al l owed to ferment before bei ng
rol l ed i nto a paste. After the toasti ng, the hardened
paste may be stored for l ater use. Some I ndi ans toast
the beans and crush them wi thout mol di ng them i nto
a paste, gri ndi ng them usual l y on an ornate sl ab of
hardwood made especi al l y for the purpose.
Several earl y expl orers descri bed the process.
I n 1 801 Al exander von Humbol dt, t he German natural i st
87
and expl orer, detai l e the preprati on of yopo by the
Mai pures of the Ori noco. I n 1 85 1 , Richard Spruce, an
Engl i sh expl orer, vi si te the Guahi bs, another tib of
the Ori noco, and wrote: " In prepri ng the snuf, the
roaste seeds of ni opo are placed i n a shal l ow wooen
pl ater that is hel d on the knee by means of a brood
handl e graspd frml y with te lef hand; ten crushed
by a smal l pestle of the hard wood of pao d' arco . . .
whi ch i s hel d beten the fngers and tumb of the
right hand. "
The resul ti ng grayi sh-green powder i s al most al ways
mi xe wi t abut eual amounts of some al kal i ne sub­
stance, whi ch may b l i me from snai l shel l s or the
ashes of plant materi al . Apparentl y, the ashes are made
from a great vari ety of pl ant materi al s: the burned frui t
of the monkey pot, the brk of many diferent vi nes
and trees, and even the roots of sedges. The addi ti on
of the ashes probabl y serves a merel y mechani cal pur­
pose: to keep the snuf from caking i n the humi d cl i mate.
The addi ti on of l ime or ashes to narcotic or sti mu­
l ant preparati ons i s a very wi despread custom i n both
hemi spheres. They are often adde to betel chew,
pituri , tobacco, epna snuf, coca, etc. In the case of
yopo snuf, the al kal i ne admi xture seems not to be es­
senti al . Some I ndi ans, such as the Guahi bos, may oc­
casi onal ly take the powder al one. The explorer Alex­
ander von Humboldt, who encountered te use of yop
i n the Ori noo 1 75 years ago, mi stakenl y stated that
" . . . i t i s not to be bel i eved that the ni opo acaci a
pods are the chi ef cause of the sti mul ati ng efects of
the snuf . . . The efects are due to freshl y cal ci ned
l i me. " In hi s ti me, of course, the presence of active
tryptami nes in the beans was unknown.
88
bifurcated
bi rd-bne
snufng tube
with palm
fuit nosepieces
Snufng Paraphernal i a
snufng tub
with shaf
of reed and
a pal m fruit
nosepiece
three
hardwoo
pstl es
or crushers
and
hardwoo
mortar troy
fo gri ndi.ng
yapo seeds
89
A yopo tree (Anodenanthera peregrina) in Amazoni an Brazi l . The
seeds of thi s tree are the source of a ptent hal l uci nogeni c snuf.
Yopo snuf i s i nhal ed through hol l ow bi rd-bone or
bambo tubes. The efects begi n al most i mmedi atel y:
a ti tchi ng of the muscl es, sl i ght convul si ons, and l ack
of muscul ar coordi nati on, fol lowed by nause, vi sual
hal l uci nati ons, and di sturbed sleep. An abnormal
exaggerati on of the si ze of obj ects ( macropsi a) i s
common. I n an earl y descri pti on, t he I ndi ans say that
thei r houses seem to ' ' . . . be turned upsi de down and
that men are wal ki ng on thei r feet i n te ai r. "
90
South Ameri can I ndi ans of the upper Ori noco region in characteristic
gesticul ati ng postures while under the i nfuence of yop snuf.
9 1
VI LCA and SEBIL are snufs believed to have been
prepared in the past from the beans of Anadenanthera
colubrina and its variety cebi/ in central and southern
South America, where A. peregrina does not occur. A.
colubrina seeds are known t o possess the same hallu­
cinogenic principles as A. peregrina (see p. 86 ) .
An early Peruvian report, dated about 1 57 1 , states
that Inca medicine men foretold the future by communi­
cating with the devil through the use of vilca, or
huilca. In Argentina, the early Spaniards found the
Comechin Indians taking sebil "through the nose" to
become intoxicated, and in another tribe the same
plant was chewed for endurance. Si nce these Indian
cultures have disappeared, our knowledge of vilca
snufs and their use is limited.
Ancient Snufng Instruments
92
woden mortar
and pestl e
wi th i nci sed
abstract
desi gns;
Bol iv ia
snuf tray wi th
bi rd-head desi gns;
Bol i vi a
GE NISTA ( Cytisus canariensis) is empl oyed as an hal l uci ­
nogen i n the magi c practices of Yaqui medi ci ne men
i n northern Mexi co. Nati ve to the Canary I sl ands, the
plant was i ntoduced i nto Mexi co. Rarely does any
noni ndi genous pl ant fnd i ts way i nto the rel i gi ous and
magi c customs of a peopl e. Known al so by the sci enti fc
nome Genista canariensis, thi s speci es i s the "geni sta "
of fori sts.
Pl ants of the genus Cytisus ore ri ch i n cyti si ne, on
al kal oi d of the l upi ne group. The al kal oid has never
been pharmacol ogical ly demonstrated to hove hal l uci ­
nogeni c activity, but i t i s known to be toxi c and to cause
nausea, convul si ons, and death through fai l ure of
respi rati on.
About 80 speci es of Cytisus, bel ongi ng to the bean
fami l y, Legumi nosae, ore known i n the Atl anti c i sl ands,
Europe, and the Mei terranean area. Some speci es
are hi ghl y ornamental ; some ore poisonous.
93
MESCAL BEN ( Sophora secundifora), al so cal l ed red
bean or coral i l l o, i s a shrub or smal l tree wi th si lvery
pods contai ni ng up to six or seven red beans or seeds.
Before the peyote rel i gion spread north of the Ri o
Grande, at l east 1 2 tri bes of I ndi ans i n northern Mexi ­
co, New Mexi co, and Texas practi ced the vi si on-seeki ng
Red Bean Dance centered around the i ngesti on of a
dri nk prepare from these seds. Known al so as the
Wi chi ta, Deer, or Whi stl e Dance, the ceremony uti l i zed
the beans as an oracul ar, di vinatory, and hal l uci no­
geni c medi um.
Because t he red bean dri nk was hi ghl y toxi c, often
resul ti ng i n death from overdoses, the arri val of
a more spectacul ar and safer hafl uci nogen in the form
of the peyote cactus ( see p. 1 1 4) l ed the nati ves to
abandon the Red Bean Dance. Sacred el ements do not
often di sapper compl etel y from a cul ture; today the
seeds are used as an adornment on the uni form of
the leader of the peyote ceremony.
An earl y Spani sh expl orer menti one mescal beans
as an arti cl e of trade i n Texas i n 1 539. Mescal beans
have been found at si tes dati ng before A. D. 1 000,
with one si te dati ng back to 1 500 B. C. Archaeol ogical
evidence thus points to the exi stence of a prehi stori c
cul t or ceremony that used the red beans.
The al kal oid cyti si ne i s present i n the beans. I t
causes nausea, convul si ons, and death from asphyxi ati on
through i ts depressi ve acti on on the di aphragm.
The mescal bean is a member of the bean fami l y,
Legumi nosae. Sophora comprises about 50 species
that are nati ve to tropi cal and warm parts of both
hemi spheres. One speci es, S. japonica, is medi ci nal l y
important as a god source of ruti n, used i n modern
medi ci ne for treati ng capi l l ary fragi l i ty.
94
Sophora secundifora
foweri ng
bronch
fruit
{ woody pd)
seed
ceremoni al necklace
{ Ki owa tri b, Anaarko, Okl ahoma)
95
COLORINES ( several speci es of Erytrina) may be used
as hal l uci nogens i n some parts of Mexi co. The bri ght
red beans of these pl ants resembl e mescal beans
( see p. 94) , l ong use as a narcotic i n northern Mexi co
and i n the Aeri can Southwest. Both beans are some­
ti mes sold mi xed together i n herb markets, and the
mescal bean pl ant i s someti mes cal l ed by the same com­
mon name, col ori n.
Some speci es of Erytrina contai n al kal oi ds of the
i soui nol i ne type, which el i ci t activi ty resembl i ng that
of curare or arrow poisons, but no al kal oi ds known
to possess hal l uci nogeni c properti es have yet been
found in these seeds.
Some 50 species of Erytrina, members of the bean
fami l y, legumi nosae, grow i n the tropi cs and subtropi cs
of bth hemi spheres.
Erythrina
americana
frui t ing
branch
Rhynchosia
phaseoloides
seeds,
enlarged
PIULE ( several species of Rhynchosia) have beautiful
red and black seeds that may have been valued as a
narcotic by ancient Mexicans. What appear to be these
seeds have been pictured, together with mushrooms,
falling from the hand of the Aztec rain god in the
Tepantitla fresco of A. D. 300-400 ( see p. 59) , sug­
gesting hallucinogenic use. Modern I ndians in southern
Mexico refer to them as piule, one of the names also
applied to the hallucinogenic morning-glory seeds.
Seeds of some species of Rhynchosia have given
positive alkaloid tests, but the toxic principles have
still not been characterized.
Some 300 species of Rhynchosia, belongi ng to the
bean family, Leguminosae, are known from the tropics
and subtropics. The seeds of some species are im­
portant in folk medicine in several countries.
97
A Y AHUASCA and CAAPI are two
of many l ocal names for ei ther of
to speci es of a South Ameri can
vi ne: Banistriopsis caapi or 8.
inebrians. Both are gi ganti c j ungl e
l ianas wi th ti ny pi nk fowers. Li ke
the approxi matel y 1 00 other speci es
i n the genus, thei r botany i s poorl y
understood. They bel ong to the
fami ly Mal pi ghiaceae.
An hal l uci nogeni c dri nk made from
the bark of these vi nes i s wi del y
used by I ndi ans i n the western Ama­
zon-Brazi l , Col ombi a, Peru, Ecua­
dor, and Bol i vi a. Other l ocal names
for the vi nes or the dri nk made
from them are dopa, natema, pi nde,
and yaj e. The dri nk i s i ntensel y
bi tter and nauseati ng.
I n Peru and Ecuador, the dri nk
i s made by raspi ng the bark and
boi l ing it. In Col ombi a and Brazi l ,
the scraped bark i s squezed i n
col d water to make the dri nk. Some
tri bes add other pl ants to al ter
or to i ncrease the potency of the
dri nk. In some ports of the Ori noco,
the bark i s si mpl y chewed. Recent
evidence suggests that i n the
northwestern Amazon the pl ants
may be used i n the form of snuf.
Ayahuasca is popul ar for its " tel e­
pathi c properti es, " for whi ch, of
course, there is no sci enti fc bosi s.
Banisteriopsis
caapi
99
ERLIEST PUBLISHED REPRTS of ayahuasca date from
1 858 but in 1 85 1 Richard Spruce, an Engl i sh ex­
pl orer, had di scovered the pl ant from whi ch the i n­
toxi cati ng dri nk was made and descri bed it as a new
species. Spruce al so reported that te Guahi bos al ong
the Ori noco River in Venezuela chewe the dri ed stem
for i ts efects i nstead of prepari ng a dri nk from the bark.
Spruce col l ected foweri ng materi al and al so stems for
chemi cal study. I nteresti ngl y, these stems were not
anal yzed unti l 1 969, but even afer more tan a cen­
tury, they gave resul ts ( p. 1 03) i ndi cati ng the presence
of al kal oi ds.
In the years si nce Spruce' s di scovery, many expl orers
and travel ers who passed through the western Amazon
regi on wrote about the drug. It i s wi del y known i n the
Amazon but the whol e story of thi s plant i s yet to be
unravel e. Some writers have even confuse ayahuasca
with compl etel y diferent narcotic pl ants.
Colorado I ndi an fom Ecuador raspi ng the bark of Banisteriopsis­
a step in preparation of the narcotic ayohuasca dri nk.
1 00
to exampl es of
pttery vessel s
used i n
oyohuasca
ceremony
The ceremoni al vessel used in the ayahuasca ritual i s always hung
by the I ndi ans under the eaves at the ri ght si de of a house. Al though
ocasional ly redecorated, it i s never woshed.
EFFCTS of dri nki ng ayahuasca range from a pl easant
i ntoxi cati on wi th no hangover to vi ol ent reacti ons wi th
si ckeni ng after-efects. Usual l y there are vi sual hal l uci na­
ti ons in col or. I n excessive doses, the drug bri ngs on
ni ghtmari sh vi si ons and a feel i ng of reckl ess abandon.
Consci ousness i s usual l y not l ost, nor i s there i mpai rment
of te use of the l i mbs. In fact, danci ng is a maj or part
of the ayahuasca ceremony in some tri bes. The i ntoxi cati on
ends wi th a deep sl eep and dreams.
An ayahuasca i ntoxi c
a
ti on i s difcul t t o descri be.
The efect of the active pri nci pl es vari es from person to
person. In addi ti on, preparati on of the dri nk vari es
from one regi on to another, and vari ous pl ant addi ti ves
may al so al ter the efects .
1 01
The Yuruparf ceremony in the Colombian Amazon i nvolves ritual
ayahuasca i ntoxi cation. The I ndi ans are blowing sacred br futes.
CEREMONI AL USES of ayahuasca are of major i mpor­
tance in the l i ves of South Ameri can I ndi ans. In eastern
Peru, medi ci ne men take the drug to di agnose and treat
di seases. I n Col ombi a and Brazi l , the drug i s empl oyed
in deepl y rel i gi ous ceremoni es that are roated in tri bl
mythol ogy. I n the famous Yurupari ceremony of the
Tukanoan I ndi ans of Amazoni an Col ombi a-a ceremony
that i nitiates adol escent boys i nto manhoo-the drug
i s gi ven to fori fy those who must undergo the severely
pi nful ordeal that forms a part of the rite.
The i ntoxi cati on of ayahuasca or caapi among these
I ndi ans is thought to represent a return to the ori gi n
of al l thi ngs: the user "sees" tri bal gods and the
creation of the universe and of man and the ani mal s.
Thi s experi ence convi nces the I ndi ans of the rel ity of
thei r rel igi ous bel i efs, because they have " seen" every­
thi ng that underl i es them. To them, everday l i fe i s
unreal , and what caapi bri ngs them i s the true real ity.
1 02
CHEMICAL STUDIES of the two ayahuasca vi nes have
sufered from the botani cal confusion surroundi ng them.
However, i t appears that both speci es owe thei r hal l u­
ci nogeni c activity pri mari l y to harmi ne, the · maj or
,-carbol i ne al kal oi d in the pl ants. Harmal i ne and
tetrahydroharmi ne, al kal oi ds present in mi nor amounts,
may al so contri bute to the i ntoxi cation. Earl y chemi cal
studi es i sol ated these several al kal oids but di d not
recogni ze thei r i denti ty. They were given names as "new"
al kal oi ds. One of these names-tel epathi ne-i s an
i ndi cation of the wi despread bel i ef that the dri nk pre­
pared from these vi nes gave the I ndi an mei ci ne men
tel epathi c powers.
Harmi ne

N
CH
3
0�

CH3
Harmal i ne
CH,O

N
H
CH3
Tetrahydroharmi ne
Chemical formul as of Bonisteriopsis caapi and 8. inebrians al kal oids.
I ndol e nucl eus i s shown i n red.
1 03
PLANTS ADDED TO A YAHUASCA by some I ndi ans i n
the preparation of the hal l uci nogeni c dri nk are amazi ngl y
diverse and i ncl ude even ferns. Several are now known
to be active themselves and to al ter efectively the
properti es of the basic dri nk. Among these are Datura
suaveo/ens ( p. 1 45) and a speci es of 8runfelsia ( p.
1 40) -bth members of the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol ana­
ceae, and both contai ni ng active pri nci pl es.
Two addi tives, empl oyed over a wi de area by many
tri bs, are especi al ly si gni fcant. The l eaves ( but not
the bark) of a thi rd speci es of 8anistriopsis-8.
rusbyana-are often added to the preparati on " to
l engthen and brighten the vi si ons. ' ' Cal led oco-yaje
i n the westernmost Amazon regi on of Col ombi a and
Ecuador, the I i ana is cul ti vated for thi s purpose, al ong
with 8. caapi and 8. inebrians.
Over a much wider area, i ncl udi ng Amazoni an Brazi l ,
Col ombi a, Ecuador, and Peru, the l eaves of several
speci es of Psychotria-especi al ly P. viridis-are added.
Thi s 20-foot forest treel et bel ongs to the cofee fami l y,
Rubi aceae. Li ke 8. rusbyana, it has been found recentl y
to contai n the strongl y hal l uci nogeni c N, N-di metyl ­
tryptami ne.
H
N, N-Di methyl tryptami ne ( DMT)
1 04
ANOTHER KIND OF CAAPI is prepared from T etraptris
metytica, a forest vi ne al so bel ongi ng to the fami l y
Mal pi ghiaceae. One group of Maku I ndi ans of the
northwesternmost part of the Brazi l i an Amazon prepares
a col d-water dri nk from the bark. There i s no other pl ant
'
i ngredi ent. The dri nk is very bi ter and has an unusual
yel l ow hue. Thi s may be the " second ki nd" of caapi
menti oned by several expl orers as caapi -pi ni ma, meani n
" pai nted caapi . "
Al though T. methystica produces efects i denti cal wi t
tose of Banisteriopsis caapi, we sti l l know nothi ng of
its chemi stry. However, it is cl osel y rel ated to Banistriop­
sis and there is every probabi l i t that si mi lar or i den­
ti cal al kal oi ds are present.
There are 90 species of Tetraptris-vi nes and smal l
trees found throughout the humi d Ameri can tropi cs.
SHANSHI ( Coriaria thymifolia) is a widespread Andean
shrub long recogni zed as very poisonous to catle. It
has recently been reported as one of the plants used
as an hallucinogen by peasants in Ecuador . Shanshi is
their name for the plant. The fruits are eaten for thei r
intoxicating efects, which include the sensation of
fight. The wei rd efects are due possibly to an un­
identifed glycoside, but the chemistry of this species
is still poorly understood. Shanshi is one of 15 species
of Coriaria, most of which are shrubs. They are found
i n the mountains from Mexico to Chile, from the
Mediterranean area eastward to Japan, and also in New
Zealand. Coriaria is the only known genus in the
family, Coriariaceae.
1 07
SI NICUI CHI (Heimia saliciflia) i s a poorl y understoo
but fasci nati ng audi tory hal l uci noen of central Mexi co.
I ts leaves, sl i ghtly wi lted, are crushed and sooked i n
water. The resul ti ng j ui ce i s put i n the sun to fer­
ment i nto a sl i ghtl y i ntoxi cati ng dri nk that causes
gi ddi ness, darkeni ng of the surroundi ngs, shri nkage of
te worl d, and drowsi ness or euphoria. Ei ther deafness
or audi tory hal l uci nati ons may resul t, wi th voi ces or
sounds di storted and semi ng to come from a di stance.
Parakers cl ai m that unpleasant after-efects are rare,
but excessive dri nki ng of the i ntoxi cant can be qui te
harmful .
Si ni cui chi i s a name given al so to other pl ants that
are i mportant bth medical l y and as i ntoxi cants in
vari ous parts of Mexi co. Other i ntoxi cati ng si ni cui chi s
are Erytrina, Rhynchosia, and Piscidia, but Heimia
salicifolia commands the greatest respect. Wi th the
cl osel y rel ated H. myrtifolia, i t has i nteresti ng uses i n fol k
medi ci ne. Onl y i n Mexico, however, i s the hal l uci nogeni c
use i mportant.
Heimia bel ongs to the l oosestri fe fami l y, Lythraceae,
and represents an American genus of three hardl y
di sti ngui shabl e species that range i n the hi ghl ands from
southern Uni ted States to Argenti na. Presence of hal l uci ­
nogeni c pri nci pl es was unknown i n thi s fami l y, but
chemi sts have recentl y found si x al kal oi ds i n Heimia
saliciflia. They bel ong to the qui nol i zi di ne group. One,
cryogeni ne or verti ne, appears to be the most active,
al though the hal l uci nogeni c efects fol l owi ng i ngesti on
of the total pl ant have not yet been dupl i cated by any
of te al kal oi ds i sol ated thus far. Thi s provi des us wi th
another exampl e of the often appreci abl e diference be­
teen the efects of drugs taken as natural products
and the efects of thei r purifed chemi cal consti tuents .
1 08
Heimio solicifolia
fower,
sl i ghtl y
enl arged
1 09
fowering
branch
( fowers are
ni ght-bl omi ng
and very
fragrant)
areole
( spi nes often
absent)
Trichocereus
pachanoi
SAN PEDRO ( Trichocereus pachanoi) i s a l arge col um­
nar cactus wi del y cul tivated as an hal l uci nogen i n the
Andes of Peru, Ecuador, and Bol ivi a. The nati ves, who
al so cal l i t aguacol l a or gi ganton, recogni ze several
" ki nds, " whi ch difer mai nl y in the number of r i bs,
the most common type havi ng seven. Thi s cactus is
someti mes pl anted al ong fel ds as a fence row to keep
sheep and catl e from roami ng.
An i ntoxi cati ng dri nk cal l e ci mora i s made from
the San Pedro cactus. Short lengths of the stem, often
sold i n native markets, are sl i ced l i ke loaves of bread
and ten boi led in water for several hours, someti mes
with supersti ti ous obj ects such as cemetery dust and
powdered bones.
Al though ci mora i s often made from San Pedro al one,
several feld researchers i ndi cate that a vari ety of
I 1 0
From collection of Munson·Williams-Proctor Institute-Utica, N. Y.
cross-section
of stem
other pl ants may someti mes be added to the brew. These
i ncl ude the cactus Neoraimondia macrostibas, an Andean
speci es the chemi stry of whi ch has not yet been deter­
mi ned; the shrub Pedilanthus tithymaloides of the cos­
tor oi l fami l y; and the companul aceous /sotoma longi­
fora. All these pl ants may have bi odynami c consti tuents.
On occasi on, other more obvi ousl y potent pl ants ore
added-Datura, for exampl e.
Onl y recentl y have researchers become aware
of the i mportance of the " secondary" pl ant i ngre­
di ents often empl oyed by pri mitive soci eti es. The fact
that mescal i ne occurs i n the San Pedro cactus does not
mean that the dri nk prepared from i t may not be al tered
by the addition of other pl ants, al though the si gnif­
cance of the addi tives i n changi ng the hal l uci nogeni c
efects of t he brew i s sti l l not ful l y understood.
1 1 1
Ci mora is the basi s of a fol k heal i ng ceremony
that combi nes anci ent i ndi genous ri tual with i mporte
Chri sti an el ements. An obserer has descri bed the pl ant
as ' ' the catalyst that activates al l the compl ex forces at
work in a folk hel i ng sessi on, especi al ly the vi si on­
ary and di vi natory powers" of the nati ve medi ci ne man.
But the powers of San Pedro are supposed to extend
byon mei ci ne; it i s said to guard houses l i ke a dog,
havi ng the abi l it to whi stl e i n such unearthl y fashi on
that i ntruders fee i n terror.
Al though San Pedro i s not cl osel y related btan­
i cal l y to pyote, the same al kal oi d, mescal i ne, i s re­
sponsi bl e for the vi sual hal l uci nations cause by both.
Mescal i ne has ben i sol ated not onl y from San Pero
but from another species of Trichocereus. Chemi cal
studi es of Trichoereus are very recent, and therefre
i t is possi bl e that additional al kal oi ds may yet be
found i n T. pachanoi.
Trichocereus compri ses about 40 speci es of col umnar
cacti that grow in subtropi cal and temperate ports of
the Andes.
There i s no reason to suppose that the use of the
San Pedro cactus i n hal l uci nogeni c and di vi natory ri t­
ual s does not have a long hi story. We must reconi ze,
certai nl y, tat the moern use has ben afected greatly
by Chri sti an i nfuences. These i nfuences are evident
even i n the naming of the cactus after Saint Peter, pos­
sibl y stemmi ng from the Christian bel ief that Sai nt
Peter hol ds the keys to heaven. But the overal l con­
text of the ritual and our moern understandi ng of the
San Pero cul t, whi ch i s connecte i nti mately wi th moon
mythology, l eads us to bel i eve that i t represents an
autenti c amal gam of pagan and Chri stian el ements.
I ts use seems to be spreadi ng i n Peru.
1 1 2
Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum
fruit
ti p of
foweri ng
branch
Cowe, or Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum, i s one of the pl ants com­
bined with the Son Pedro cactus by the Torohumore of Mexi co. It is
not defnitely known whether thi s tol l organ cactus i s hal l uci noeni c.
1 1 3
Lophophora williamsii
plant i n fower,
with accessory heads
PEYOTE ( Lophophora williamsii), an unobtrusi ve cactus
that grows i n rocky deserts, i s the most spectacul ar
hal l uci nogeni c plant of the New World. It i s al so one of
the earl i est known. The Aztecs used it, cal l i ng i t peyotl .
Peyote is a smal l , feshy, spi nel ess cactus wi th a
rounded gray-green top, tufts of whi te hai r, and a l ong
carrotl i ke root. It rarel y exceds 71h i nches in l ength or
3 i nches across. The I ndi ans cut of the crowns to
sun-dry i nto brown, di scoi dal "mescal butons " that l ast
l ong periods and can be shi pped to di stant poi nts for
use. When the top i s severed, the plant often sprouts
new crowns so that many-heade peyotes are common.
Peyote was frst descri bed botani cal l y in 1 845 and
1 1 4
fower of
L. williamsii
L. williamsii
whole pl ant
with tapering
carrotl ike root
dri ed peyote crowns
( mescal buttos)
Lophophora difuse
cal l ed Echinocactus williamsii. It has been gi ven many
other techni cal names. The one used most commonl y by
chemi sts has ben Anhalonium lewinii. Most btani sts
now agree peyote bel ongs i n a di sti nct genus, Lopho­
phora. Tere are two speci es: the widespred L. wil­
liamsii and the l ocal L. difuse in Queretaro.
Peyote is native to the Rio Grande val l ey of Texas
and northern and central parts of the Mexi can pl ateu.
It bel ongs to the cactus fami l y, Cactaceae, compri si ng
some 2 ,000 speci es in 50 to 1 50 genera, native pri ­
mari l y to the dri er parts of tropi cal Ameri ca. Many
speci es are val ued as horti cul tral curi osi ti es, and some
have i nteresti ng fol k uses among the I ndi ans.
1 1 5
USE OF PEYOTE BY THE AZTECS was descri be by
Spani sh chroni cl ers. One reported that those who ate
it saw frightful vi si ons and remai ned drunk for two or
three days; that it was a common food of the Chi ch­
i meca I ndi ans, "sustai ni ng them and gi vi ng them courage
to fght and not feel fear nor hunger nor thi rst; and
they say that it protects them from al l danger . " I n
1 59 1 , another chroni cl er wrote that the nati ves who
eat i t " l ose thei r senses, see visi ons of terrifyi ng si ghts
l i ke the devi l , and are abl e to prophesy thei r future wi th
' satani c tri ckery. ' "
Dr. Hernandez, the physi ci an to the Ki ng of Spi n,
descri bed the cactus as Peyotl zacatecensis and wrote
of its "wonderful properties. " He took note of i ts
smal l s ize and descri bed i t by sayi ng that " i t scarcel y
i ssues from the earth, as i f i t di d not wi sh to harm those
who fnd and eat i t. " Recent archaeol ogi cal fnds of
peyote buttons i n the state of Texas are approxi matel y
1 ,000 years ol d.
OPPOSI TI ON TO THE USE OF PEYOTE by the Aztecs
was strong among the Spani sh conquerors. One earl y
Spani sh church document l i kened the eati ng of peyote
to canni bal i sm. Upset by the rel i gi ous hol d that peyote
had on the I ndi ans, the Spani sh tried, wi th great vi gor
but l i ttl e success, to stamp out i ts use.
By 1 720, the eati ng of peyote was prohi bited through­
out Mexi co. But despi te four centuri es of ci vi l and ec­
cl esi astical persecuti on, the use and i mportance of peyote
have spread beyond i ts early l i mited confnes. Today it i s
so strongl y anchored i n native l ore that even Chri sti an­
i zed I ndi ans bl i eve that a patron sai nt-EI Santo Ni no
de Peyotl -wal ks on the hi l l s where peyote grows.
There i s conti nui ng opposi ti on i n certai n rel i gi ous
1 1 6
organi zati ons in the Uni ted States to the I ndi ans ' use
of peyote as a ceremoni al sacrament. Neverthel ess,
the federal government has never seri ousl y questi oned
or i nterfered wi th the practi ce si nce it is essenti al l y
a rel i gi ous one. Those tri bes l i vi ng far from sources
of peyote-some as far north as Canada-can l egal l y
i mport mescal butons by mai l . Despi te consti tuti onal
guarantees separati ng church and state, however, a
few states have enforced repressi ve l aws agai nst even
the rel i gi ous use of peyote.
Huichol I ndian art indicating the importance of peyote in a trinity in­
vol ving mn and the maize pl ant.
1 1 7
RELI GI OUS I MPORTANCE OF PEYOTE persi sts among
the Tarahumare, Hui chol , and other Mexi can I ndi ans.
The Tarahumare bel ieve that when Father Sun l ef earth
to dwel l above, he left peyote, or hi kul i , to cure man' s
i l l s and woes; that peyote si ngs and tal ks as i t grows;
that when gathered i t sings happi l y i n its bags all the
way home; and that God speaks through the pl ant in
thi s way.
Many legends about the supernatural powers of peyote
underl i e its rel i gi ous i mportance. It mi ght be esteemed
merely as an everyday medi ci ne, but i t has been exal ted
to a posi ti on of near-di vi nity. The peyote-col l ecti ng
tri p of the Hui chol s, for exampl e, i s hi ghl y rel i gi ous,
requi ri ng pi l gri ms to forego adul t experi ences, especi al l y
sexual , for i t reenacts the frst peyote quest of the
di vi ne ancestors . The pi l gri ms must confess in order to
become spi ri t and enter i nto the sacred country through
the
gateway of cl ashi ng cl ouds, a j ourney whi ch,
accordi ng to thei r tradi ti on, repeats the "j ourney of the
soul of the dead to the underworl d. "
EFFECTS OF PEYOTE on the mi nd and body are so
utterl y unworl dl y and fantastic that i t i s easy to under­
stand the nati ve bel i ef that the cactus must be the
resi dence of spi ri t forces or a divi ni ty. The most spectac­
ular of the many efects i s the kal ei doscopi c play of
i ndescri babl y ri ch, colored vi si ons. Hal l uci nati ons of
heari ng, feel i ng, and taste often occur as wel l .
The i ntoxi cati on may be di vided i nto two peri ods:
one of contentent and extrasensi tivity, fol l owed by
arti fci al cal m and muscul ar sl uggi shness at whi ch ti me
the subj ect begi ns to pay l ess attenti on to hi s sur­
roundi ngs and i ncrease hi s i ntrospective "meditation. "
Before vi si ons appear, some three hours after eati ng
1 1 8
Paraphernalia used in a typical Pl ains I ndian peyote ceremony. Note
the bl end of Christian and pgan symbol s on the smoke-stick.
peyote, there ore fashes and sci nti l l ati ons i n col ors,
thei r depth and saturati on defyi ng descri pti on. The
vi si ons often fol low a sequence from geometri c fgures
to unfami l i ar and grotesque obj ects that vary wi th the
i ndividual .
Though t he col ored vi sual hal l uci nati ons undoubtedl y
underl i e the rapi d spread of the use of peyote, espe­
ci al l y i n those I ndi an cul tures where the quest for vi si ons
has al ways been i mportant, many natives assert that
vi si ons are "not good" and l ock rel i gi ous si gni fcance.
Peyote' s reputati on as a panacea and al l -powerful
"medi ci ne" -both in physi cal and psychi c senses ­
may be equal l y responsi bl e for i ts spread.
1 1 9
USE OF PEYOTE I N THE UNITED STATES frst came to
publ i c attention about 1 880 when the Ki owa and the
Comanche I ndi ans establ i shed a peyote ceremony de­
rived from the Mexi can but remodel ed i nto a vi si on­
quest ri tual typi cal of the Pl ai ns I ndi ans. Use of peyote
had been recorded earl i er, i n 1 720, i n Texas. How the
use of peyote di fused from Mexi co north, far beyond
the natural range of the cactus, i s not ful l y known.
Duri ng the 1 880' s, many I ndi an mi ssi onari es were
active in spreadi ng the peyote ceremony from tribe to
tri be. By 1 920, the peyote cul t numbered over 1 3,000
fai thful i n more than 30 tribes i n North Ameri ca. I t
was l egal l y organi zed, partl y for protecti on agai nst
ferce Chri sti an-mi ssi onary persecution, i nto the Native
Ameri can Church, which now cl ai ms 250, 000 members .
Thi s cul t, a combi nati on of Chri sti an and native el ements,
teaches brotherl y l ove, hi gh moral pri nci pl es, and
abstenti on from al cohol . I t consi ders peyote a sacrament
through whi ch God mani fests Hi msel f to man.
THE PEYOTE RI TUAL as practiced by I ndi ans i n the
Uni ted States vari es somewhat from tri be to tri be.
A typi cal Pl ai ns I ndi an ceremony takes pl ace weekl y
i n an al l -ni ght meeting i n a teepee. Worshi pers si t i n
a ci rcl e around a hal f-moon al tar of sand ( see p. 6) on
whi ch a l arge speci men cal l ed a " Father Peyote" i s
set and at whi ch a sacred fre burns. The ashes are
shaped i nto the form of a thunderbi rd. The ceremony,
le by a " roadman, " consi sts of chanti ng accompani e
by rattle and drum, al ternati ng with prayers, l essons,
testi moni es, and occasi onal l y a curi ng ri tual . At ni ght
dri e peyote tops ( mescal buttons) are moi stened and
swal l owed-from 4 to 30 or more. The ri tual ends wi th
breakfast at dawn when the teepee i s haul ed down.
1 20
I ndi an pinti ng of Peyote "roadman"-leader of the Peyote ceremony.
( Original painti ng is by Stephen Moppe, Kickapo I ndian arist; i n
col l ection of Harvard Botani cal Museum. )
1 2 1
A PEYOTE VI SI ON was descri bed by a sci enti st who
experi enced i t as fol l ows : " . . . clouds . . . tai l of
pheasant turns i nto bri ght yel l ow star; star i nto sparks.
Movi ng, sci nti l l ati ng screw; hundreds of screws. A
sequence of rapi dl y changi ng obj ects in agreeabl e col ors .
A rotati ng wheel in the center of a si l very ground . . .
The upper part of a man wi th a pal e face and red
cheeks, ri si ng sl owly from below. Whi l e I am thi nki ng
of a fri end, the head of an I ndi an appears. Beads i n
di ferent col ors . . . so bri ght that I doubt my eyes are
closed . . . . Yel l ow mass l i ke sal twater tafy pi erced
by two teeth. Si l very water pouring downward, suddenl y
fowing upward . . . expl odi ng shel l s turn i nto strange
fowers . . . A drawi ng of a head turns i nto a mush­
room, then a skel eton i n l ateral vi ew . . . Head and
l egs are l acki ng . . . Soft, deep darkness with movi ng
wheel s and stars i n . . . pl easant col ors. Nuns i n si l ver
dress . . . quickl y di sappeari ng. Col l ecti on of bl ui sh
i nk bottl es wi th l abel s. Red, browni sh, and vi ol et threads
runni ng together i n the center. Autumn l eaves turni ng
i nto mescal buttons . . . Man i n greeni sh vel vet j umpi ng
i nto a deep chasm. Strange ani mal turns i nto a pi ece
of wood i n hori zontal posi ti on. "
THE CHEMI STRY OF PEYOTE i s extremel y i nteresting
and i s sti l l subj ect to i ntense study by chemi sts and
pharmacologi sts. More than 30 acti ve consti tuents
have been found i n the peyote ti ssues . They are mai nl y
al kal oi ds of two types: phenyl ethyl ami nes and i soqui no­
l i nes. Much pharmacol ogi cal and psychol ogi cal research
has been done on mescal i ne, the al kal oi d responsi bl e
for the col ored vi si ons, but the efects of most of the
other consti tuents, al one or i n combi nati on, are not wel l
understood.
1 22
CHEMI CAL STRUCTURES OF SEVERAL PEYOTE ALKALOI DS
Anhal i ne
Anhal oni di ne
C
H
p
w

`
N H
C
H
3
0
Mescal i ne
. OH
H
Anhal ami ne
C
H
p
w

N
o
' "
'c H
\
3
C
H
_..
0
C
H
3
2
c H
p
w lophophori ne
'
C
H
p
w

N H

0
� N
I
o
C
H c
H
p
'c
H
C
H
2
...
3
OH H
3
Anhal oni ne Anhal i di ne
" FALSE PYOTS" are other spci es of cacts use
by the Tarahumare and Hui chol I ndi ans of northern
Mexi co. One, cal l ed hi kul i mul ato, i s bel i eved to make
the eyes so l arge and cl ear that the user can see
sorcerers. Thi s smal l cactus has been i denti fed as
Epithelantha micromeris. A speci es known as hi kul i
sunami (Ariocarpus fssuratus) i s sai d to be more power­
ful than peyote ( hi kul i ), and the Tarahumare bel ieve
that robbers are powerl es
s
to steal when thi s cactus
cal l s sol di ers to i ts ai d.
Hi kul i wal ul a sael i ami , meani ng "hi kul i of greatest
authori ty, " i s so rare that i t has not yet been i denti fed,
Epithelantha micromeris
pl ant in fower,
wi th
accessory
head
Ariocarpus fssuratus
fruits, enl arged
but it is reputedly the most powerful of al l hal l uci n

geni c cact i . Among the Hui chol , tsuwi ri (Ariocarpus
retusus) is considered dangerous to eat; it is bel i eved
capabl e of sorcery and decepti on, dri vi ng a man mad
i n the desert i f he has not been properl y i nstructed by
the shaman or i s not i n a state of ri tual puri ty that
al l ows him to fnd the true peyote pl ant.
Nothi ng i s known of the chemi stry of Epithelantha.
Several toxi c al kal oi ds, especi al l y anhal oni ne, have been
found i n Ariocarpus, but mescal i ne i s apparentl y absent.
Pelecyphora aselliformis, another "fal se peyote, " has
recentl y been found to contai n al kal oi ds.
vertical
section af
fower
Ariocarpus refusus
plant in
fower
Pelecyphora aselliformis
habi t of flower and l eaf fl ower and l eaf
PerneHya parviflia of P. parvifolia of P. fvrens
HI ERBA LOCA and T AGLLI (Pernettya furens and P.
parvifolia) are two of about 25 speci es of Pernetya,
mostl y very smal l subshrubs that grow in the hi ghl ands
from Mexi co to Chi l e, the Gal apagos and Fal kl and
i sl ands, Tasmani a, and New Zeal and. These pl ants
bel ong to the heath fami l y, Eri caceoe, al ong wi th the
cranberry, bl ueberry, Scotch heather, rhododendron,
and trai l i ng arbutus. Several speci es are known to be
toxi c to cattl e and man, but only these two are known
defni tel y to be empl oyed as hal l uci nogens .
Pernetta furens, whi ch i n Chi l e i s cal l ed hi erba
l oco ( " maddeni ng pl ant") or hued hued, has frui ts that,
when eaten, can cause mental confusi on, madness, and
permanent i nsani ty. The i ntoxi cati on resembl es that
fol l owi ng the i ngesti on of Datura.
The frui t of tagl l i , of Ecuador, is wel l recognized as
poi sonous, capabl e of i nduci ng hal l uci nati ons and other
psychi c al terati ons as wel l as afecti ng the motor nerves .
Though the chemi stry of these and other speci es of
Peretya needs further study, it seems that the toxi ci ty
may be due to andromedotoxi n, a resi noi d, or to
arbuti n, a gl ycosi de. Both compounds are rather com­
mon i n thi s pl ant fami l y.
1 26
Pernettya furens
floweri ng
branch
frui t,
enl arged
flower,
enl arged
1 27
SACRED MEXI CAN MORNI NG GLORI ES of two speci es
(Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea) provi de Mexi ­
can I ndi ans with hal l uci nogeni c seeds. Al though the
morni ng gl ory fami l y, Convol vul aceae, has been i m­
portant as the source of several medi ci nes and many
ornamental s, onl y i n recent years has i t been di scovered
that some of the 1 , 700 temperate and tropi cal speci es
contai n hi ghl y i ntoxi cati ng pri nci pl es. I n other parts of
the world the concentrati on of these pri nci pl es may be
hi gher than in the Mexi can morni ng gl ori es, yet they
seem never to have been used as hal l uci nogens.
Seeds of Rivea corymbosa Seeds of Ipomoea violacea
Shortl y after the conquest of Mexi co, Spani sh chron­
i cl ers reported that ol ol i uqui and tl i tl i l tzi n were i mportant
di vi natory hal l uci nogens of Aztec rel i gi on, magi c, and
medi ci ne. Ol ol i uqui i s a smal l , round, browni sh seed
from a vine, coatl -xoxouhqui ( "snake pl ant " ), with
heart-shaped l eaves and white fowers; tl i tl i l tzi n i s a
bl ack, angul ar seed. These were recentl y i denti fed
respecti vel y as the seeds of Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea
violacea. Si nce botani cal nomencl ature i n thi s fami l y i s
not al ways cl ear, these two speci es are someti mes cal l ed
Turbine corymbosa and Ipomoea tricolor, respecti vel y.
Whereas much was wri tten about ol ol i uqui , tl i tl i l tzi n was
merel y menti oned i n the anci ent writi ngs.
1 28
MEDI CAL AND RELI GI OUS
USES of the morni ng gl ory
cal l ed ol ol i uqui were of
major i mportance to the
Aztecs. Ol ol i uqui i s pre­
sumed to have pai n-ki l l i ng
properti es. Before maki ng
sacri fces, Aztec pri ests
rubbed themsel ves wi th an
oi ntment of the ashes of
i nsects, tobacco, and
ol ol i uqui to benumb the
fesh and lose al l fear.
Hernandez, physi ci an to
the Ki ng of Spai n, wrote
that ' ' when the pri ests
wanted to commune wi th
thei r gods and recei ve
messages from them,
they ate thi s pl ant to i n-
Earl i est i l l ustrati on of Rivea
duce a
del i ri um, and a
cor
y
mb
a
s
a
, al so known as ala-
thousand vi si ons . . . ap-
l i uqui ( Hernandez; Rome, 1 651 ) .
peered to them. "
One earl y chroni cl er wrote that ol ol i uqui " depri ves
of hi s senses hi m who has taken i t, for i t i s very
powerful . " Another contended that "the natives com­
muni cate i n thi s way wi th the devi l , for they usual l y
tal k when dr unk wi th ol ol i uqui and ar e decei ved by the
hal l uci nati ons whi ch they attri bute to the dei ty resi di ng
i n the seeds . "
The seeds were venerated and pl aced in the i dol s of
I ndi an ancestors. Oferi ngs were made to them under
the stri ctest secrecy i n pl aces unknown to persons not
i nvol ved i n the worshi p.
1 29
I DE NTI FI CA liON of ol ol i uqui and tl i tl i l tzi n as morni ng
gl ori es had to wai t for four centuri es, because eforts of
the Spani sh to eradi cate the use of these sacred hal l u­
ci nogens drove them i nto the hi l l s. Several crude draw­
i ngs i n the chroni cl es i ndicated that ol ol i uqui was a morn­
i ng gl ory. Mexi can botani sts i denti fed i t as such as
earl y as 1 854. But doubts persi sted because the morn­
i ng gl ory fami l y was thought to be devoi d of i ntoxi ­
cati ng pri nci pl es, and no member of the fami l y had ever
been seen empl oyed as an hal l uci nogen. Mai nl y on the
basi s of si mi l ari ty of the fowers, i t was suggested earl y
i n the 1 900' s that ol ol i uqui was not a morni ng gl ory but
a Datura ( p. 1 42) , a known hal l uci nogen sti l l used i n
Mexi co. Not unti l 1 939 were actual speci mens of Rivea
corymbosa used in Mazatec I ndi an di vi natory ri tual s
col l ected i n Oaxaca and i dentifed as the ol ol i uqui of
the anci ent Aztecs. Ipomoea violacea was found 20
years later i n ceremoni al use among the Zapotecs of
the same regi on and i denti fed as tl i tl i l tzi n.
An i l l ustrati on of ol ol i uqui i n frui t, from Sahagun' s Histor ic de las
Casas de Nueva Espana, vol . IV, book XI. Sahagun, a Spani sh friar,
wrote about the marels of the New Worl d i n the years 1 529- 1 590.
1 30
PRESENT USE of the sa­
cred Mexi can morni ng
gl ory seeds difers l i ttl e
from anci ent practi ces.
The seeds are used for
di vi nati on, prophecy, and
di agnosi s and treatment
of i l l ness by many tri bes,
especi al l y the Chati nos,
Chi nantecs, Mazatecs,
and Zapotecs. I n al most
I ndi an gi rl from Oaxaca gri nd·
al l Oaxacan
vi l l ages,
i ng
I
p
o
m
oea seeds on
a metate.
the seeds serve the I n-
di ans "as an ever present hel p i n ti me of troubl e. "
The modern ceremony, featuri ng the use of morni ng
gl ory seeds to treat an i l l ness, i s a curi ous bl endi ng of
ol d I ndi an bel i efs and Chri sti ani ty. The nati ve who is
to be treated col l ects the seeds hi msel f. About a
thi mbl eful of the seeds-often the magi c number is 13-
is measured out. The seeds are ground by a vi rgi n,
usual l y a chi l d, in a speci al ri tual accompanied by
compl ex prayer. Water i s
added, the resul ti ng bev­
erage i s strai ned, and
the pati ent dri nks i t at
ni ght i n si l ence. After
more prayers, he l i es
down wi th someone by
hi s si de who l i stens to
what he says whi l e i n­
toxi cated. Thi s determi nes
the cause of hi s troubl es.
I ndi an pati ent dri nki ng poti on
prepared from
I
p
omoea seeds.
1 3 1
var.
Pearly Gates
Rivea corybosa
1 33
EXPERIMENTAL STUDI ES of the narcoti c morni ng
gl ori es began i n 1 955 when a psychi atri st publ i shed
notes on sel f-experi mentation with Rivea seeds, showi ng
that they brought on an i ntoxi cati on accompani ed by
hal l uci nati ons. Thi s announcement prompted chemi sts
to exami ne the pl ant, but no active pri nci pl e could be
found unti l the 1 960' s. At that time the chemi st who
di scovered LSD anal yzed the plant and found several
al kal oi ds cl osel y rel ated to that potentl y hal l uci nogeni c
synthetic compound.
Hi s astoni shi ng di scovery met wi th wi despread di s­
bel i ef, partl y because these l ysergi c-aci d derivatives
had hi therto been known i n nature only i n the pri mi ti ve
fungus ergot (Ciaviceps purpurea), a parasite on the
grai ns of rye. In Europe, when ergot was acci dental l y
ground up i n a mi l l wi th rye four and eaten i n bread
made from the four, i t poi soned whol e towns, causi ng
a terri bl e i ntoxi cati on and l eadi ng frequentl y to wi de­
spread i nsani ty and death. I n the Mi ddl e Ages, before
causes were understood and preventative measures
taken, these mysteri ous mass attacks were cal led St.
Anthony' s Fi re and were attri buted to God' s wrath.
Hal f a dozen of these ergol i ne al kal oi ds have been
found i n seeds of Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea vio­
lacea. The mai n hal l uci nogeni c consti tuents of both seeds
are ergi ne ( d-l ysergi c aci d diethyl ami de) and i soergi ne,
but other rel ated bases occur i n mi nor amounts-chi efy
chanocl avi ne, el ymocl avi ne, and l ysergol . The total al ka­
l oid content of Ipomoea violacea i s fve times that of
Rivea corymbosa, which expl ai ns why the natives use
fewer of the Ipomoea seeds i n prepari ng for thei r
ritual s. Whi l e these al kal oi ds are not uncommon i n
numerous morni ng gl ori es around the worl d, apparentl y
onl y i n Mexi co have the pl ants been uti l ized as narcoti cs.
1 34
Head of rye infested with
Claviceps purpurea, the ergot
fngus. The purple-bl ack structures
are the ergot scleroti a.
H H
Ergi ne
l soergi ne
CH 20H
C H ,OH
CH3
H
Chanocl avi ne
El ymocl avi ne
H
LSD 25
Ergometri ne
( Ergonovi ne)
Lysergol
Al kal oi ds of the sacred Mexican morni ng gl ori es, showi ng thei r chemi cal
relationshi p to LSD.
1 35
MANY HORTICULTURAL VARIEIES of Ipomoea viola­
ceo, i ncl udi ng the popul ar ornamental s Heavenl y Bl ue,
Pearl y Gates, Fl yi ng Saucers, Bl ue Stars, and Weddi ng
Bel l s, as wel l as other vari eti es of Ipomoea, contai n
hal l uci noeni c consti tuents. Other genera, notabl y
Argyreia and Stictocardia, al so contai n these sub­
stances. The Hawai i an wood rose (A. nervosa), for
exampl e, has been found to be hi ghl y i ntoxi cati ng.
Seeds of I . cornea, whi ch are known to possess bio­
dynami c constituents, are sai d to be used as hal l uci no­
gens in Ecuadori an fol k medi ci ne. I n fact, hal l uci nogeni c
compounds are so preval ent i n thi s fami l y, both geo­
graphi cal l y and botani cal l y, that i t i s di fcul t to ex­
pl ai n why the morni ng glories hove not been more
widely empl oyed as narcoti cs by pri mitive soci eti es. Or
hove they?
frui t
Ipomoea
fower,
enl arged
HOJAS DE LA PASTORA (Salvia divinorum), of Mexi co,
i s the onl y one of 700 speci es of Salvia known to be
used as an hal l uci nogen. Mazatec I ndi ans of Oaxaca
empl oy the l eaves as a di vi natory narcoti c, hence di vi ­
norum ( "of the di vi ners " ). The Mazatecs cal l the pl ant
hoj as de I a Pastore i n Spani sh and shka-Pastora i n thei r
nati ve tongue, both names meani ng "l eaves of the
Shepherdess. " The l eaves are chewed fresh, or the
pl ants are ground on a metate, then di l uted with water
and fl tered for dri nki ng.
The pl ant i s not known i n the wi l d and rarel y, i f ever,
devel ops from seed. The Mazatecs pl ant thi s mi nt vegeta­
ti vel y i n remote mountai n ravi nes, and most fami l i es use
i t as a drug when the sacred mushrooms (p. 58) or
morni ng gl ory seeds (p. 1 28) are scarce. I t i s commonl y
bel i eved to be the hal l uci nogeni c pi pi l zi ntzi ntl i of the
anci ent Aztecs.
I ngesti ng l eaves of the pl ant has been found experi ­
mental l y to i nduce an i ntoxi cation si mi l ar to that of the
sacred mushrooms but l ess striking and of shorter dura­
ti on. I t is characterized by three-di mensi onal col ored
desi gns i n kal ei doscopi c moti on. Chemi cal studi es have
as yet fai l ed to i sol ate any psychoactive component.
1 37
COLEUS ( Coleus pumilus and C. blumei) is cul ti vated by
the Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico, who reputedl y employ
the l eaves i n the same way as they use the l eaves of
Salvia divinorum ( see p. 1 37) . I ndeed, the I ndi ans
recogni ze the fami l y rel ationshi p beteen these two
genera of mi nts, both of the fami l y Labi atae. They refer
to S. divinorum as I a hembra ( " the femal e") and to
C. pumilus as el macho ( " the mal e") . There are two
forms of C. blumei, which they cal l el ni no ( " the chi l d")
and el ahi j ado ( " the godson ") .
These two speci es are native to Asi a, where they are
val ued in fol k medi ci ne but apparentl y have not been
used as hal l uci nogens. No hal l uci nogeni c pri nci pl e has
yet been di scovered i n the 1 50 known Coleus speci es.
BORRACHERA ( Jochroma fuchsioides) is one of about
to dozen speci es of lochroma, al l nati ve to the hi gh­
l ands of South America. There are suspi ci ons and un­
confrmed reports that several speci es of l ochroma are
l oal l y taken in hal l uci natory dri nks, ei ther al one or
mi xed wi th other narcotic pl ants, by I ndi ans in the
Si bundoy Val l ey of southern Col ombia. Al though no
chemi cal studi es have been made of lochroma, i t be­
l ongs to the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae, wel l recog­
ni zed for its toxi c and hal l uci nogeni c pri nci pl es.
ARBOL DE LOS BRUJOS ( " sorcerers' tree " ) or latue
(Latua pubifora) i s used by the Mapuche I ndi an medi ci ne
men of Val di vi a, Chi l e, to cause del i ri um, hal l uci na­
ti ons, and occasi onal l y permanent i nsani ty. There i s no cul t
or ritual surroundi ng i ts use, but the tree i s wi del y feared
and respected. Dosages are a cl osel y guarded secret, and
it is wi del y bel i eved that a madness of any desi red dur­
ation may be i nduced by a medi ci ne man who knows
1 38
/ochroma fuchsioides
how to measure the doses properl y. The nati ves empl oy
the fresh frui ts.
The al kal oi ds hyoscyami ne and scopol ami ne have been
i sol ated from the frui t and are responsi bl e for i ts potent
efects. The onl y speci es of Latua known, the tree i s con­
fned to costal mountai ns of central Chi l e. I t bel ongs to
the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae.
1 39
CHI RIC-CASPI and CHI RI C SANANGO (Brunfelsia) are
the most common of the native names for several speci es
of shrubs that appear to have been i mportant
hal l u­
ci nogens among some South Ameri can I ndi an tri bes.
The use of the name borrachero, whi ch means " i n­
toxi cator, " i ndi cates that the natives of Col ombi a,
Ecuador, and Peru recogni ze the shrub' s narcoti c
properti es, and the speci al care taken i n i ts cul ti vati on
seems to suggest a former rel i gi ous or magi c pl ace i n
tr i bol l i fe. Recentl y, real evi dence has poi nted to the
use of several species of Brunfelsia ei ther as the source
of an hal l uci nogeni c dri nk, as among the Kachi naua
of Brazi l , or as an addi tive to other hal l uci nogeni c
Brunfelsia
chiricaspi
dri nks, as among the Jlvaro and Kofan I ndi ans of
Ecuador.
The speci es hal l uci nogeni cal l y empl oyed are B. grandi­
fora and B. chiricaspi. Al l speci es, however, enter i nto
fol k medi ci ne, bei ng used especi al l y to reduce fevers
and as anti rheumati c agents. B. unifora ( as B. hopeana)
has been i ncl uded i n the Brazi l i an pharmacopoei a.
Chemi cal i nvesti gati on of t he active compounds i n
the vari ous speci es of Brunfelsia i s sti l l i n t he i ni ti al
stage, and what the acti ve pri nci pl es may be has not
yet been determi ned. The genus compri ses 40 speci es
of shrubs native to tropi cal South Ameri ca and the West
I ndi es. It bel ongs to the ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae.
Brunfelsia
grandifora
portion
of branch,
showi ng thi n,
faky brk
I
seed,
enl arged
1 4 1
DATURAS (Datura) form a genus of some 20 speci es
of the ni ghtshade fami ly, Sol anaceae. They occur and
are used as hal l uci nogens i n both hemi spheres. The drug
is usual l y prepred by droppi ng pul veri zed seeds i nto
fermented dri nks or by steepi ng l eaves and ti gs i n
water. Use difers wi del y from tri be t o tri be.
I ntoxi cati on caused by the drug i s characteri zed i ni ti al ­
l y by efects so vi ol ent that physi cal restrai nt must be
i mposed unti l the partaker passes i nto a stage of sl eep
and hal l uci nati ons. The medi ci ne man i nterprets the vi ­
si ons as vi si tati ons of the spi ri ts and i s supposedl y thus
abl e to· di agnose di sease, apprehend thi eves, and
prophesy the f
u
ture.
Some of the I ndi ans in the Andes of southern Col om­
bi a cul ti vate a number of cl ones of hi ghl y atrophi ed
"varieti es, " perhaps i nci pi ent speci es. They may be the
resul t of mutations i nduced by vi ruses. Bi ol ogi cal mon­
strosi ti es, thei r i dentifcation to speci es i s ofen difcul t.
Medi ci ne men mai ntai n that they difer in patency from
the usual Daturas, an i ndi cati on that perhaps thei r
chemi cal consti tuti on as wel l as thei r morphol ogy has
been changed. They seem to be confned to Si bundoy,
a mountai n-gi rt val l ey in the hi gh Andes of Col ombi a.
Basical ly, al l speci es of Datura have a si mi l ar chemi cal
composi ti on. Thei r acti ve pri nci pl es are mai nl y hyoscya­
mi ne and scopol ami ne, whi ch are tropane al kal oi ds.
Scopol ami ne i s often the maj or consti tuent. A number of
mi nor, chemi cal l y rel ated al kal oi ds may be present:
atropi ne, norscopal ami ne, metel oi di ne. The di ferences
among speci es are chi efy i n the rel ati ve concentrati ons
of these vari ous al kal oids. Though hi ghl y toxi c, most spe­
ci es have been used extensivel y i n medi ci ne from earl y
ti mes to the pres�nt. Thei r use i n fol k medi ci ne der ives
from thei r high concentrati on of al kal oi ds.
1 42
seeds
stramonium
JI MSON WEED or thorn appl e
(Datura stramonium) i s an i l l ­
scented weedy annual wi th
white to purpl i sh fowers. Probbl y
native to North America, it now
grows in temperate and sub­
tropi cal regi ons around the
world. Al l prs of the pl ant,
especial l y the browni sh-black
seeds, are toxi c. Thi s species is
bel ieved to have ben the chief
ingredient . of wysoccan, used by
te Aloqui n I ndi ans of east­
em Norh America before the
ritual of i ni tiation i nto man­
hod ( see p. 9) .
TORNA-LOCO (Datura cerato­
caula) i s a feshy plant with
thick, forki ng stems that grows
i n marshes and shal low waters.
Its unusual habi tat and i ts
strong narcotic properties
earned i t a special place among
the ancient Mexican hal l uci no­
gens. The Aztecs, who i nvoked
its spirit i n treating certai n
di seases, referred to i t as
"si ster of ol ol i uqui , " one of the
mrni ng gl ori es ( see p. 1 28) .
Its modern Mexi can name, lorna­
loco ( "maddeni ng pl ant" ), i ndi ­
cates i ts potency as a narcotic.
1 43
TOLOACHE (Datura inoxio;
known al so as D. mete/aides), a
coarse, cl i mbi ng annual native
to Mexico and southwestern
United States, has a long
hi story of use as on hal l uci nogen.
I t wos extremel y important to
the Aztecs, who called i t tolootzi n.
Hernandez recorded many
medical uses but warned that
token i n excess i t would drive a
ptient to madness.
The modern Torohumores sti l l
od the roots, seeds, and l eaves
to their maize beer. Zunis value
the plant as a narcotic, an anes­
theti c, and a poul tice for treating
wounds. Onl y the rai n priests
ore permitted to gather it. The
priests put the powdered root
i n their eyes; also they chew the
root to commune with spirits
of the dead, aski ng i ntercession
for rai n.
The Lui seios use on i nfusi on
of tolooche i n on i ni tiation cere­
mony. The young parti ci pants
who drink i t donee, screami ng
l i ke ani mal s, unti l they drop and
succumb to the drug' s efects.
Yumons toke i t to i nduce dreams,
gai n occul t powers, and predict
the future. Yokuts use the drug
i n a spri ng ceremony to assure
good health and long l i fe to the
young. The related D. disco/or
and D. wrightii of the some
region ore si mi l arl y used.
TREE DATURAS of several speci es are nati ve to South
Ameri ca where they go by such native names as bor­
rachero, campani l l a, mai coa, fori pondi a, huanto, toe,
and tonga. Al l are cul ti vated pl ants, unknown in the
trul y wi l d state and associ ated wi th man si nce earl i est
ti mes.
Datura suaveolens i s i ndi genous to the warmer l ow­
l ands. Recogni zed as toxi c and narcoti c, i t i s used as
an hal l uci nogen, al one or as an admi xture. The northern
Andes, from Col ombi a to Peru, appears to be the center
of the group' s ori gi n. Speci es from thi s regi on are · D.
arborea, D. aurea, D. candida, D. dolichocarpa, D.
sanguinea, and the newl y di scovered D. vulcanicola
( see pp. 1 46- 1 47 for exampl es) .
Abori gi nal peopl es from Col ombi a to Chi l e val ue
these trees as sources of ri tual i sti c hal l uci nogens and
medi ci nes. In Chi l e, the Mapuche I ndi ans use D. candida
and D. sanguinea to correct unrul y chi l dren. The Jlvaros
say that the spi rits of thei r ancestors admoni sh recal ci ­
trant chi l dren duri ng the hal l uci nati ons. The anci ent
Chi bchas of Bogota used D. aurea seeds to i nduce
stupor in the wives and sl aves of dead warri ors and
chi eftai ns before they were buri ed al ive to accompany
husbands and masters on the l ast tri p.
At Sogamoza, Col ombi a, I ndi ans took D. sanguinea
ceremoni al l y i n the Templ e of the Sun. The narcoti c
prepared from thi s red-fowered speci es i s known l ocal l y
as tonga. Many Peruvi an natives sti l l bel i eve that tonga
permi ts them to communi cate wi th ancestors or other
departed soul s. I n Matucanas, Peru, I ndi ans say i t wi l l
reveal t o them treasures preserved i n anci ent graves, or
huacas, hence the l ocal name for the pl ant-huacacachu
( "grave pl ant ") . The tree daturos ore someti mes con­
si dered a di sti nct genus: Brugmansia.
1 45
1 46
D. aurea,
golden·fwered
form
san guinea
Si bundoy I ndi an wi tch
doctor col lecting leaves
and fowers of
Methysticodendron
amesianum. Perhaps
nowhere in the New
World does the
imprance of
hal l ucinogens i n native
magic and medi ci ne
acqui re such si gni fcance
as in the Vol l ey of
Si bundoy, whi ch has
ben characterized as
"the most narcotic­
consci ous area of the
New World. "
CULEBRA BORRACHERO (Methysticodendron amesian­
um), a tree reachi ng a hei ght of 25 feet, i s known onl y
from cul ti vated trees i n the Kamsa I ndi an town of Si bun­
doy, Col ombi a. The I ndi ans al so cal l i t mi tskway borra­
chera ( " snake i ntoxi cant ") .
Thi s tree i s the onl y speci es of its genus and may
represent an extremel y aberrant form of a tree speci es
of Datura. I ts 1 1 - i nch whi te fowers di fer from those of
the tree daturas i n havi ng their bel l -shaped corol l a spl i t
nearl y to the base.
An i nfusi on of the l eaves is sai d to be more potent
and dangerous to use than si mi l ar preparati ons of Datura.
The chemi cal composi ti on expl ai ns its great potency: 80
percent of the several typi cal tropane al kal oi ds present is
scopol ami ne. Even i n smal l doses, thi s drug may cause
exci tement, hal l uci nati ons, and del i ri um. The trees are the
speci al property of certai n medi ci ne men who empl oy
the drug i n di fcul t cases of di sease di agnosi s, di vi nati on,
prophecy, or wi tchcraft.
1 48
seeds
amesianum
SHANI N (Petunia violacea) is one of the most recentl y
reported hal l uci nogens. I t i s taken by the I ndi ans i n Ecu­
ador to induce the sensation of fight. Al though an
al kal oi d of unknown i denti ty has been reported from thi s
speci es of petuni a, phytochemi cal i nvesti gati on of pe­
tuni as is urgentl y needed.
Some 40 speci es of petun
i
as grow in South Ameri ca
and i n warmer parts of North Ameri ca. Members of the
ni ghtshade fami l y, Sol anaceae, they are cl osel y al l i ed to
te genus Nicotiana ( tobacco) . Petunia violacea as wel l
as other speci es are horti cul tural l y i mportant. Cul tivated
varieti es, with thei r attractive, funnel -shaped bl ooms,
are popul ar garden fowers that bl oom profusel y through­
out the summer months.
KEULE ( Gomortega keule) i s a smal l tree restri cted to
about 1 00 square mi l es in central Chi l e. It i s the onl y
speci es i n a rare fami l y, Gomortegaceae, rel ated to the
nutmeg fami l y. The Mapuche I ndi ans of Chi l e are said to
eat the frui t of keul e, or hual hual , for i ntoxi cati on, b1t
whether the efects are trul y hal l uci nogeni c i s not yet
known. So far, there have been no chemi cal studi es
made of thi s tree.
TAI QUE (Desfontainia hookeri) i s a shrub of Andean
val l eys. I ts l eaves, made probabl y i nto a tea, are em­
pl oyed i n southern Chi l e as a fol k medi ci ne and as a
narcoti c. Whether thei r efects are trul y hal l uci nogeni c
i s not known, nor has thei r chemi cal composi ti on been
i nvesti gated. The genus Desfontainia contai ns one or
to other Andean speci es and bel ongs to the fami l y
Desfontai ni aceae. A rel ated fami l y, Logani aceae, i n­
cl udes the pl ants from whi ch certai n South Ameri can
arrow poi sons are made.
1 50
TUPA (Lobelia tupa), a tal l , vari abl e pl ant of the high
Andes, i s al so cal l ed tabaco del di abl o ( "devi l ' s tobac­
co" ) . I n Chi l e, the Mapuche I ndi ans smoke the dri ed
l eaves of thi s beauti ful red-fowered pl ant for thei r nar­
coti c efects. Whether they are trul y hal l uci nogeni c has
not yet been establ i shed. They contai n the al kal oi d
l obel i ne and several derivatives of i t. The same al kal oi d
occurs i n some North Ameri can speci es of Lobelia, espe­
ci al l y L. infata, known l ocal l y as I ndi an tobacco. It has
been used medi ci nal l y and as a smoki ng deterrent. There
are 300 speci es of Lobelia, mostl y tropi cal and sub­
tropi cal , and they bel ong to the bl uebel l fami l y, Campa­
nul aceae. Some are hi ghl y prized as garden ornamental s.
ZACATECHI CHI ( Calea zacatechichi), an i nconspi cuous
shrub rangi ng from Mexi co to Costa Ri ca, i s a recentl y
di scovered hal l uci nogen that seems to be used onl y by
the Chontal s of Oaxaca. They take i t to "cl ari fy the
senses " and to enabl e them to communi cate verbal l y
wi th the spi ri t worl d. From earl i est ti mes, the pl ant ' s
i ntensel y bitter taste ( zacatechi chi i s the Aztec word mean­
i ng "bi tter grass " ) has made i t a favori te fol k medi ci ne
for fevers, nausea, and other complai nts.
After dri nki ng a tea made from the shrub' s crushed
dri ed l eaves, an I ndi an l i es down i n a qui et place and
smokes a ci garette made of the dri ed l eaves. He knows
that he has had enough when he feel s drowsy and hears
his own pul se and heartbeat. Recent studi es i ndicate the
presence of an uni denti fed al kal oi d that may be respon­
si bl e for the audi tory hal l uci nati ons.
There are a hundred or more speci es of Calea. They
bel ong to the dai sy fami l y, Composi tae, and grow on
open or scrubby hi l l si des in tropi cal Ameri ca. Some
speci es enter i nto fol k medi ci ne.
1 52
Lobelia tupa
Co/eo zacatechichi
1 53
PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Psychopharmacol ogy studi es the efects of drugs, espe­
ci al l y hal l uci nogens, on the central nervous system.
The efects of psychoactive agents resul t from con­
sti tuents that bel ong to many cl asses of chemi cal s. Al l
have one characteri stic in common: they are bi odynami c,
afecti ng normal metabol i sm of the ani mal body.
Hal l uci nogens act di rectl y on the central nerous sys­
tem, but they may al so afect other parts of the body.
They have both physi cal and psychic acti vi ty. Thei r ef­
fects are usual l y short-l ived, l asti ng onl y as long as the
chemi cal remai ns at the poi nt of action in the body.
Pseudohal l uci nati ons-often i ndi sti ngui shabl e to the l ay­
man from true hal l uci nati ons-may be caused by many
abnormal condi ti ons upseti ng body homeostasi s, or nor­
mal metabol i sm: fevers, fasti ng, l ack of water for l ong
peri ods, poi sons, etc. Pseudohal l uci nati ons may often be
of much l onger durati on than hal l uci nati ons.
I f a pl ant contai ns an active substance, i ts medi cal
potenti al is of i nterest to pharmacol ogi sts. I nvesti gati on
may i ndicate that true hal l uci nogeni c compounds have
val ue for purposes far removed from thei r psychoacti vity.
An exampl e i s scopol ami ne, an al kal oi d of the ni ghtshade
fami l y. Taken i n proper doses, i t i ntoxi cates, i nduci ng a
state beteen consci ousness and sl eep and characteri zed
by hal l uci nati ons. Scopol ami ne, however, has medi cal
uses not associated wi th the central nervous system: i t
i s anti spasmodi c and anti secretory, mai nl y i n the al i ­
mentary canal and uri nary tracts.
Some psychi atri sts bel i eve that mental di sorders are
the resul t of an i mbal ance in body chemi stry: " For every
ti sted thought, there is a twisted mol ecul e. " Some spe­
ci al i sts formerl y thought and sti l l mai ntai n that " model
1 54
Crayon drawi ng
by a Tukanoan I ndian
of Amazoni an Colombia,
depicting one of the
images exprienced duri ng
an abri gi nal caapi i ntoxi cation.
Col l ected i n the fel d
by the Col ombi an
anthropol oist Dr. Gerardo
Rei chei -Dol mataf, who studied
the mythol ogi cal si gni fiance
of hal l ucinogens
among the I ndi ans.
psychoses" -arti fci al l y i nduce states si mi l ar to some
abnormal mental condi ti ons-might be a val uabl e ana­
l yti c tool . There are many si mi l ari ti es between psychoti c
condi ti ons, such as schi zophreni a, and the mental state
i nduced by hal l uci nogens. Whether or not the use of
hal l uci nogens to create such model psychoses wi l l b
of therapeuti c val ue is sti l l a questi on, but there is l i ttl e
doubt that hal l uci nogens may be of experi mental hel p
i n understandi ng the functi oni ng of the central nervous
system. One speci al i st states that studi es of "vari ous as­
pects of the normal and the abnormal " may el uci date
certai n areas of the " hi nterl and of character. "
It must be remembered that al terati on of the functi on
of the central nervous system by chemi cal s i s not new;
it i s ol der than written hi story. I n the past, especi al l y i n
pri mi ti ve soci eti es, hal l uci nogens were empl oyed i n
magi co-rel i gi ous and curi ng ri tual s, rarel y for pl easure.
1 55
In some cul tures, notabl y those suferi ng accul turati on,
hal l uci nogens are someti mes used to enhance soci al con­
tacts or even for explai ni ng mental di sorders. I f we com­
pre uses of hal l uci nogeni c pl ants i n pri mi tive soci eti es
with the medi cal val ue cl ai med for them by some psy­
chi atri sts, we see that model psychoses are not a new
devel opment. Arti fci al l y i nduced psychoses have l ong
been used as heal i ng practi ces in pri mitive cul tures.
Al though many modern psychi atri sts are cri ti cal of
chemi cal psychoses as tool s i n treati ng mental abrra­
ti ons, i t i s too early completely to rule out thei r possi bl e
medi cal val ue.
OTHER HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS
In addi ti on to the hal l uci nogeni c pl ants used by pri mi ­
ti ve pepl es, numerous other speci es contai ni ng bi o­
dynami c pri nci pl es are known to exi st. Many are common
househol d vari eti es l i ke catni p, ci nnamon, and gi nger.
No rel i abl e studies have been made of the hal l uci nogeni c
properti es of such pl ants. Some of the efects reported
to have been caused by them may be i magi nary; other
reports may be outri ght hoaxes. Neverthel ess, many
of these pl ants do have a chemi stry theoretical l y capabl e
of produci ng hal l uci nations. Experi mentation conti nues
wi th pl ants-common and uncommon-known or sus­
pected to be hal l uci nogenic, and new ones are con­
ti nual l y bei ng di scovered.
1 56
MORE I NFORMAT I ON
Cooper, John M. , "Sti mul ants and Narcoti cs, " i n HANDBpOK OF
SOUTH AMERI CAN I NDI ANS, J . H. Seward ( Ed. ) , Bureau of Ameri ­
can Ethnol ogy, Bul l eti n No. 1 43, U. S. Government Pri nti ng
Ofce, Washi ngton, D. C. , 1 949
Efron, D. H. ( Ed. ) . ETHNOPHARMACOLOGI C SEARCH FOR PSYCHOACTI VE
DRUGS, Publ i c Heal th Servi ce Publ . No. 1 645, U. S. Government
Pri nti ng Ofce, Washi ngton, D. C. , 1 967
Emboen, Wi l l i am J. , Jr. , NARCOTI C PLANTS , Macmi l l an Co. , New
York, 1 972
Harner, N. J. , HALLUCI NOGENS AND SHAMANI SM, Oxford Universi ty
Press, New York, 1 973
Hartwi ch, C. , DI E MENSCHLI CHEN GENUSSMI TTEL, Chr . Herm. Tauchnitz,
Lei pzi g, 1 9 1 1
Hei m, R. , and R. Gordon Wasson, LES CHAMPIGNONS HAUUCI NOGENES
Du MEXI QUE, Edi t. Mus. Hi st. Nat. , Pari s, 1 958
Hofer, A. , and H. Osmund, THE HALLUCI NOGENS, Academi c Press,
New York, 1 967
Keup, W. , DRUG ABUSE -CURRENT CoNCEPTS AND RESEARCH, Charl es
C. Thomas, Publ i sher, Spri ngfel d, I l l . , 1 972
Lewi n, Loui s, PHANTASTI CA-NARCOTI C AND STI MULATI NG DRUGS : THEI R
UsE AND ABUSE, Routledge and Kegan Paul , London, 1 964
Pel t, J. -M. , DROGUES ET PLANTES MAGI QUES, Hori zons de france, Sires­
bourg, 1 97 1
Saford, Wi l l i am E. , " Narcoti c Pl ants and St i mulants o f the Anci ent
Ameri cans , " i n ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SMITHSONI AN I NSTI TUTI ON,
1 9 1 6, Washi ngton, D. C. , 1 9 1 7
Schl eifer, H. , SACRED NARCOTI C PLANTS O F THE NEW WoRLD I NDI ANS,
Hafner Press, New York, 1 973
Schultes, Ri chard Evans, "The Botani cal and Chemi cal Di stri bution
of the Hal l uci nogens , " i n ANNUAL REVI EW OF PLNT PHYSI OLOGY, 2 1 ,
1 970.
Schul tes, Richard Evans, and Al bert Hofmann, THE BTANY AND
CHEMI STRY OF HALLUCI NOGENS, Charl es C. Thomas Publ i sher,
Spri ngfel d, I l l . , 1 973
Taylor, Norman, fLI GHT FROM REALI TY, Duel l , Sl oan and Pearce, New
York, 1 949
Wasson, R. Gordon, SOMA, DI VI NE MUSHROOM OF I MORTALITY , Har­
court, New York, 1 967
1 57
I N DE X
Acorus calamus, 73
Afghanistan, 30, 38, 40,
42
Africa, nati ves of, 9, 21 ,
29. 38, 44, 54
Agora, 2 8
Al gonquin Indians ( U. S. ) ,
9, 43
Al kaloids, 1 6, 1 7-1 9, 2 1 ,
26-27, 28, 29, 43,
45 , 46, 48, 5 1 , 52,
54, 70, 8 1 , 84, 86,
93, 94, 96, 97, 1 03,
1 04, 1 06, 1 08, 1 1 2,
1 2 2- 1 2 3, 1 25, 1 34,
1 35, 1 39, 1 42, 1 48,
1 50, 1 5 2, 1 5 4
defned, 1 6
Amanita muscaria, .,
23-27
Aazon, Indians of, 9,
65, 72, 76, 8 1 ,
98, 1 0, 1 02 , 1 04,
1 06
Anadenanthera sp. , 2 1 ,
86-9 1 , 92
Ades, I ndi ans of, 1 07,
1 1 0, 1 42, 1 45, 1 50
Adromedotoxin, 1 26
Anhalonium lewinii, 1 1 5
Abol de los brujos, 1 38
Arbutin, 1 26
Argyrela sp. , 1 36
Ariocarpu• sp. , · 1 24, 1 25
Arrow poison, 79, 82,
96, 1 50
Ai a, 3 1 , 38, 40, 42, 5 2
Atropa belladonna, 4,
46-47
Atropine, 46, 1 4 2
Avicenna ( Arab. phys. ),
52
Ayahuasca, 7, 9, 1 1 , 2 1 ,
98-1 05
Aztecs, 8, 58, 6 1 , 62,
63, 69, 97, 1 1 4,
1 28, 1 29, 1 30, 1 37,
1 43, 1 44, 1 52
Banisteriopsis sp. , 7, 2 1 ,
98-1 05, 1 06
Belladonna, 1 5, 22, 46-
47
1 58
Bhang, 30, 38
Borrachera, 1 3 8- 1 3 9
Brgman•ia sp. , 1 45
Brunfelsia sp. , 2 1 , 1 04,
1 40- 1 4 1
Bushmen, 29
Bwiti cult, 54
Caapi, 7, 9, 2 1 , 98- 1 06
Cole a zacalchichi, 1 52-
1 5 3
Canada, Indi ans of, 73
Cannabinol s, 1 6, " 36, 40
Cannabis sp. , 1 4 , 2 1 ,
22, 30-4 1 , 45, 52,
56
See also Marihuana
Catnip, 1 56
Cawe, 1 1 3
Central nervous system,
1 8, 54, 1 54, 1 5 5
Charas, 30, 38
Chemi stry of hal l uci no­
gens, 1 6-1 9, 26-
27, 36, 70-7 1 , 1 03,
1 04, 1 2 2- 1 23,
1 34- 1 35
Chi na, 34, 5 2
Chi ric-caspi, 1 40- 1 4 1
Chi ric sanango, 1 40- 1 4 1
Christianity, 54, 6 2 , 65,
1 1 2, 1 1 6, 1 20, 1 3 1
Cimora, 9 , 1 1 0-1 1 2
Ci nnamon, 1 56
Clavicep• purpura, 1 35
Coca, 56
Cocaine, 56
Coleu• sp. , 1 38-1 39
Colori nes, 59, 96
Conocybe sp. , 58, 65, 6 7
Coria ria thymifolio, 1 07
Culebra brrachero,
1 48- 1 49
Curare, 82
Curing ri tual s, 9, 76, 77,
1 1 2, 1 20, 1 3 1
Cyti •i ne, 93, 94
Cytisus conoriensis, 93
Datra ( New World sp. ),
4, 9, 2 1 , 1 04, 1 1 1 ,
1 26, 1 30, 1 42-1 47,
1 48
.
Datra (Ol d World sp. ) ,
52-53
Dturas, 1 42-1 44
Dturas, tree, 1 45-1 47,
1 48
Dl phi , Oracle of, 7, 52
Desfontoinia hookeri,
1 50- 1 5 1
Datura, 5 2-53
Dibenzopyrans, 1 6
" Doctrine of Si gnatures,"
50
Dutra, 52-53
East I ndi es, 52
fchinococtus williamsii,
1 1 5
Elizabetha princep5, 78
Endocanni bl i sm, 80
Epna, 2 1 , 77, 8 8
Epilobium, 25
Epitelontho micromeris,
1 24- 1 25
Ereri ba, 2 8
Ergot, 1 34
Erythrina sp. , 96, 1 08
Europe, medieval , 22, 46,
48, 50-51
False peyotes, 1 24-1 25
Fly agari c, 1 !. 23, 24-
27
Fol k medi ci ne, 7, 9, 36,
42, 43, 97, 1 08 ,
1 09, 1 1 8, 1 1 9, 1 3 1 ,
1 36, 1 38, 1 4 1 , 1 42,
1 44, 1 45, 1 48, 1 50,
1 52, 1 55- 1 56
Gal ango, 2 9
Golbulimima belgraveana,
28
Galen ( Gr. physician) , 34
Ganj ah, 38-39
Genista conoriensis, 93
Gi nger, 1 56
Gomorega keule, 1 50-
1 5 1
Hl luci nati ons, 5 , 20, 28,
29, 40-4 1 , 44, 46,
48, 54, 57, 6 1 , 68,
73, 84, 90, 1 01 ,
1 08, 1 1 2, 1 1 6, 1 1 8-
1 1 9, 1 22, 1 29, 1 37,
1 38, 1 42, 1 4 8, 1 5 2
auditory, 5 7 , 6 8 , 1 08,
1 1 8- 1 1 9, 1 5 2
defned and causes, 5
Hl lucinogens
and deity, 5, 7, 24,
59, 1 02 , 1 1 8 Justitia sp. , 78, 79, 83
and psychiatry, 68, Kaempferia galanga, 2 9
1 54- 1 56 Kanno, 44-45
and spirit world, 9, 1 1 8 Keule, 1 50- 1 5 1
chemi stry, 1 6-1 9 Kif, 30
defned, 5 Kiowa Indians ( U. S. ) , 6,
how token, 2 1 1 20
i n modern world, 1 0- Kwashi , 29
1 1 Logochilus inebrians, 4 2
i n plant kingdom, 1 4- latua pubifora, 1 38-
15 1 3 9
i n pri mitive societies, lobelia sp., 1 5 2- 1 53
7-9, 2 1 Lophophora sp. , 1 1 4-
medi cal uses, 7
1 23
New World, 2 1 , 35, LSD, 1 8, 1 34, 1 35
56- 1 53 Lycoperdon sp. , 57
Old World, 22-55 Mace, 20, 74
psychic pwers from, 7 Macropsi a, 25, 8 1 , 90
rel i gious uses, 7, 3 1 Mandragora olcinarum,
Hsheesh, 2 1 , 30-4 1
50-5 1
Hwaiian wood rose, 1 36
Mandrake, 2 2, 50-5 1
Heimia sp. , 8, 1 08-1 09 Mapuche Indians ( S. A. ) ,
Hmp, 30-4 1
1 38, 1 45, 1 50, 1 5 2
Hnbane, 2 2 , 48-49
Maquira sclerophylla, 72
Hrnandez ( Spn
. phys. ) ,
Maraba, 29
1 1 6, 1 29, 1 44
Marihuana, 1 6, 30-4 1
Hierba loco, 1 26-1 27
chemi stry, 36
Hj as de Ia Pastora, 1 37
classifcation, 3 1
Homo/omena sp. , 28
efects, 40
Hp, 3 1
hi story, 34-35
HaHentots, 44
medi ci nal val ue, 36
Hui chol Indians ( Mex. ) ,
methos of usi ng, 38
1 1 8, 1 24, 1 25 narcotic use, 39
Humboldt, Alexander von, Masha-hari, 83
87-88
Maya I ndi ans ( Guo!. ),
Humul us, 3 1 59, 60
Hyoscami ne, 46, 48, 5 1 , Mazalec I ndi ans ( Mex. ) ,
1 39, 1 4 2 64-65, 1 30, 1 3 1 ,
Hyscyamus niger, 4 , 1 3 7, 1 3 8
48-49
Medical uses of hallucin-
lboa, 9, 2 1 , 54-55
oens, 36, 46, 48,
Iboaine, 1 8 , 1 9, 54 52, 94, 1 08, 1 42,
lbotenic acid, 26, 27 1 44, 1 5 2, 1 54
Incas, 92
Mescal bean, 94-95, 96
India, 22, 26, 3 1 , 34, Mescal buHons, 1 1 4, 1 1 5,
43, 46, 52
1 1 6, 1 1 7, 1 1 8, 1 1 9,
Indian tobacco, 1 52
1 20
lndoles, 1 7-1 9, 54, 1 03 Mescaline, 1 8, 1 1 1 , 1 1 2,
lochroma fuchsiodes, 1 38.. 1 22, 1 23, 1 25
1 39
Mesembranthemum sp. ,
Ipomoea sp. , 1 2 8- 1 36 44-45
lotoma longiRora, 1 1 1 Methysticodendron ames-
Jimson weed, 1 4 3
ionum, 1 48- 1 49
Jurema, 9, 2 1 , 84-85
Mexico, Indi ans of, 9, 2 1 ,
56, 57, 58-65, 68,
93, 94, 96, 97,
1 1 3, 1 1 6, 1 1 8, 1 24,
1 25, 1 30, 1 3 1 , 1 38,
1 44, 1 52
Mimosa hosti/is, 84-85
Mixtecs ( Mex. ) , 9, 57
" Model psychoses," 1 54
-1 56
Morni ng glories, 8, 9,
1 5 , 2 1 , 97, 1 28-
1 36, 1 37, 1 4 3
Aztec use, 1 28, 1 29
chemi stry, 1 34, 1 35
i dentifcati on, 1 30
medi cal uses, 1 29, 1 3 1
rel i gious uses, 1 2 9, 1 3 1
varieties, 1 36
Mosl ems, 38, 40
Mushrooms, 8, 9, 1 5,
58-7 1 , 1 37
Aztec use, 58, 61 -63
chemistry, 70, 7 1
efecs, 68, 69
i denti fcti on, 63
modern Mazatec cre-
mony, 64-65
opposition to, 62
stones, 59, 60
worshi p, 59
Myristica fragrans, 20
Narcoti c, defned, 5
Neoroimondio macrosti-
bas, 1 1 1
Nepeto catara, 20
New Guinea, 29
Nicotiana sp. , 8 , 1 50
Nicoti ne, 1 7
Nutmeg, 20, 74
Oaxaca ( Mex. ) , 57, 64,
1 30, 1 3 1 , 1 37, 1 38,
1 5 2
Olmedioperebea sclero­
phy/la, 72
Olol i uqui , 62 , 1 28 , 1 29,
1 30, 1 43
Oracle of Dl phi , 7, 5 2
Orinica Bsi n ( S. A. ) , 86,
88, 9 1 , 98, 1 0
Pachycerus pectn­
aboriginum, 1 1 3
Pakistan, 38
Poncrotium triantum, 4,
2 1 , 29
1 59
Papua, natives of, 28
Parica, 77, 86-91
Pedilanthus tithymaloides,
1 1 1
Peganum harmala, 4, 43
Pelecyphora aselliformis,
1 25
Perettya sp. , 1 26- 1 27
Petunia violacea, 1 50-
1 5 1
Peyote, 6 , 9, 1 4, 1 8, 2 1 ,
62, 63, 94 , 1 1 4-
1 2 3
Aztec use, 1 1 6
chemi stry, 1 2 2- 1 23
efects, 1 1 8
modern use i n U. S. ,
1 1 7, 1 20
opposition to, 1 1 6
religious i mportance,
1 1 8- 1 1 9
ritual, 1 20
vi si on, 1 1 6, 1 22
Peyotes, "Fal se, " 1 24-
1 25
Pharmacoloy, see Alka­
loids, Chemistry
Piptadenia peregrina, 86
-9 1
Piscidia, 1 08
Pi ul e, 97
Pl ai ns l ndi ans ( U. S. ) , 1 1 9,
1 20
Pion! kingdom, 1 2-1 5
Pseudohal l uci nations, 1 54
Pseudohal l uci noens, 20
Psilocybe sp. , 8, 58, 65,
66, 67, 69
Psi l oybi n, 1 9, 70
Psychedelics, 5
Psychopharmacology,
1 54- 1 55
Psychotaraxics, 5
Psychotomi meti cs, 5
Psycho tria vi rid is, 1 04,
1 05
Pufbal l s, 9, 57
Qui ni ne, 1 7
Rap dos i ndi os, 2 1 , 72
Red Bean Dnce, 94
" Reefers, " 38, 4 1
Rhynchosia sp. , 97, 1 08
Rig-Veda, 26
Rio Grande Valley ( Tex. ) ,
1 1 5
Riveo corymhosa, 4, 8,
1 28-1 ' 35
St . Anthony' s Fire, 1 34
Salvia divinorum, 2 1 ,
1 37, 1 38
San Pedro cactus, 2 1 ,
1 1 0- 1 1 3
Scopolamine, 46, 48, 5 1 ,
52, 1 39, 1 42 , 1 48,
1 54
Scythi ans, 34, 35
Sebil, 2 1 , 92
Serotoni n, 1 8, 1 9
Shan in, 1 50- 1 5 1
Shanshi , 1 07
Siberian tribes, 2 4-27
Sibundoy Val ley ( S. A. ),
1 38, 1 48
Si ni cui chi , 1 08- 1 09
Snuf, 2 1 , 72, 76-8 1 ,
86-89, 92 , 98
Soma, 26
Sophora sp. , 94-95
Sorcerer' s tree, 1 38
South American I ndi ans,
7, 9, 1 1 , 56, 65,
72 , 74, 76-82, 83,
84, 86-91 , 92, 1 00,
1 02, 1 06, 1 07, 1 1 0,
1 1 2, 1 38, 1 4 1 , 1 42,
1 45, 1 48, 1 50, 1 52
Spruce, Ri chard, 88, 1 00
Sticlocardia, 1 36
Stropharia sp. , 58, 65,
67
Sweet calomel, 73
Sweet fg, 1 4, 73
Syrian rue, 43
Tabemanthe iboga, 54-
55
Tagl i i , 1 26-1 27
Taino Indians ( W. Indies) ,
86
Taique, 1 50-1 5 1
Tajik tri bs, 42
Tarahumare I ndi ans ( Mex. ) ,
1 1 3, 1 1 8, 1 24, 1 44
T arlar tri bs, 42
Teananacatl , 2 1 , 58, 62,
63
T erpenphenolic com­
punds, 1 6
Tetra hydroca nnobi nol s,
1 6, 36, 40
Tetraptris methystica, 1 06
Tlitl i l tzi n, 1 28, 1 30
Tobacco, 2 1 , 56
Toloache, 2 1 , 62, 1 44
lorna-loco, 1 43
Tree daturas, 1 45-1 47
T richocerus sp. , 1 1 0-1 1 2
Tropanes, 1 8, 5 1 , 1 48
Tryptami nes, 1 8, 1 9, 2 1 ,
70, 8 1 ' 84, 86, 1 04
Tup, 2 1 , 1 5 2- 1 5 3
Turbine corymbosa, 1 2 8
Turkestan mi nt, 42
Turkoman tri bes, 42
Uni ted States I ndi ans, 6,
9, 56, 94, 96, 1 1 9,
1 20, 1 4 3
Urine dri nki ng ri tual , 25
Uzbek ti bes, 42
Voccinium, 25
Vi l ca, 92
Virola sp. , 2 1 , 74-82, 83
Vi rol as, 2 1 , 7 4-8 2, 83
as pi son, 79, 82
chemi stry, 8 1
efects, 8 1
ritual , 80
snuf, 7 4-76, 8 1
Waika Indi ans ( S. A. ) , 9,
77, 79, 80-8 1 ' 82,
83
West Indi es, 86
Wisteria sinensis, 20
Wi tches' brews, 22, 46,
48, 5 1
Wod rose, 1 36
Wysoccan, 9, 1 43
Yaj e, 7, 2 1 , 98
Yop, 2 1 , 86-9 1
Yurupari ceremony, 1 02
Zacalechi chi , 1 5 2- 1 53
Front cover, cl ockwi se from lower left: fly agaric mushrom, si ni cui chi ,
morni ng gl ory, tree datura, peyote, cannabi s. Bock cover, see page 62 .
1 60 B C D E
HALLUCI NOGENI C PLANTS
A GOLDEN GUIDE®
RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES, Ph. D. , F. L. S. , i s professor of
nat ur al sci ences and di rector of t he Botan i cal Museu m at
Harvard Uni vers i ty. An i nter nat i onal l y known botani st spe­
ci al i zi ng i n narcoti c, medi ci nal and poi sonous pl ants, Dr.
Sch u l tes spent some 14 years i n Sout h Amer i ca l i vi ng
among I ndi an t r i bes i n order t o i nvest i gate di rectl y thei r
uses of s uch pl ants. Dr. Schul tes i s t he reci pi ent of n umer­
ous honors, among t hem a decorat i on from t he gover n­
ment of Col ombi a for hi s work i n t he Amazon, and i s a
member of several Amer i can and for ei gn academi es of sci ­
ence, i ncl udi ng t he Nat i onal Academy of Sci ences. He i s
edi t or of t he j ou r nal Economic Botany and t he aut hor of
many sci ent i f i c papers; wi t h Al bert Hofmann he wrote The
Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens.
ELMER W. SMI TH, a new Engl and Yankee by bi rth and
i ncl i nat i on, i s a free- l ance ar t i st, sel f-taught i n ar t , wi t h an
M. S. degree from t he Uni vers i ty of Massachusetts. He i l l us­
t rated t he Gol den Gui de ORCHI DS, and has t ravel ed and
col l ected i n t he Amazon wi t h hi s fr i end and col l eague t he
aut hor of HALLUCI NOGENI C PLANTS. Smi th' s work ap·
pears i n ch i l dren' s books as wel l as i n sci ent i f i c j ou r nal s,
and he has i l l ust rated nu mer ous textbooks i n t he f i el d of
bi ol ogy. Currentl y he i s an a rt i st at t he Botani cal Mus eum
of Harvard Uni vers i ty.
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system of device. probably since he began gathering pla nts for food . A great body of scientific literature has been published a bout their uses and their effects. Th is trend may be destined to continue. No matter whether we believe that man ' s intake of ha llucinogens in primitive or sophisticated societies constitutes use. the use of such plants. printed or in written any or oral. E . Copyright © 1976 b y Western Publishing Company.F O REWORD Ha llucinogenic plants have been used by man for thou­ sands of years. Re­ cently. Inc. including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any means. The interested layman has a right to sound information on wh ich to base h is opm1ons. for one reason or a nother. It is. m isuse. The ha l l ucinogens have continued to receive the attention of civilized man through the ages. Published by Golden Press. All rights reserved. library Congress Catalog Card 74-21666. including the making of copies by any photo process. important for us to learn as m uch as we can about ha llucinogen ic plants. retrieval N. and some sectors of that society have taken up. Produced in the U. we have gone through a period during which so­ ph isticated Western society has "discovered " ha llucino­ gens. or abu se. R . . hallucinogenic plants have undeniably played an extensive role in human culture and probably shall continue to do so. or by any electronic or mechanical device. Th is book has been written partly to provide that kind of information. but the information is often locked away in technical journals. writing obtained from the copyright proprietor. therefore.A. It follows that a clear understanding of these physically a nd socia l ly potent agents shou ld be a part of man ' s genera l education. S.S.Y. or recording for or sound or visual unless reproduction permission Number: in or for use is knowledge New York.

Golanga. 46 • Henbane. 1 45 • Culebra Borrachero. 1 38 • C h iric­ Caspi. 44 • BelladOf)na. 1 4 2 • Tree Daturas. 84 • Yopo. 1 4 8 • Shan in. Keule. 5 7 • Mushrooms. Ereriba. 72 Sweet F lag. 43 • Konno. 50 • Dhatura . Zacatechichi. 56 • • 1 54 1 56 1 57 1 58 . . 96 • Piule. Pseudohalluc inogens . . 1 5 2 Psychopharmacology. Arbol de los Brujos. 29 • Marihuana." 1 24 • H ierba loco. 28 • Kwa shi. New World Hall ucinogens . 1 40 • Daturas. 94 • Colorines. . 73 • Virolas. . Puffballs. 8 6 • Vilca. Other Hallucinogenic Plants More Information Index . . . 8 3 • Jurema. . . 2 4 • Agora. 54 . 9 2 • Genista. 1 2 6 Sacred Morning G lories. 9 7 • Ayahuasca. 5 2 • lboga. Fami ly Tree of the Plant Kingdom Distribution of Halluc inogens Chemical Composition . 5 7 10 12 14 16 20 21 22 Hall ucinogens in Prim itive Societies . 9 3 • Mescal Bean. . 1 1 4 • "False Peyotes. 7 4 • Masha-hari. . Taique. 1 08 • San Pedro. 30 • Turkestan Mint. . 1 2 8 • Hojas de Ia Pastore. How Hall ucinogens Are Taken Old World Hall uci nogens . . 5 8 • Rape dos Indios. 1 3 7 Coleus. 1 1 0 • Peyote. .CONTENTS What Are Hall ucinogenic Plants? Use in Modern Western World . 1 07 • Sinicuichi. . 4 8 • Mandrake. 98 • Shonshi. F l y Agaric Mushroom. . 42 • Syria n Rue. 1 50 • Tupa. Borrachera.

B E R M u 0 A
8

9

Hallucinogenic plants have been featured on many postage stamps: ( 1 , 6 ) Amanita muscaria, (2) fruit of Peganum hormala, (3) Atropa belladonna, (4) Pancratium trianthum, (5) Rivea corymbosa, (7) Datura stramonium, (8) Datura candida, (9 ) Hyoscyamus niger.

4

WHAT ARE HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS?

In his search for food, early man tried all kinds of plants . Some nourished h i m , some, h e found, cured h i s i l l s , a nd some killed him . A few, to his surprise, had strange effects on his mind and body, seeming to carry him into other worlds. We call these plants hal l u cinogens, beca use they distort the senses a nd usually produce hallucinations -experiences that depart from rea l i ty. Although most hal l ucinations are visual , they may also involve the senses of hearing, touch, smell, or taste- and occasionally several senses simu ltaneou sly are involved . The actual causes of such hallucinations are chemica l substances in the plants. These substances are true nar­ cotics. Contrary to popu lar opinion, not a l l narcotics a re dangerous and addictive. Strictly a nd etymologically speaking, a narcotic is any substance that has a de­ pressive effect, whether slight or great, on the centra l nervous system . Narcotics that induce ha llucinations are variously cal led hallucinogens ( ha l l uCination generators), psy­ chotomimetics ( psychosis mim ickers) , psychotaraxics ( m ind d isturbers), and psychedelics ( m ind manifesters). No one term fully satisfies scientists, but hallucino­ gens comes closest. Psychedelic is most widely used in the United States, but it combines two Greek roots incorrectly, is biolog ically unsound, a nd has acquired popu lar meanings beyond the drugs or their effects. In the h istory of mankind, hallucinogens have prob­ ably been the most important of all the narcotics. Their fantastic effects made them sacred to primitive man and may even have been responsible for suggesting to him the idea of deity.
5

Paramount a mong the hallucinogens of rel igious significance is the peyote cactus . This illustration, called " Morning Prayer in a Peyote Ceremony, " is adapted from a pai nting by Tsa Toke, a Kiowa Indian. These I ndians ore ritual users of peyote. Central fore and crescent­ shaped altar are flanked b y ceremonial eagle-feather fans; feathers symbol ize morning, and the birds, rising prayers .

6

and tribes.. They play roles in health and sick­ ness. home life and travel..HALLUCINOGENS IN PRIMITIVE SOCIETIES Ha l l ucinogens permeate nearly every aspect of life in primitive societies.. MEDICA L A N D RELIG IOUS USES of hallucinogenic plants are particularly important in primitive societies. any " medicine" that can transport man to the spirit world is considered by many aborigines to be better than one with purely physica l effects.. 7 .. Consequently. Aboriginal people attribute sickness and health to the working of spirit forces.. hunting and agriculture. peace and war. Makuna I ndian medicine man under i nfluence of coapi ( aya· huasca or yaje) prepared from bark of Banisteriopsis caapi. villages.Will" plants are used as hoi mediators between man and his gods. The prophe­ cies of the oracle of Delphi. are thought to have been induced th rough hallucinogens. they affect relations among individuals.. Psychic powers have also been attributed to hallu­ cinogens and have be­ come an integ ra l part of primitive religions. Al l over the world hal l ucinogenic -. for example. They are believed to influence life before birth and after death..

" u nearthed i n Tlal manalca o n the s lopes of t h e volcano Popocatepetl a n d now o n display i n t h e Museo Nacional in Mexico City.Rivea carymbasa Nicotiana tabacum Statue of Xochipilli. the Aztec " Prince of Flowers. 8 . Labels i ndicate probable bota n ical interpretation of stylized glyphs.

Modern Mexican Indians value certain mushrooms as sacraments and use morning glories a nd the peyote cactus to predict the future. and placate good and evi l spirits. settle disputes. During this period. prophecy. cast or remove spells. starting manhood by forgetting they had been boys. and ritualistic curing . The Witotos of Colombia eat the same powerfu l resin to " talk with the little people. Indians of eastern Brazil drink j u rema to have glorious visions of the spirit world before going into battle with their enemies. The Mixtecs of Mexico eat puffba lls to hear voices from heaven that an swer their questions. I n South America. The Algonquin Indians gave an intoxicating medi­ cine. Many hallucino­ genic plants are basic to the initiation rituals of adoles­ cents. diagnose and cure disease. or insure the fidelity of their women. Datura is used in divina­ tion. 9 . who then became violently deranged for 20 days. The Wa ikas of Brazil and Venezuela snuff the powdered resin of a jungle tree to ritua lize death. In Mexico a nd in the Southwest. The hallucinogenic properties of Datura have been thoroughly exploited . Sensations of death and separation of body and soul are sometimes experienced during a dreamlike trance. " Peruvian medicine men drink cimora to make themselves owners of another' s identity. wysoccan. induce a trance for diag­ nosing disease. they lost all memory.OTH ER A BORIG INAL USES of hallucinogens vary from one primitive culture to another. decipher enemy plans. The iboga root in Gabon and caapi in the Amazon are also used in such rituals. to their young men. and thank the spirits for victory in war. particularly in the New Worl d . many tribes take ayahuasca to foresee the future.

seldom realizing that they are merely reverting to the age-old practices of primitive societies. Many pe·o ple believe they can achieve " mystic " or " religious" experience by altering the chem istry of the body with hallucinogens. Whether drug-induced adventu res can be .USE IN MODERN WESTERN WORLD Our modern society has recently taken up the u se. of hallucinogens on a grand sca le. sometimes i llegally.

In any event. The widespread and expa nd i ng use of hal l u­ cinogens in our society may have little or no value and may sometimes even be harmful or dangerous .identical with the metaphysical insight claimed by some mystics. contemporary Peruvian artist. Deta il of a painting of a primitive ayahuasca vision by Yando del Rios. is sti l l con­ troversial . or are merely a counterfeit of it. . it i s a newly imported and superimposed cu ltura l trait without natural roots in modern Western tradition.

and ferns ( pteridophytes). seaweeds ( a lgae). 12 . subdivided into cone-bearers ( gymnosperm s) and flower-bearers ( ang iosperms) . with one seed leaf ( monocots) or two ( dicots) . with petal s absent or separate ( archi­ chlamydeae) or petal s joined ( metach lamydeae). masses and l iverworts ( b ryo­ phytes). More complex are the seed plants ( spermataphytes).FAMILY TREE OF THE PLANT KINGDOM Simpler plants a re the mushrooms and mold s ( fungi).

.

14 . 1 21 3 ) . Plants illustrated are representative psycho­ active species. No hal lucinogenic species are yet known from the other " branches" of the plant kingdom ( see pp. spore-bearing plants.PTERIDOPHYTA BRYOPHYTA DISTRIBUTION OF HALLUCINOGENS The majority of halluci nogenic species occur among the highly evolved flowering plants and in one divi sion ( fungi) of the simp ler.

Gymnospermae .

" TH C " A1. No inorganic plant constituents. All hallucinogens found in plants are organic compounds -that is. Hallucinogenic compounds may be divided conven­ iently into two broad groups: those that contain nitrogen in their structure and those that do not. The most important of those lacking nitrogen are the active principles of mari­ huana. Those with nitrogen are far more common. The hallucinogenic compounds with nitrogen in their structure are alkaloids or related bases. are known to have ha llucinogenic effects. such as minerals. they contain carbon as an essential part of their structure and were formed in the l ife processes of vegetable organisms. terpenophenolic compounds classed as diben­ zopyrans a nd cal led cannabinols-in particular.TETRAHYDROCANNABI NOL a oxygen atom Ql carbon atom hydrogen atom 16 . tetrahydro­ cannabinols.CHEMICAL COMPOSITION Hallucinogens are limited to a small number of types of chemical compounds.

All alkaloids are of plant origin. Exam ples of widely valued alka loids are morphine. They con­ ta in nitrogen as wel l as carbon. strychni ne. It is most surprising that of the many thousands of organic com17 .• QUININE g • • carbon atom hydrogen atom oxygen atom n itrogen atom ALKALOIDS are a diverse group of some 5. and caffeine. Most medicinal and toxic plants. owe their biologica l activity to alkaloids. Many hallucinogen ic a l ka loids are indoles ( see below) or are related to indoles. a nd hyd rogen. nicotine. hence their name. oxygen. though some proto­ alkaloids occur in animals. and the majority have or may have originated in the plant from the amino acid known as tryptophan. They are classified into series based on their structures. as wel l as hallucino­ genic plants. I NDOLES a re hallucinogenic alka loids or related bases. quinine. 000 com­ pounds with complex molecular structures. All are slightly a lka l ine. all of them nitrogen-conta ining compounds .

without sub­ stitutions -or they may have various "side chains" known as hydroxy ( O H ). The indole ring ( shown in red in the diagram) is evi­ dent not only in the numerous tryptamines ( d imethyltryp­ tamine.8-carboline alka loid s (harmine. and in the . methoxy (Oh). Serotonin plays a major role in the biochemistry of the central nervous system.pounds that act on various parts of the body so few are hallucinogenic . It is composed of phenyl and pyrro l segments ( see d ia­ gram on opposite page). These chemical similarities between hallucinogenic com­ pounds and neurohormones with roles in neurophysiology may help to explain hallucinogenic activity and even certain processes of the central nervous system . or phosphogloxy (OP03H) groups in the phenyl ring. tropanes. Tryptamines may be "simple" -that is. One reason for the sign ificance of the indolic hallucinogens may be their structura l similarity to the neurohumora l tryptamine serotonin (5-hydroxyd imethyltryptam ine).) but a l so in the various ergoline a l ka loids {ergine and others). Other alkaloids -the isoquinolines. and isoxazoles -are more mildly hallucinogenic and may operate differently in the body. harmaline. A study of the function ing of ha llucinogenic tryptamine may experimenta l ly help to expla in the function of seroton in in the body. an hallucinogenic phenylethylamine base in peyote. The indole nucleus of the hallucinogens frequently appears in the form of tryptamine d erivatives. etc . etc. ) . and the neurohormone norepinephrine. lysergic acid d iethylamide (lS D ) has an indole nucleus. quinolizidines. in the ibogaine alka loids. A chemica l relationsh ip simi lar to that between in­ dolic hal lucinogens and serotonin exists between mescaline. pres­ ent in the nervous tissue of warm-blooded animals. 18 .

HALLUCI NOGENI C ALKALOIDS WITH THE INDOLE NUCLEUS (C H2h - N (C H 3h N.N = H Dimethyltryptam ine H Serotonin � Harmaline TH E I NDOLE RING (CH2h-NH (CH3)2 H ® Psi locybin Ergine H .

Research has not yet shed much l ight on the kind of psychoactivity pro­ duced by such chemica l s . Though not true hallucinogenic agents. 20 Nepeto cataria is known for its stimulating effect on cots.PSEUDOHALLUCIN OGEN S These are poisonous plant compounds that cause what m ight be called secondary hallucinations or pseudo­ hallucinations. they so upset normal body functions that they induce a kind of delirium accompanied by what to all practi­ cal purposes are hallucinations. Some components of the essential oils-the aromatic elements responsible for the characteristic odors of plants-appear to act in this way. Many plants having such components are extremely dan­ gerous to take internally. . Myristico frogrons is the source of nutmeg and mace. especially if ingested in doses high enough to induce hallucinations. Components of nutmeg oil are an example.

is occa s ionally made into pellets to be eaten. Thus. like smoking. More frequently. rape dos indios. or yaje from the bark of a vine. . or lengthen the narcotic effects of the main ingredients. where it was one way of using tobacco. or Brunfelsia o r Datura. jurema wine. caapi. Subsidiary plants a re sometimes added to the preparation to alter. fresh or dried. in prim itive societies everywhere. as with hasheesh. has shown great ingenuity and perspicacity in bend i ng hallucinogenic plants to his uses. on cultural practices. One curious method of in­ ducing narcotic effects is the African custom of incising the scalp and rubbing the juice from PLANT ADDITIVES or admix­ tures to major hall ucinogenic species are becoming increas­ ingly i mportant in resea rc h . sebil. or juice from the crushed leaves may be drunk. snuffing is a New World custom. either the onionlike bulb of a species of Pancratium across the in­ cisions. caapi. Occasionally a plant derivative may be eaten. as with Salvia divinorum ( i n Mexico). ibaga. PLANTS MAY BE EATEN. such as tupa. on the active chemicals involved.HOW HALLUCINOGENS ARE TAKEN Ha llucinogenic plants are used in a variety of ways. This method is a kind of primitive counterpart of the modern hypodermic method . leaves of toloache. and on other considerations. SNUFFING is a preferred meth­ od for using several hallucinogens -yopo. a beverage may be drunk: ayahuasca. Nar­ cotics other than tobacco. and may sometimes be smoked . or yaje drinks. A few New World Indians have taken hallucinogens rectally-as in the case of Anadenanthera. Virola resin. Man. increase. prepared basically from Banisteriopsis caapi or B. inebrians. i n making the ayahuasca. O riginally peculiar to New World cultures. 21 . is licked unchanged. epena. or crushed seeds from the Mexican morning glories. several additives are often thrown in: leaves of Psychotria viridis or Banisteriopsis rusbyana. i s usual ly prepared in snuff form . the San Pedro cactus. depending on the kind of plant material. both of which are hallucinogenic in their own right. Several methods may be used in the case of some hallucino­ genic plants. as are peyote and teonanacatl. which themselves con­ tain hallucinogenic tryptamines. smoking is now a widespread method of tak ing cannabi s. may a lso be smoked . for example.

But we do know that the Old World has fewer known species em ployed hallucinogenica l ly tha n does the New World: compared with on ly 1 5 or 20 species used in the Eastern Hem isphere. undoubtedly the most widespread of all the hallucinogens.has made less use of native plants and shrubs for their hallucinogenic properties than has man in the New World . Asia. and mandrake-greatly influenced European phi losophy.OLD WORLD HALLUCINOGENS Existing evidence indicates that man in the Old World . should there be such dispa rity? Has man in the Old World simply not discovered many of the native hallu­ cinogenic plants? Are some of them too toxic in other ways to be utilized? Or has man in the Old World been culturally less interested in narcotics? We have no rea l answer. belladonna. 22 . the species used hallucinogen­ ically in the Western Hemisphere number more than 1 00! Yet some of the Old World hallucinogens today hold places of primacy throughout the world. then. At every turn. There is little reason to believe that the vegetation of one half of the globe is poore r or richer in species with ha llucinogenic properties than the other half. and even history for many years. Cannabis. But much more needs to be done in the study of hallucinogens and their uses in the Eastern Hemisphere. Why. its extent a nd depth are becoming more evident. The severa l solanaceous ingredients of medieval witches ' brews -henbane. The role of hallucinogens in the cultural and social development of many areas of the Old World is only now being investigated. is perhaps the best example. and Austra lia. Africa.Europe. Some played an extraordinarily vita l religious role in the early Aryan cultures of northern India. medicine. night­ shade.

greatly enlarged you ng "button" stage 23 .Amanita muscaria variant yellow form white spores.

for the New World type is devo id of the strong ly ha l l ucinogen ic effects of its Old World counterpa rt. . There ore also chemical differences between the two. It has been sug­ gested that perhaps its strange effects contributed to man ' s early ideas of deity. The cop of the usual North American type varies from cream to on orange-yel low. These Siberians ingest the mushroom alone. Amanita m uscaria. Fly agaric mushrooms g row in the north temperate re­ gions of both hemispheres. and Komchodo l) in northeast­ ern Siberia. its uti lization has been noted among severa l isolated groups of Finno-Ugrion peoples ( Ostyak a nd Vogul) in western Siberia and th ree primitive tribes ( Chuckchee. may be one of man ' s oldest hallucinogens. such as a species Amanita muscaria typically oc­ curs in association with birches. These tribes hod no other intoxica nt unti l they learned recently of alcoho l . The Eurasian type has a beautiful deep orange to blood-red cop flecked with wh ite scales. Koryok. or they may toke it in reindeer milk or with the juice of wild pla nts. Sub­ seq uently. either sun-dried or toasted slowly over a flre.FLY AGARIC M USHROO M . The u se of th is mushroom as on orgiastic and shaman­ istic inebriant was discovered in Siberia in 1 73 0 .

slight convulsions. about to recycle and extend intoxication from Amanita muscaria. Consequently. b u t o n e or several mushrooms induce a condition marked usua lly by twitching. a desire to sing and dance. A very old a nd curious practice of these tribesmen is the ritual istic drinking of urine from men who have become intoxicated with the mushroom . of Vaccinium and a species of Epilobium. a few mushrooms may inebriate many people . Violence giving way to a deep sleep may occasionally occur. When eaten alone. and macropsia ( seeing th ings greatly enlarg ed ) .A Siberian Chukchee man with wooden urine vessel. colored visions. The active pri nciples pass through the body and are excreted unchanged or as sti l l active derivatives. and a feeling of ease characterized by hap­ piness. trembling. The nature o f the intoxication varies. Par­ ticipants a re sometimes overtaken by curious beliefs. the dried m ushrooms are moistened in the mouth and swa llowed . or the women may moisten a nd rol l them into pel lets for the men to swallow. 25 . numbness of the limbs.

0 _/-. drinking it in religious ceremonies.� H -coo -co2 Ell NH3. _/-CH-C00 I 0 Ell NH3 _ Muscazone 26 Chemical formulas of the importa nt Amanita muscaria alka loid s. H20 -H20 lbotenic Acid Muscimole H� � 8 O=C. During the past century. more than 100 plants have been suggested.such as that experienced by an ancient tribesman who insisted that he had j ust been born! Religious fervor often accompanies the inebriation. since the main intoxicating constituent. m u scimole (known HO e llll r\1. muscaria. Many hymns in the Indian Rig-Veda are de­ voted to soma and describe the plant and its effects. and its identity has been an enigma for 2. . who swept across I nd ia. worshiped soma. Aryan conquerors. The use of soma eventually died out. Recent studies suggest that th is m ushroom was the mysterious God-narcotic soma of ancient India . but none answers the descriptions found in the many hymns.000 years. Recent ethnobotanical detective work. leading to its identification as A. Thou­ sands of years ago. is strengthened by the reference i n the vedas to ceremonial urine drinking.

One of these is muscimole. For a century.. is the sole natu ra l ha l l ucinogenic chemica l excreted unchanged from the body . ibotenic acid forms severa l derivatives . Flies attracted to and settling on them were stunned. Other compounds. are found in lesser concentrations and may contribute to the intoxication . Mop of northern Eurasia shows regions of birches and pines. in the drying or extraction of the mushrooms. � ARCTIC OCEAN . such as muscazone. the main pharmacologically active principle. it was believed to be muscarine.on ly in this m ushroom). 27 Birches and Pines . but muscarine is present in such mi nute concentrations that it cannot act as the inebriant. Vogul. has the chemistry of the intoxicating principle been known. etc. too. and areas inhabited by eth nic groups that use the mushroom as on hallucinogen.. F l y agaric mushroom i s s o called because of i t s age­ old use in Europe as a fly ki l ler. succumbing to the insecticida l properties of the plant. Only in the last few years. where Amanita muscorio typically grows. The mushrooms were left in an open dish..Chukchee-Koryok peoples .. It is now recognized that. .Uralic peoples (Ostyok.

eventually falling into a deep sleep during which they experience visions and fantastic dreams. Agora is one of four species of Galbulimima and belongs to the Himantandraceae. they become violently intoxicated. and although they are biologica lly active. Galbulimima Homalomena lauterbachii . In Papua. a rare family related to the magnol ias. natives make a drink by boiling the leaves and bark with the leaves of ereriba. is a stout herb reported to have narcotic effects when its leaves are taken with the leaves and ba rk of agara. the psychoactive principle is sti l l unknown . Araceae. Some 28 a lkaloids have been isolated from this tree.AGARA (Galbulimima Belgraveana) is a tal l forest tree of Mal aysia and Australia. an undetermined species of Homo/omena. When they imbibe it. Ereriba is a member of the aroid family. There are some 1 40 species of Homo/omena native to tropica l Asia and South America. ERERI BA. The active chem ical constituent is unknown .

Amaryll idaceae. Nothing is known of its chemical constitution . it is used in local folk medicine to bring boi ls to a head and to hasten the healing of burns and wounds. many are known to contain psychoactive principles. Pancratium belongs to the amaryllis family. KWASH I (Pancratium trianthum) is considered to be psychoactive by the Bushmen in Dobe. Botswana. GA LANGA o r MARABA (Kaempferia galanga) is an herb rich in essential oils. like others of the 70 species in the genus. Some species are potent cardiac poisons. It is va lued locally a s a cond iment and. Natives in New Guinea eat the rhizome of the plant as an hallucinogen. 29 . Of the 14 other spe­ cies of Pancratium. mostly alkaloids. It is a member of the ginger fam i ly. Phytochem ical stud ies have revea led no psychoactive principle. Zingi­ beraceae. mainly of Asia and Africa.Bushman applying Pancrotium bulb to scalp incisions. The bulb of this perennial is reputedly rubbed over incisions in the head to induce visua l hallucinations.

forested tropics. Cannabis is the source of hemp fiber. 30 . The ma le or stami­ nate plant i s usually weaker than the female or pistil­ late plant. conical Cannabis indica grown there. appearing as an adventitious plant everywhere. having escaped cultivation. or Charas. Bhang. it has been ca lled a "camp follower. Flourishing best in disturbed . Cannabis is a rank. showing portly harvested c rop of the short. characterized more by what we do not know about it than by what we know. and a narcotic. Despite its great age a nd its economic importance. The intoxicating constituents are norma lly concentrated in a resin in the developing female flowers and adjacent leaves and stem s. " going with man into new areas. the plant is sti l l poorly understood. also cal led Kif. nitrogen-rich soils near human habita­ tions. HASHEESH. MARIHUANA. is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Pisti llate flowers grow in the leaf axi ls. a medicine.Hemp field in Afghani stan . an edible fruit. an industrial oil. It is norma l ly dioecious-that is. except in the polar reg ions and the wet. weedy annual that is extremely variable and may atta in a height of 18 feet. or HEMP ( species of the genus Cannabis). the male and fe­ ma le parts are on different plants. It is also one of the most widely spread weeds.

occasionally into 1 1. Selection for narcotic activity has been especially notable in such areas as India. or for. for more oil content. En­ viron ment a lso has probably influenced thi s biolog ical ly changea ble species. has developed many "race s " or "varieties.C LASSIFICATION OF CANNABIS is disputed by bota nists. Cannabis leaves o re palmately divided-norma lly into 3-7 leaflets. where intoxi­ cating properties have had religious significance. Cannabis sativa. together with the hop pla nt (Humulus).13. The plant is sometimes placed in the fig or mulberry family (Moraceae) or the nettle family ( U rticaceae ). Current research i nd icates that there may be other species : C. partly as a result of selection by man. stronger narcotic content. . into a d istinct fam i ly: Cannabaceae. but it i s now usually separated. They disagree about the family to which it belongs and also about the number of species. ruderalis. " for better fiber. Leaflets vary in length from 2 to 6 inches. I t has been widely thought that there is one species. which. All Cann abis i s native to centra l Asia. indica and C. especially for fiber exce llence a nd narcotic activity.

MARI HUANA Cannabis sativa seedling / .

33 .

Chinese characters T A MA.800 years. and by extension may signify great or tall.000 years of age. Hence . That the early Hindus a ppreciated its intoxicating properties is attested by such names as "heavenly guide" and "soother of grief. Indian medical writing. reports therapeutic uses of cannabis. have been found in Turkey. Specimens have turned up in an Egyptian site nearly 4." The Greek physician Galen wrote." The Chinese referred to cannabis 160. the oldest k nown name far cannabis. the two symbols together mean " the tal l fiber plant. Chinese tradition puts the use of the plant back 4. about A. Litera lly this means a n adu lt man." which everywhere in China signifies cannabis.D. . that general as "liberator of sin" and "delight giver. compiled before 1000 B. 34 . the plant was made into a drink with opium­ like effects. Hemp fabrics from the late 8 th century B. In ancient Thebes..k = TA ( p ronounced DA). who threw cannabis seeds and leaves on hot stones in steam baths to produce an intoxicating smoke. growing near a dwelling (} ).C. grew the plant along the Volga 3. HISTORY OF CANNABIS USE dates to ancient times. = MA.C. litera lly a clump of plants ( � ) . J#. I t represents a fiber p lant. The Scythians.000 years ago.

35 . rewarded with ha sheesh . organized murderers. were known as hashishins. from which may come the term assassin in European languages. The small. by the Greek naturalist H erodotus. Objects connected with t h e u s e o f cannabis were found in frozen tombs of the a n cient Scythians. C . In 1 3th­ century Asia Minor. Hemp as a source of fiber was introduced by the Pi lgrims to New England a nd by the Spanish and Portu­ guese to their colonies in the New World. Carbonized hemp seeds were found nearby. in the A ltai Mountains on the border between Russia and Outer Mongolia.use of hemp in cakes prod uced narcotic effects. tepee-like structure was covered with a felt or leather mat and stood over the copper censer (four-legged stool­ like object) . The two-handled pot contained can­ nabis fruits . The S cythian c u s­ tom of breathing cannabis fumes in the steam bath was men­ tioned about 500 B .

Until recently. although traces of alkaloids have been reported in the plant. It was l isted in the United States Pharmacopoeia unti l the 19 3 0 ' s as valu­ able. and it has been included more re­ cently in Western pharmacopoeias. and can­ nabichromene. precursors of the tetrahydrocannabinols and related constituents. Control led studies are basic to any progress. tetrahydrocannabinol-carboxylic acid. some with nar­ cotic properties and others without. It has been demonstrated recently that the main ef­ fects are attributable to delta. especially i n the treatment of hysteria. a major advance in studying the mechanism of physiological activity of this intoxicant. little was known about the effects of pure tetrahydrocannabinol on man. They a re not alkaloids. any correlations of their biological activity would be relatively meaning less. Because the crude cannabis preparations normal ly used as a narcotic vary greatly in their chemi­ ca l composition.THE MEDICINAL VALUE OF CAN NABI S has been known for centuries. are non-n itrogenous organic com­ pounds derived from terpenes ( see page 16). Its long h istory of use in folk medi­ cine is significant. The progress made in modern research encourages the bel ief that so prolific a chemica l factory as Cannabis m ay indeed offer potentia l for new medicines. The tetrahydrocannabinols. These are now possible with the recent synthesis of the compound. stereaisomers of tetrahyd rocannabinol. cannabidiol. which form an oily mixtu re of several isomers. 36 . such as cannabinol.1 -tetrahydrocannabino l . A fresh plant yields mainly cannabidiolic acids. T H E CHEMISTRY OF CANNABIS is complex. Many or­ ganic compounds have been isolated.

<[aput. A c rude woodcut illustration of cannabi s from the 1 517 edition of the European herbal Ortus sonitotis de herbis et plontis. 37 .lmuj.

often mixed with tobacco in cigarettes. or ''reefers. normally smoked or eaten with spices. and made into a drink with water or milk or into a candy (majun) with sugar and spices. charas. is pure resin. by millions in Moslem countries of northern Africa and western Asia. ganjah.three contemporary designs silver hookah from I n dio Assortment of cannabis pipes and water pi pes. In the New World. the resin is commonly smoked. the resin from the female plant. METHODS OF USING CANNABIS vary. dried.'' Hasheesh. Asiatic Indians regularly employ three preparations narcotically: bhang consists of plants that are gathered green. often in water pipes. marihuana ( maconha in Brazil) is smoked-the dried. crushed flowering tips or leaves. In Afghanistan and Pakistan. usually smoked 38 . is eaten or smoked.

invo lving large num­ bers of individuals. The subject is d ebated hotly. has l ed to major problems and dilemmas for European and American authorities. indica. . Many of these unusually potent prepara­ tions may be derived from C. especially in urban centers. the marihuana problem needs " more light and less heat. There is a sharp division of opinion as to whether the widespread narcotic use of cannabis is a vice that must be stamped out or is an innocuous habit that should be permitted legally. legal. As one writer has said. The na rcotic use of cannabis in the U nited States dates from the 1 92 0 ' s and seems to have started in New Orleans and vi­ cinity.with tobacco. " Controlled. consists of resin-rich dried tops from the female plant. We do not yet have the medical. has g rown in popu­ larity in the past 40 years as the plant has spread to nearly all pa rts of the globe. I ncrease in the p lant' s use as an inebriant in Western countries. social. scientifically va lid experi ments with cannabis. NARCOT IC U SE OF CANNABIS Contemporary American cannabis shoulder patches. u sua lly with limited knowledge. and mora l information on which to base a sound judgment. have not as yet been made.

The principal narcotic effect is euphoria. can nabis is usually smoked i n water pipes. Soon after taking the drug. T h e i llustration shows an Afghani using one of the many kinds of water p ipes seen in Asia. and it is true that its characteristics are not typically psychoto­ mimetic. sometimes called hookahs . Norma l thought is interrupted. wonderfu l music. even more tha n of other hallucinogens. for example. a subject may fi nd him­ self i n a dreamy state of altered consciousness. Over a period of time. In predominantly Moslem countries.EFFE CTS OF CANNABIS. . Beautiful sights. Everything from a mild sense of ease and wel l-being to fantastic dreams and visua l a nd a uditory hallucinations are reported. and ideas are sometimes plenti- I n many parts of Asia the use of cannabis preparation s is both socially and legally acceptable. This varia­ bility comes mainly from the unstable character of some of the constituents. biza rre adventures to fi l l a century take place in a matter of m inutes. are h ighly variable from person to per­ son a nd from one plant strain to another. such chemical changes usually taking place more rapidly in tropical than in cooler climates. a nd aberrations of sound often entrance the mind. the inactive cannabidiolic acid converts to active tetra­ hydrocannabinols and eventually to inactive cannabinol. Materia l from plants of different ages may thus vary in narcotic effect. The plant is sometimes not classified as hallucinogen ic.

moodiness. Whether cannabis should be classified primarily as a stimulant or depressant or both has never been deter­ mined. out of all relation to the real force of the sound emitted. though confused. the often-reported aphrodisiac properties of the drug have not been substantiated . The drug 's activities beyond the centra l nervous system seem to be secondary. An exaggeration of sound. may be accompanied by a curiously hypnotic sense of rhythm . "reefers" (smaller than commercial tobacco cigarettes). diffi­ culty in m uscular coordination. ful. psy­ cho log ical dependence may often result from continual use of the d rug. Perception of time is almost invariably altered . and dilation of the pupils. uncontrollable fear of death. vertigo. pure hasheesh. Although cannabis is definitely not addictive. and compressed kilo bricks. tremor. and panic. They consist of a rise in pulse rate and blood pressure. with feelings of depression. A feeling of exaltation a nd inner joy may alternate. increased tactile sensi­ tivity.Market forms of cannabis i ncl ude finely ground or " manicured" marihuana. 41 . even dangerously. Although the occasional vivid visual hallucinations may have sexua l coloring.

Members of the mint family. to help check hemorrhages. sometimes mixed with stems. gathered in October. Honey and sugar are often added to reduce their intense bitterness. For centuries it has been the source of an intoxicant among the Tajik. There are some 34 other species of Lagochilus. Va lued as a folk medicine and included in the 8th edition of the Russian pharmacopoeia. Whether or not it produces the psychoactive effects of the whole plant is unknown. are toasted. fruits. and Uzbek tribesmen. Turkoman. Tartar. and flowers.TURKESTAN M I NT (Lagochilus inebrians) is a small shrub of the dry steppes of Turkestan. it is used to treat skin disease. A crysta l line compound isolated from the plant and named lago­ chiline has proved to be aditerpene. . and to provide sedation for nervous d isorders. labiatae. they are native from central Asia to Iran and Afghanistan. The leaves. Drying and storage in­ crease their aromatic fragrance.

I ts seeds have been employed as a spice. but the purposefu l use of the plant to in­ duce vision s has not yet been established through the literatu re or field work. especially harmine and harmaline. to which Syrian rue belongs. a nd Manchuria. The seeds possess known hallucinogenic alkaloids. Mongolia. and its fruits a re the source of a red dye and an oil .Peganum harmala . 43 . Zygophyllaceae. Everywhere it has many u ses in folk medicine. The esteem in which the peoples of Asia hold the plant is so extraordinary that it m ight indicate a former religious use as an hal­ lucinogen. comprises about two dozen genera native to d ry ports of the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres. enlarged 4 Aower SYRIAN RUE (Peganum harmala) grows from the Medi­ terranean to northern India. The caltrop family.� seeds.

their eyes sparkled and their faces manifested laughter and gaiety. By taking the substance to excess. it was reported that the Hottentots chewed the root of kenna. or channa. they lost consciousness and fell into a terrible delirium. keeping the chewed material in the mouth. There is strong evidence \ hat one or both were used by the Hottentots of southern Africa as vision­ inducing narcotics. More than two centuries ago.expansum African plants. various botanists have suggested 44 KANNA (Mesembryanthemum expansum and M. " Since the narcotic use of these two species has not been observed directly. Thousands of delightsome ideas appeared. with these results: "Their animal spirits were awakened. and a pleasant jollity which enabled them to be amused by simple jests. tor­ tuosum) is the common name of two species of South .

000 species of Mesembryan themum -many. In the drier parts of South Africa. and are believed to be related to the pokeweed. there are alto­ gether 1 . mainly South African. Al l belong to the carpetweed family. and they also contain alkaloids that have sedative.that the hallucinogenic kenna may actua lly have been cannabis or other intoxicating plants. cocainelike properties capable of producing torpor in man. are considered by some botan ists to represent a separate genus. Aizoaceae. pink. About two dozen species. These two species of Mesembryanthemum do have the common name kenna. 45 . including the two described here. Scele­ tium. however. of bizarre form. such as several species of Sclerocarya of the cashew fam ily. like the ice plant. and cactu s families.

and as a mydriatic and cardiac stimu­ lant. commercial collection was primarily from wild sources. Bel la­ donna is native to Europe and Asia Minor. Europe. It was one of the ingredients of the truly hallucinogenic brews and ointments concocted by the so-called witches of medieval Eu rope. who feared its deadly power. an antisecretory. The attractive shiny berries of the plant still often cause it to be acci­ dentally eaten. but the more psychoactive scopolam ine is also present. The main active principle in bel ladonna is the a l ka loid hyoscyamine. but since that time cultivation has been initiated in the United States. an alkaloid with a wide variety of uses in modern med icine. Atropa belongs to the nightshade family. There are four species of Atropa distributed in Eu rope and from central Asia to the Himalayas. Belladonna is a commercial source of atropine. and India. especially as an antisposmodic. 46 . with resultant poison ing . The name belladonna ( " beautifu l lady" in Italian) comes from a cu rious custom practiced by Ita lian women of h igh society during medieval times. considered in that period to enhance feminine beauty and sensuality. They would d ro p the sap of the plant into the eye to dilate the pupil enormously. but whether it is present in the living plant or is formed during extraction is not clear. Atropine has also been found.BELLADONNA (Atropa belladonna) is wel l known as a highly poisonous species capable of inducing various kinds of ha llucinations. Until the 1 9th century. Solanaceae. where it is an important source of medicina l drugs. inducing a kind of drunken or glassy stare. It entered into the folklore and mythology of virtua lly all European peoples. The alkaloids occur throughout the plant but are concentrated especially in the leaves and roots.

seed. enlarged .

. but the more hallucinogenic scopolamine is also present in significant amounts. Henbane is one of 20 species of Hyoscyamus. They are native to Europe. The principal alkaloid of henbane is hyoscyamine. Medieval witches cooking " magic" brew with toad a n d henbane. northern Africa.HENBANE (Hyoscyamus niger) was often included in the witches ' brews and other toxic preparations of medieval Europe to cause visual hallucinations and the sensation of flight. it has long been valued in medicine as a sedative and an anodyne to induce sleep. mem­ bers of the nightshade family. Solanaceae. An annual or biennial native to Europe. and western and central Asia. along with several other alkaloids in smaller concentrations.

in persistent calyx fruit with calyx removed. showing cap 49 .Hyoscyamus niger fruit.

If a mandrake were pulled from the earth. The root of mandrake was likened to the form of a man or woman. its unearthly shrieks could drive its collector Woodcuts from Hortus sanitatis. 1 4 85 ." an old theory hold­ ing t hat the appearance of an object indicates its special properties. hence its m agic . has long been known and feared for its toxicity. Its folk uses in medieval Europe were inextricably bound up with the " Doctrine of Signatures. an hallucinogen with a fantastic history.MAN DRAKE (Mandragora officinarum ). according to superstition. 1 st edition Mayence. Mandrake was a panacea . Its complex history as a magic hypnotic in the folklore of Europe cannot be equaled by any species anywhere.

The superstitious ho ld of this plant in Europe persisted for centuries . and others. with the tropane alkaloids hyoscya­ mine. Solanaceae. scopolamine. In many regions. Mandrake. In fact. it was undoubtedly one of the most potent ingredients in those complex preparations . was an active hallucino­ genic ingredient of many of the witches ' brews of Europe. the people claimed strong aphrodisiac properties for mandrake. Mandragora officinorum 51 . Mandrake a n d five other species o f Mandragora be­ long to the nightshade family.mad. and are native to the area between the Mediterranean and the Himalayas.

Datura ferox. leaves of a wh ite-flowered form of the plant ( considered by some botan ists to be a distinct species. Its use as an aphrodisiac in the East Indies was recorded in 1 5 78. 52 . seeds of Datura are often mixed with food and tobacco for ill icit u se. The plant was held sacred in China. the Arabian physician.DHATURA and DUTRA ( Da tu ra mete/) are the common names in I ndia for an important Old World species of Datura. Nevertheless. Some writers have credited it with being responsible for the intoxicating smoke associated with the Oracle of Delphi. Solanaceae. Th is hallucinogen is present in heaviest concentrations in the leaves and seeds . The plant contains highly toxic alka loids. In many parts of Asia. Datura mete/ is common ly mixed with cannabis and smoked in Asia to this day. who may re­ main seriously intoxicated for several days. mentioned under the name jouzmathe l in the 1 1 th century_. 1 4 2 . even today. where people believed that when Buddha preached. the utilization of Datura preparations in Asia entailed much less ritual than in the New World. fastuosa) are smoked with can­ nabis or tobacco in many parts of Africa and Asia. es­ pecially by thieves for stupefying victims. Scopola­ mine is found also in the New World species of Datura ( pp. the principal one being scopolamine. The narcotic properties of this purple-flowered member of the deadly nightshade family. a related Old World species. And it is u n­ doubtedly the plant that Avicenna. D. have been known and valued in I ndia since prehistory. is also va lued for its narcotic and medicinal properties. The plant has a long history in other countries as well. Early Chinese writings report an hallucinogen that has been identified with this species.1 4 7 ) . heaven sprinkled the plant with dew. not so widespread in Asia.

Datura mete/ double­ flowered form fruit Datura ferox fruit .

ibogaine in large doses is a strong central nervous system stimulant. ) . known to be used as an hallucinogen. IBOGA " Payment o f t h e Ancestors. I bogaine is the principal indole alkaloid a mong a dozen others found in iboga. the most famous being the Bwiti cult. ( Photo by J . Hunters use it to keep them­ selves awake all n ight. The yel lowi sh root of the iboga plant is employed in the initiation rites of a number of secret societies. native to Gabon and the Congo. In addition to being an hal­ lucinogen. large doses induce u nworldly visions. W . is the only member of the dogbane fam ily. Congo." tak ing p lace between two shrubby bushes of Tabernanthe iboga in the Fang C u lt of Bwiti. Entra nce into the cult is conditional on having "seen " the god plant Bwiti. paralysis. and arrest of respiration. Fernandez. The pharmacology of ibo­ ga ine is wel l known . providing the strongest single force aga inst the spread of Chris­ tia nity and Islam in th is region. and " sorcerers " often take the drug to seek in­ formation from ancestors and the spirit world. Apocynaceae. The drug. leading to con­ vu lsions.(Tabernanthe iboga). discovered by Europeans toward the m id­ dle of the last century. The plant is of growing importance. has a reputation as a powerfu l stimulant a nd aphrodisiac. wh ich is accomplished th rough the use of iboga .

Tabernanthe iboga flo wer. enlarged 55 .

were practically en­ slaved by the relig ious use of ha llucinogens. none of the true hallucinogens of the Western Hemisphere ha s assumed the g lobal sign ifi­ cance of the Old World canna bis.the number and cultural im­ portance of hallucinogens reached amazing heights in the past-a nd in places their role is undiminished.NEW WORL D HALLUCINOGENS In the New World. Although tobacco and coca . Central. in view of their vital importance to New World cultures. and South America and the West I nd ies. Many hallucinogenic preparation s called for the addition of pla nt additives capable of altering the intox ication . studies a re still u ncovering species new to the list. pa rticularly in Mexico and South America. the sou rce of cocaine. is why. Cultures in North America a nd the West I nd ies used fewer hallucinogens. however. and their role often seemed secondary. It wou ld not be an exaggeration to say that some of the New World cultures. the botanical identities of many of the ha llucinogens rema ined unknown unti l comparatively recent times . which ac­ quired a deep a nd controlling sign ificance in almost every aspect of life. The accomplishments of a boriginal Ameri­ cans in the use of mixtures have been extraordinary. The most cu rious aspect of the studies. No ethnologica l study of American Indians can be considered complete without an in-depth appreciation of their ha llucinogens. Wh ile known New World hallucinogens a re numerous. 56 . Unexpected discoveries have com e from studying the hallucinogenic use of New World plants. have become of world­ wide importance. More than ninety species are employed for their intoxicating principles.North . compared to fewer than a dozen in the Old World.

and they do not en­ joy the place as divinatory agents that the mushrooms do in Oaxaca. a family of the Gasteromycetes. Mexico. as auditory ha llucinogen s. There is apparently no ceremony connected with puffballs. 57 . marginatum. a native hea rs voices and echoes. Although intoxicating substances have not yet been found in the puffballs. Most of the estimated 50 to 1 00 species of Lycoperdon g row in mossy forests of the temperate zone. After eating these fungi. there are reports in the litera­ ture that some of them have had narcotic effects when eaten. L. It is called g i-i-wa. mixtecorum ls the stronger of the two. " J . which ha s a strong odor of excrement. meaning " fu ngus of the first qual ity. mean ing ' ' fungus of the second quality.PU FFBALLS ( Lycoperdon mixtecorum and L. " L. is known as gi-i-sa-wa. margin atum) are used by the Mixtec Indians of Oaxaca. They belong to the Lycoperdaceae.

found in North a nd South America. known in North America. centers in the mountains of southern Mexico. al most cosmopolitan in their range. They belong to fou r genera: Conocybe and Panaeo/us. and Stropharia. are still va lued in Mex ican magico­ religious rites. MUSH ROOMS of many species were used as hal lu­ cinogens by the Aztec Indians. which dates back severa l thou­ sand years. 58 . These mu shrooms. all of the family Agaricaceae. the West Indies.The use of halluc inogen ic mushrooms. who cal led them teonanacatl. Psilocybe. Europe. and Asia. a nd Eu rope . meaning " flesh of the god s " in the Nahuatl Indian language.

000 years ago. have designs suggestive of mushrooms. going back to A. It has been suggested that perhaps m ushrooms were the earliest hal lucinogenic p lants to be discovered . See pages 96 and 97 fo r d iscu ssion of co lori nes and pi ule. ra in. Consisting of a stem with a human or animal face and surmounted by an umbrella-shaped top. ( After H eim and Wasson . 300. D. N ote the pole blue mush rooms with orange stems and also the " colori n e s " .the darker blue. Mexico) representing Tloloc. Mexican frescoes. a sophisticated religion surrounded the sacramental use of these fungi . The other-world ly experience induced by these mysterious forms of plant life could easily have suggested a spiritual plane of existe nce . Even more remarkab le are the artifacts called mush­ room stones (p. the god of clouds. ) 59 . they long puzzled archaeologists. 60 ). Deta il from a fresco ot Tepontitlo ( Teotihuocan. C .MUSHROOM WORSHIP seems to have roots in cen­ turies of native tradition . excavated in large numbers from highland Maya sites in Guatemala and dating back to 1000 B . and waters . they indicate that 3. Now interpreted as a kind of icon connected with re ligious rituals. bean-shaped forms with red spots.

60 .MUSH ROOM STONES Typical icons probably associated with mushroom cults dating back 3 .000 years in Guatemala.

. of which the symptom is an uncontro llable laughter. and these fetch a high price. One chron icler. teyhuintl i. bring before the eyes all sorts of things. One. there are others which . . -- 61 . others see them selves being eaten by a wild beast. after the conquest of Mexico. weeping. showing four greenish ' ' m ushrooms" that seem to be emerging from the mouth of a god . Mexi co.EA RLY USE OF THE SACRED MUSHROOMS is known mainly from the extensive descriptions written by the Spanish clerics. Teotihuacan . " Deta il from fresco ot Socuala. . that they had committed adultery and were to have their heads crushed for the offense. that they are rich. and see themselves dying in a vision. singing. " so that those who eat them " see visions. others imagine that they are captu ring prisoners of wa r. referred freq uently to those mush­ rooms " which are harm fu l and intox icate like wine.1 5 00 's. Yet others are not less desired by princes for their festivals and banquets. cau ses " mad­ ness that on occasion is lasting. possibly the S u n God . feel a faint­ ness of h eart and are provoked to l u st' '. For th is we owe them a great debt. Some do not want to eat but sit down . . A work of Aztec medicine mentions three kinds of intoxicating mushrooms. . awesome and terrifying. With night-long vigils are they sought. writing in the mid. such as wars and the l i keness of demon s. the natives " when they begin to get excited by them sta rt danc­ ing. that they possess many slaves.

Not on l y did it persist. allowing him to com­ mune direct ly with his gods. toloache. ) 62 . Christi­ anity. a s represented by a M e x ican a rt i s t i n the 1 6 th ce n t u r y . F lorence . The pa gan g ad of the u n derworld speak s through the m u s h room. Their religious fanati­ cism was drawn especially toward this despised and feared form of plant life that. held the Indian in awe. had nothing so attractive to offer him. and the modern ritual is a pagan-Christian blend. B i bl ioteca N a z i onale. the Spaniards succeeded only in driving the custom into t he hinter­ lands. ololiu q ui. through its vision-giving powers. teonanocat l . ( From t h e M a g liab ecchia no Codex.SPANISH OPPOSITION to the Aztecs ' worship of pagan de ities with strong. where it persists today. t he sacramental aid of mushrooms t he Spanish conquerors of was Although Me xico hated and attacked the religious use of al l hallucinogens -peyote. Trying to stamp out the use of the mushrooms. and others-teonanacat l was t he target of special wrath. but the ritual adopted many C hristian aspects. The new religion.

It was pointed out that the symptoms of mushroom intoxication coincided remarkably with those described for peyote intoxication and that dried mushrooms m ight easily have been confused with the shriveled brown heads of the peyote cactu s . the intoxicating mushroom of the Aztecs . a lthough the Mexica n flora was known to include various toxic mushrooms. But the numerous deta iled references by ca refu l writers. later work has shown that more than 20 species of mushrooms are simi larly employed among seven or eight tribes in southern Mexico. when it actua lly meant peyote. 63 .A 1 6 th-century illustration of teona nacatl ( a ) . Vol. Driven into hiding by the Spaniards. identity of ( b) is unknown. During that time. the mushroom cult was not encou ntered in Mexico for four centuries. From Sahagun ' s Historic general de las cosas de Nueva Espana. in­ cluding medica l men trained in bota ny. a rgued agai nst th is theory. IV ( Florentine Codex). Not until the 1 93 0 ' s were botanists able to identi fy specimens of mushrooms found in actual use in divino­ tory rites in Mexico . sti l l valued in Mex ican magico-religious rites. it was believed that the Aztecs had tried to protect their real sacred plant: they had led the Spaniards to bel ieve that teonanacatl meant mushroom . IDENTIFICATION O F THE SACRED MUSH ROOMS was slow in com ing .

" The all-night Mazatec ceremony. who ca ll them ' nti-si-tho. As one Indian put it poetically: " The little mushroom comes of itself. and Curandera with Mazatec patient and dish af sacred mushrooms. complicated. 64 . percussive beats. " They believe that the m ushroom springs up miracu lously and that it may be sent from outer realms on thunderbolts. and curiously repetitious chants. mean ing " worshipfu l ob­ ject that springs forth. led usual ly by a woman shaman (curandera) . no one knows whence. Curandera is under the influence of the mushrooms. Their strange growth pattern helps make mushrooms mysterious and awesome to the Maze­ tee. comprises long.THE MODERN M USHROOM CERE MONY of the Maze­ tee Indians of northeastern Oaxaca illustrates the im­ portance of the ritual in present-day Mexico and how the sacred character of these plants has persisted from pre-conquest times . Scene is typical of the all-night mushroom ceremony. The divine mush rooms are gathered during the new moon on the hillsides before dawn by a virgin. like the wind that comes we know not when or why. they are often consecrated on the altar of the loca l Catholic church .

P. but half a dozen other species of Psilocybe as well as Conocybe siliginoides and Panaeo/us sphinctrinus are also important. nigripes. Seasona l and regional availability also have a bearing on the choice. The spirit of reverence characteristic of the mushroom ceremony is as profound as that of any of the world ' s great religions. There is no question of the vibrant relevance of the mushroom ritua ls to modern I nd ian life in southern Mexico. Field work in modern times. 65 . This species is known to contain an ha l lucinogen ic principle. Often a curing rite takes place during which the practitioner.prayers. KINDS O F M USHROOM S USE D by different shamans are determined partly by personal preference and partly by the purpose of the use. too. The native names are colorful and sometimes significant. 66-67) . communicates and intercedes with super­ natural forces. that Psilocybe species are used as inebriants outside of Mexico. however. Psi/ocybe aztecorum is called "chi ldren of the waters" . and P. Stropharia cubensis and Psilocybe mexicana may be the most com­ monly employed. has not disclosed the narcotic use of any mushrooms in the Amazon area . It is possible. " crown-of-thorns mush room " . yungensis has been suggested as the mysterious " tree mushroom " that early Jesuit missionaries reported as being employed by the Yurimagua I ndians of Amazon ian Peru as the source of a potent intoxicating beverage. None of the attraction of these divine mushrooms has been lost as a result of contact with Christianity or modern ideas. through the " power " of the sacred mushrooms. " m ushroom of superior reason . The possibility exists that other hallucinogenic species of mushrooms are also used. " (See il­ lustrations on pp. caerulescens va r. P. zapotecorum.

.

.

include m uscular relaxation or limpness. smel ls as no ciga rette before had ever smelled. in color. . Th is pecu liarity of the intoxication makes it interesting to psychiatrists . the cigarette . loses all sense of time. . . he is the five senses disembod ied . and with the speed of thought to travel where it listeth . . " As with other hallucinogens. . . They are followed by lassitude. alert as it never was before. the effects of the mushrooms may vary with mood and setting . T H E EFFECTS OF THE MUSH ROOMS 68 . . Visions are breathtakingly lifelike. your soul is free. . invisible. without loss of consciousness. accompan ied by the shama n ' s singing . . but you r spirit seems to soar . What you are seeing and . and d ifficulty in concentration. in time and space. hearing appear as one. The user seems to be isolated from the world around h im. the bemushroomed person is poised in space. a d isembodied eye. seeing but not seen . incorporeal. . he becomes wholly ind ifferent to his surroundings. and in constant motion . "All your senses are similarly aff e cted. The mushrooms cause both visual and auditory hallucinations. the glass of simple water is infinitely better than cham­ pagne . living a n eternity in a n ight. . . . except the scenes of your every­ day life . . a nd what you a re seeing takes on the moda lities of music. . . seeing infinity in a grain of sand . pupil enlargement. giving visual form to its harmonies. and his dream­ like state becomes rea lity to him. heavy as lead. One investigator who ate mushroom s in a Mexican Indian ceremony wrote that " your body lies in the darkness. hilarity.the music of the spheres. . [The visions may be of] almost anything . . menta l and physica l depression. the m usic assumes harmonious shapes. and alteration of time and space percep­ tion.

. he was transformed into an Aztec priest. the dream came to an end . . the rush of interior pictures. . . reached such an alarm ing degree that I feared that I wou ld be torn into th is wh irlpool of form and color and wou ld disso lve . . . . . fantastic but quite rea lly experienced world into an old and fa miliar home.A scientist' s description of his experience after eating 32 d ried specimens of Psilocybe mexicana was as fol­ lows: " . it amused me to see how the Germanic face . had acqu ired a purely Indian expression. At the pea k of the intox ication . When the doctor supervising the experiment bent over me . mostly abstract m otifs rapidly chang ing in shape and color. . . . I felt my return to everyday reality to be a happy retu rn from a stra nge. . " 69 . and I would not have been aston ished if he had drawn an obsidian knife . After about six hours.

C. A wh ite crystalline tryptamine of unusua l structure.C-H / I H H. is a new type of structure. na med psi locybin . I . a pparently only in Mexico.H T H.H I Psilocin is bel ieved by some biochemists to be the precursor of the more stable psilocybi n . This indole derivative. a 4-substituted tryptamine with a phosphoric acid radical. CHEMI CAL CONSTITUTION b I o= P 0 H H H.C.o- +I I H /N .H H..C .C-H I I � " H I Psi locybin H 70 I Psi locin .C-H H I N. While psilocybin has been found also in Euro­ pean and North American mushrooms. a type never before known as a natura lly occu rring constituent of plant tissue. Some of the mushrooms a lso contain minute amounts of a nother indolic compound.psilocin-which is un­ stable. and Guatemala have psilocybin-containing mushrooms been purposefully used for ceremon ial in­ toxication.H ' H-C.an acidic phosphoric acid ester of 4-hydroxydimethyltryptam i ne-was iso­ lated .H H 0 H H H.of the hallucinogenic mush­ room s has surprised scientists.

A laboratory cu lture of Psilocybe m exicana. grown from spores. They are almost wholly water and great quantities of them are needed for chemica l analyses because their chemica l constitution is so ephemeral. in this case. This accomplishment represents a phase in the study of ha llucinogenic plants that must be imitated in the investigation of the chemistry of other narcotics. became an efficient substitute for nature. scientists have learned to grow many species in artificial culture. The clarification of the chemistry of the Mexican mushrooms was possible only because mycologists were able to cultivate the plants in numbers sufficient to satisfy the need s of the chem­ ists. CHEMI CAL I NVESTIGATI ON 71 . By providing suitable conditions. an innovation that speeded analysis of the ephemera l mushroom. Cu ltivation for laboratory studies is a more recent development. Cu ltivation of edible mushrooms i s an importa nt commercial enterprise and was practiced in France early in the seventeenth century. ( After Heim & Wasson: Les Champignons Hallucinogimes du M exique) of the Mexican mushrooms was difficult u ntil they could be cultivated. The laboratory.

known also as 0/mediopere­ bea sclerophylla) is an enormous tree of the fig fam i ly. the Indi­ ans formerly prepared an hallucino­ genic snuff from the dried fruits.fruit ( 1 i n . but encroaching civilization has obliterated its use. Moraceae. In the Parlana region of the cen­ tral Amazon in Brazil. The prelimina ry chemi­ cal investigations made so fa r have not indicated what the active principle may be . in di ameter) RAPE DOS INDIOS (Maquira sclero­ phylla. . The snuff was taken in tribal cere­ monials. Further studies of this narcotic are needed .

who employ the plant as a medicine and a stimu lant. it is one of two species of Acorus. Araceae. There i s some indirect evidence that Indians o f northern Canada. . In excessive doses. but the chemistry and pharmacology of the plant are still poorly understood. grows in damp places in the north and south temperate regions. also cal led sweet calomel. A member of the arum fami ly. may chew the rootstock as an ha llucinogen . The intoxicating properties may be due to a -asarone and /3 -asarone.SWEET FLAG (Acorus calamus). it is known to induce strong visual ha llucina­ tions.

I n Colombia. The best known member of the fa mily is Myristica fra­ gra ns. dark green leaves with clusters of tiny yellow flowers that emit a pungent aroma. calophylloidea. 74 . which seems to yield a more potent resin. and V. cal­ ophy/loidea. which comprises some 300 species of trees in 1 8 genera. These jungle trees of medium size have glossy. the species most often used for hal­ lucinogen ic purposes are Virola calophylla and V. VIROLAS (Virola calophy/la. They are members of the nutmeg family. Virola trees are native to the New World tropics. wh ich makes a powerful snuff . V. Myristicaceae. whereas in Brazil and Venezuela the I n­ dians prefer V. theiodora) are a mong the most recently discovered hal­ lucinogen ic plants . an Asiatic tree that is the sou rce of nutmeg and mace. The intoxi­ cating principles are in the blood-red resin yielded by the tree bark.Colombian Indians using a snuffi ng tube fa shioned from bird bone. theiodora.

flower cluster, enlarged

75

Strip of bark from Virola tree, showing oozing red resin .

INTOXICATING SNUFF is prepared from the bark of Virola trees by I nd ians of the north­ western Amazon and the head­ waters of the Orinoco. An anthro­ pologist who observed the Yekwana Indians of Venezuela in their prep­ aration and use of the snuff in 1 909 com mented : " Of special i nterest a re cures, during which the witch doctor i n­ hales hakudufha . This is a magical snuff used exclusively by witch doctors and prepored from the bark of a certain tree which, pounded up, is bailed in a sma l l earthenware pot, until all the water has evaporated and a sediment remains at the bottom of the pot. "This sediment is toasted in the pot over a slight flre and i s then finely powdered with the blade of a knife. Then the sorcerer blows a little of the powder through a reed . . . into the air. Next, he snuffs, whilst, with the same reed, he absorbs the powder into each nostril successively. ' 'The hakudufha obviously has a strong stimulating effect, for immediately the witch doctor be­ gins to sing and yel l wild ly, all the while pitching the u pper port of his body backwards and forwards. "

AN

Among numerous tribes in eastern Colombia, the use of Virola snuff , often called yakee or pa rica, is restricted to shamans. Among the Waik6 or Ya nonamo tribes of the frontier region of Brazil and Venezuela, epena or nyakwana, as the snuff is ca lled, is not re­ stricted to medicine men, but may be snuffed cere­ monially by all adult males or even taken occasionally without any ritua l basis by men individually. The medi­ cine men of these tribes take the snuff to induce a trance that is believed to aid them in d iagnosing and treating illness. Although the use of the snuff a mong the Indians of South America had been described earlier, its source was not definitely identified as the Virola tree u ntil 1 954 .

Waiko I ndian scraping Virola resi n into pot, preparatory to cook ing it.

77

Justicia.PREPARATION OF VIROLA SNUFF varies among dif­ ferent Indians. The snuff is then ready for use . the bark of a beautiful tree. strip off and gently heat the bark. Elizabetha princeps. When the snuff is needed. The shav­ ings are stored for later use. collect the resin in an earthenware pot. sweet-scented weed . pungent brown dust. the shavings are pu lverized by poundi ng with a pestle in a mortar made from the fruit case of the Brazi l-nut tree . Some scrape the soft inner layer of the ba rk and dry the shavings gently over a flre. To this may be added the powdered leaves of a smal l. The resu lting powder is sifted to a flne. and the ashes of amasita. bail Dried Justicia leaves ore g round before being added to snuff. Other Indians fell the tree. 78 .

Ashes of severa l barks a nd the leaf powder of Justicia may or may not be added . It seems to be as potent as the snuff itself. 79 .it down to a th ick paste. and sift it. is one of the Waika arrow poisons. Stil l other Indians knead the inner shavings of freshly stripped bark to squeeze out all the resin a nd then bai l down the resin to get a thick paste that is sun-dried a nd prepared into snuff with ashes added . sun-dry the paste. crush it with a stone. applied directly to arrowheads and congealed in smoke. the Indians often scrape the hardened resin from arrow tips to use it as a substitute. When supplies of snuff are u sed up in ceremonies. Woika I ndian sifting ground Justicio leaves to make fine pow­ der for additive to Virolo snuff. The same resin.

brandishing weapons. the men and older bays form groups and blow huge amounts of snuff through long tubes into each other' s nostrils ( p . 74 ) . who then offers his own chest for reciprocation . in retribution for real or imagined grievances.A SNUFF-TAKING CEREMONY is cond ucted annually by many Waika tribes to memoria lize those who have died the previous year. Pairs or groups engage in a strange ritua l in wh ich one participant thrusts out his chest and is pounded forcefu lly with fists. . throw their arms about each other. Fol lowing initial chanting by a master of ceremony. Although th is punishment. or rocks by a companion. Hallucina­ tions ore said to be ex­ perienced during this time. and shout into one another' s ears. Wa ika round house in clearing in Amazon forest. All begin hopping and crawling across the floor in imitation of ani­ mals. losing consciousness for up to ha lf on hour. the effects of the na r­ cotic are so strong that the men do not flinch or show signs of pai n . often draws blood . and making gestures of bravado. the ashes of calcined banes of the depa rted are m ixed into a fermented ba nana drink and are swallowed with the beverage. Eventually all suc­ cumb to the d rug. Endocannibalism comprises part of the rite. The opponents then squat. They then begin to dance and to run wi ld ly. shouting. The ceremony takes place in a large round house. clubs.

to practice witchcraft or diag nose disease. During the intoxication. There is . Wa ik6 snuff prepared exclusively from the resin of Virola theiodora has up to 8 percent of tryptamines. fighting these gigantic hekulas. freq uently. the medicine men wish to " ta l k with the spirit people " . a twitching of the face. OTH ER WAYS 81 . The Witoto.s ome vague evi­ dence that certain Venezuelan natives may smoke the bark to get the intoxicating eff e cts. vomiting . nausea .8-carbolines­ have also been found in the resin. Two new alkaloids of a different type-.EFFECTS OF VIROLA SNUFF are felt within minutes from the time of in itia l use. mainly the highly active 5 -methoxy-N. This is fol lowed by a numbness of the limbs. First there is a feeling of increasing excitability. nasal discha rges. a lack of m uscular coo rdination. and Muinane of Colombia prepare little pel lets from the resin. Bora. medicine men often wildly gesticu late. Macropsia-the sensation of seeing th ings greatly enlarged-is characteristic and enters into Waik6 beliefs a bout heku las. CAUSE O F T HE NARCOT IC EFFECT of Virola has been shown by recent studies to be an exceptiona l ly high con­ centration of tryptamine alka loids in the resin. the spirit forces dwell i ng in the Virola tree and control ling the affairs of man . O F TAK I NG VI ROLA RESI N besides snuffi ng it are sometimes employed. they act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors and make it possible for the tryptamines to take eff e ct when the resin is taken orally. the intoxication begins five minutes after ingestion. and. N-dimethyltryptamine. a nd these are eaten when. The primitive nomadic Maku of Colombia often merely scrape resin from the bark of the tree and l ick it in crude form .

most of them members of the families Loganiaceae and Menispermaceae. The killing action of the poison is s low. The red resin from the bark of Virola theiodora is smeared on an arrow or dart. the two operations are car­ ried out by d ifferent medicine men of the sa me tribe.USE OF VIROLA AS AN ARROW POISON by the Waika Indians is one of the recent discoveries in the study of curare. It is intere sting that although the arrows a re tipped while the hal lucinogen ic snuff is being prepared from resin from the same tree. 82 . appl ied by d ipping or spreading with fingers. Many other plants are employed in South America in preparing arrow poisons. wh ich is then gently heated in the smoke of a flre ( shown in the i l l ustration below) to harden the resin . Wa ik6 I ndian holding poison darts i n smoky fire to congeal Virola resin. The chemica l constituent of the resin responsible for this action is sti l l unknown.

stenophylla MASHA-HARI (Justicia pectoralis var . then one or more active constituents must be present. members of the acanthus fam ily. 83 . but if any species of the genus is uti lized a s the only ingred ient o f a n intoxicating snuff. Acanthaceae.flowering branch Justicia pectoralis var. powdered. The 300 species of Justicia. Hallucinogenic constituents have not yet been found in Justicia. The ciromatic leaves are occasionally dried. grow in the tropics a nd subtropics of both hemispheres. and mixed with the hal l ucinogenic snuff made from resin of the Virola tree. stenophylla) is a sma l l herb cultivated by the Waika I nd ians of the Brazilian-Venezuelan frontier region . Other species of Justicia have been reported to be em­ ployed in that region as the sole source of a narcotic snuff.

comprises some 500 species of tropica l and subtropical herbs and small shrubs. hostilis or that the plant itself must contain an in­ hibitor in its tissues. . closely allied to Acacia and Anadenanthera. Usually connected with warfa re. They would see " glorious visions of the spirit land . Several tribes in Pernambuco-the Kariri·. the hallucinogen was used by now extinct tribes of the area to ' pass the night navigating through the depths of slumber " just prior to sallying forth to war. it is obvious that the jurema drink must conta in ingredients other than M. N-di methyltryptamine. the roots of which provide the " m i raculous j u rema d rink. Other species of Mimosa ore also loca l ly called jurema. . " It appears. Since the tryp­ tamines are not active when taken ora l ly unless in the presence of a monoam ine oxidase inhibitor. hostilis has nearly disappeared in recent times. which was discovered more than 1 50 years ago. ( or) catch a g l i mpse of the clashing rocks that destroy souls of the dead jour­ neying to their gool or see the Thunderbird shooting lightni ng from a h uge tuft on his head a nd producing claps of thunder . . that the ha llucinogen ic use of M. The mimosas belong to the subfamily Mi mosoideae of the bea n family. • 84 . Little is known about the hallucinogenic properties of th is plant. Early chemical studies indicated an active alka­ loid g iven the name nigerine but later shown to be identical with N. Tusha.JUREMA (Mimosa hostilis) is a poorly u nderstood shrub. Pankaruru. however. . The genus Mimosa. Jurema is native on ly to the dry reg ions of eastern Brazil. Leguminosae. " known in eastern Brazi l as ajuco or vinho de juremo. Most of them are American. and Ful nio-consume the beverage in ceremonies. although some occur in Africa a nd Asia.

enlarged .Mimosa hostilis single flower.

Legum i nosae . 5 -methoxydimethyltryptamine. N-monomethyl­ tryptamine. The snuff . 86 . where the Tai na Indians ca l led it cohoba. also present in A. p e regrina seeds. N-d imethyltryptam ine. The hallucinogenic principles found in A. and severa l related bases. A potent hallucinogenic snuff is prepared from the seeds of this tree . now used mainly in the Orinoco basin. Future studies may i ncrea se our knowledge of the active principle of these seeds. was first reported from Hispaniola in 1 496. peregrina seeds include N. apporently is not hal l ucinogen ic. Bufotenine. which has died out in the West Indies. Its use.Anadenanthera YOPO or PARICA (Anadenanthera peregrina or Pipta­ denia peregrina) is a South American tree of the bean family. was u ndoubtedly i ntroduced to the Caribbea n area by Indian invaders from South America . Elucidation of the chemico l make-up of the seeds of the yopo tree ha s only recently been accompl ished.

Gray-black when ripe . They are first slightly moistened and rolled into a paste. the seed pods break open. which is then roasted gently over a slow fire until it is dried out and toasted . In 1 80 1 Alexander von Humboldt. which are borne pro­ fu sely on the yopo tree . usually in large qua ntities and often ceremonially. are Aat and deeply con­ stricted between each seed. The pods. Some­ times the beans are allowed to ferment before being rol l ed into a paste. Severa l early explore rs described the process.varies somewhat from tribe to tribe. or beans. the ha rdened paste may be stored for later use. the German naturalist THE PRE PA RAT ION OF YOPO SNUFF 87 . grind i ng them usually on an ornate slab of hardwood made especially for the purpose. exposing from three to about ten Aat seeds. These a re gathered during January and February. After the toasting. Some Indians toast the beans a nd crush them without mold i ng them into a paste.

and explorer. visited the Guah ibos. epena snuff. the roasted seeds of n iopo are placed in a shallow wooden platter that is held on the knee by means of a brood hand l e g rasped firmly with the left hand. " The resulting grayish-green powder is almost always mixed with about equal amounts of some alkaline sub­ stance. the a l ka l ine admixture seem s not to be es­ sential. . In 1 85 1 . tobacco. who encountered the use of yopo in the Orinoco 1 75 yea rs ago. it is not to be believed that the niopo acacia pods are the chief cause of the stimulating effects of the snuff . . and wrote: " In preparing the snuff. of course. wh ich is held between the fingers a nd thumb of the right hand . The effects are due to freshly calcined lime . . The addition of the ashes probably serves a merely mechanica l pur­ pose: to keep the snuff from caking in the humid climate. . Some Indians. the bork of many d ifferent vines and trees. " In his time. which may be lime from snail shel l s or the ashes of plant materia l . the presence of active tryptamines in the beans was unknown . mista kenly stated that " . 88 . Apparently. another tribe of the Orinoco. and even the roots of sedges. . detailed the preparation of yopo by the Maipures of the Orinoco. The explorer Alex­ ander von Humboldt. may oc­ casional ly take the powder a lone. Richard Spruce. an English explorer. They are often added to betel chew. coca. pituri. The addition of lime or ashes to narcotic or stimu­ lant preparation s is a very widespread custom in both hemispheres. . etc. such as the Guahibos. the ashes are made from a great variety of plant materials: the burned fruit of the monkey pot. then crushed by a sma l l pestle of the hard wood of pao d ' arco . In the case of yopo snuff .

snuffing tube with shaft of reed and a palm fruit nosepiece bifurcated bird-bane snuffing tube with palm fruit nosepieces three hardwood pestles or crushers and hardwood mortar troy for grindi.n g yapo seeds Snuffi ng Parapherna lia 89 .

The effe cts begin almost immediately: a twitching of the muscles. An abnorma l exaggeration of the size of objects ( macropsia) is common. . sl ight convu lsions. In an early description. visual ha l l ucination s. . and lack of muscular coordination. The seeds of this tree are the source of a potent hallucinogenic snuff. be turned upside down and that men are walking on their feet in the a ir. a nd disturbed s leep . Yopo snuff is inhaled through ho l low bird-bone or bamboo tubes. " 90 .A yopo tree (Anodenanthera peregrina) in Amazon ian Brazil. followed by nausea. the Indians say that their houses seem to ' ' .

91 .South American Indians of the u pper Orinoco region in characteristic gesticu lating postures while under the influence of yopo snuff.

colubrina seeds are known t o possess the same hallu­ cinogenic principles as A.VI LCA and SEBIL are snuffs believed to have been prepared in the past from the beans of Anadenanthera colubrina and its variety cebi/ in central and southern South America. Ancient Snuffi ng Instruments wooden mortar and pestle with i n c ised abstract designs. pe re g ri n a does not occur. Argentina. An early Peruvian report. become cultures with the In devil through the use of vilca. 86 ) . where A. Bolivia 92 . states or that Inca medicine men foretold the future by communi­ cating huilca. the early Spaniards found the tribe the of same vilca Comechin Indians taking seb il "through the nose" to intoxicated. Bol iv ia snuff tray with bi rd-head designs. pe re g rina (see p. another our plant was chewed for endurance . A . dated about 1 57 1 . and in have disappeared. Since these Indian knowledge snuffs and their use is lim ited.

GE N ISTA 93 . Europe . convulsions. and death through failure of respiration . on alkaloid of the lupine group.( Cytisus canariensis) is employed as an hal l uci­ nogen in the magic practices of Yaqui medicine men in northern Mexico. Native to the Canary I s lands. but it is known to be toxic a nd to cause nausea. About 80 species of Cytisus. Leguminosae. Some species are h ighly ornamental. belong i ng to the bean family. this species is the " genista " of florists. and the Medite rranean area . Plants of the genus Cytisus ore rich in cytisine. ore known in the Atlantic islands. Known also by the scientific nome G enista canariensis. Rarely does any nonindigenous plant find its way into the religious and magic customs of a people. some ore poisonous. The alka loid has never been pharmacologica l ly d emonstrated to hove ha l luci­ nogenic activity. the plant was introduced into Mexico.

divinatory. a lso cal led red bean or coralillo. is a shrub or smal l tree with s ilvery pods conta ining up to six or seven red beans or seeds. used in modern medicine for treating capi l lary fragi lity . Known also as the Wichita. Mescal bean s have been found at sites dating before A . An early Span ish explorer mentioned mesca l beans as an article of trade in Texas in 1 5 3 9 . the ceremony util ized the beans as an oracular. often resulting in death from overdoses. today the seeds a re used as an adornment on the uniform of the leader of the peyote ceremony . Sacred elements do not often disappear completely from a cu lture. is medicinally important as a good source of rutin. The alka loid cytisine is present i n the beans. Archaeologica l evidence th us po ints to the existence of a prehistoric cult or ceremony that used the red beans. It causes nausea. Beca use the red bean drink was highly toxic. japonica. 1 000. D . 94 . Sophora comprises about 50 species that are native to tropical and warm parts of both hemispheres. and Texas practiced the vision -seeking Red Bean Dance centered around the ingestion of a drink prepared from these seeds. The mescal bean is a member of the bean fam i ly. convulsions. the arriva l of a more spectacular a nd safer ha flucinogen in the form of the peyote cactus ( see p. at least 1 2 tribes of Indians in northern Mexi­ co. with one site dating back to 1 500 B. 1 1 4 ) led the natives to abandon the Red Bean Dance. S. New Mexico. Before the peyote relig ion spread north of the Rio Grande. Deer. or Whistle Dance.C. One species.MESCAL BEAN ( Sophora secundiflora). and ha llucino­ genic medium. and death from asphyxiation th rough its depressive action on the diaphragm . Leguminosae .

Anadarko.Sophora secundiflora flowering bronch fruit { woody pod) seed ceremonial neck lace { Kiowa tribe. Oklahoma) 95 .

leguminosae.COLORINES ( several species of Erythrina) may be used as hallucinogens in some parts of Mexico. which elicit activity resembling that of curare or arrow poisons. colorin. long used as a narcotic in northern Mexico and in the American Southwest. Both beans are some­ times sold mixed together in herb markets. but no alkaloids known to possess ha l lucinogen ic properties have yet been found in these seeds. and the mescal bean plant is sometimes called by the same com­ mon name. grow in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres. The bright red beans of these plants resemble mesca l beans ( see p . Some 50 species of Erythrina. Erythrina americana . membe rs of the bean family. 94 ) . Some species of Erythrina contain a l kaloids of the isoquinoline type.

but the toxic principles have still not been characterized . Leguminosae. Modern I ndians in southern Mexico refer to them as piule. belongi n g to the bean family. What appear to be these seeds have bee n pictured. together with mushrooms. Some 300 species of Rhynchosia. falling from the hand of the Aztec Tepantitla fresco of A . 300-400 rain god in the p. Seeds of some species of Rhynchosia have given positive alkaloid tests. e n la rged PIULE ( several species of Rhynchosia) have beautiful red and black seeds that may have been valued as a narcotic by ancient Mexicans.Rhynchosia phaseoloides fru i t ing bran c h seeds. ( see 59). The seeds of some species are im­ portan t in fo lk medicine in several cou ntries. are known from the tropics and subtropics. one of the names also applied to the hallucinogenic morning-glory seeds . sug­ gesting hallucinogenic use . 97 . D.

the scraped bark is squeezed in cold water to make the drink. Ayahuasca is popu lar for its " tele­ pathic properties. The d rink is intensely bitter and nauseating . their botany is poorly understood." for which. and Bolivia. Recent evidence suggests that i n the northwestern Amazon the plants may be used in the form of snuff . In some ports of the Orinoco. Both are gigantic jungle l ianas with tiny pink flowers. I n Peru and Ecuador. Ecua­ dor. inebrians. of course. Colombia.Brazil. . the bark is simply chewed. pinde. In Colombia a nd Brazi l. the drink is made by rasping the bark and boi ling it. and yaje. there is no scientific bosis.AY AHUASCA and CAAPI are two of many loca l names for either of two species of a South American vine: Banisteriopsis caapi or 8. natema. Peru. Like the approximately 1 00 other species in the genus. Other loca l names for the vines or the d rink made from them are dopa. They belong to the family Malpighiaceae . Some tribes add other plants to alter or to increase the potency of the drink. An hallucinogenic d rink made from the bark of these vines is widely used by Indians i n the western Ama­ zon.

Banisteriopsis caapi 99 .

1 00 . many explorers and travelers who passed through the western Amazon region wrote about the drug. 1 0 3 ) i ndicating the presence of alkaloids . Interestingly. Some writers have even confused ayahuasca with completely different narcotic p lants. had discovered the plant from which the in­ toxicating drink was made and described it as a new species. these stems were not analyzed unti l 1 969. they gave resu lts ( p. In the years since Spruce 's d iscovery. It is widely known in the Amazon but the whole story of this plant is yet to be unraveled . but even after more than a cen­ tu ry.EARLIEST PUBLISHED REPORTS of ayahuasca date from 1 85 8 but in 1 85 1 Richard Spruce. an English ex­ plorer. Spruce also reported that the Guahibos along the Orinoco River in Venezuela chewed the d ried stem for its effects instead of preparing a drink from the bark. Spruce collected floweri ng material and also stems for chemica l study . Colorado Indian from Ecuador rasping the bark of Banisteriopsis­ a step in preparation of the narcotic ayohuasca drink.

In fact. it i s never woshed . dancing is a major pa rt of the ayah uasca ceremony in some tribes. and variou s plant additive s may a l so a lter the eff e cts . The effect of the active principles varies from person to person. the d rug brings on nightmarish visions and a feeling of reckless abandon. nor is there i mpairment of the use of the l imbs. The intoxication ends with a deep sleep and d reams. Although occasional ly redecorated. EFFECTS of d rinking aya huasca range from a pleasant intoxication with no hangover to violent reactions with sickening after-effects. Usua lly there are visual ha llucina­ tions in color. In addition. Consciousness is usua l ly not lost. 1 01 . An ayahuasca intoxic ation is difficult to describe.two examples of pottery vessels used in oyohuasca ceremony The ceremonial vessel used in the ayahuasca ritual is a lways hung by the I ndians under the eaves at the right side of a house. In excessive doses. prepa ration of the drink varie s from o n e region to another.

The I ndians are blowing sacred bark flutes. the d rug is employed in deeply religious ceremonies that are roated in tribal mythology. In eastern Peru.The Yuruparf ceremony in the Colombian Amazon i nvolves ritual ayahuasca intoxi cation. 1 02 . The intoxication of ayahuasca or caapi among these Indians is thought to represent a return to the origin of all things: the u ser " sees" tribal god s and the creation of the universe and of man and the animals. In the famous Yurupari ceremony of the Tukanoan I nd ians of Amazonian Colombia. CEREMONIAL USES of ayahuasca are of major impor­ tance in the l ives of South American I ndian s. and what caapi brings them is the true reality. because they have " seen " every­ th ing that underl ies them. Th is experience convinces the Indians of the reality of their rel igious beliefs. medicine men take the drug to diagnose and treat diseases. To them. In Colombia and Brazil. everyday life is unreal.a ceremony that initiates adolescent boys into manhood-the drug is given to fortify those who must undergo the severely painful o rdea l that forms a part of the rite.

· CH30 � � Harmal ine � N CH3 Harm ine C H . Early chemica l studies isolated these several a l ka loids but did not recognize their identity. inebrians alkaloids. Harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. 1 03 . One of these names-telepath ine. However. Indole nucleus is shown in red. alkaloids present in m i nor amounts.8-carboline alkaloid in the plants.CHEMICAL STUDIES of the two ayahuasca vines have suff e red from the botan ical confusion surround ing them. They were given names as " new " alkaloids. may also contribute to the intoxication . it appears that both species owe their ha l l u­ cinogenic activity prima rily to harmine.O � NH CH3 Tetrahyd roharm ine Chem ical formulas of Bonisteriopsis caapi and 8. the major .is a n ind ication o f the widespread belief that the drink pre­ pared from these vines gave the Indian med icine m en telepathic powers.

Solana­ ceae. viridis. Among these are Datura suaveo/ens ( p. H N. Like 8. 1 45 ) and a species of 8runfelsia ( p. employed over a wide area by many tribes. rusbyana. the leaves of several species of Psychotria. and Peru . rusbyana. inebrians. the Iiana is cultivated for th is purpose. along with 8. Several are now known to be active themselves and to alter effectively the properties of the basic drink. N-dimethyl­ tryptamine.are added. ' ' Cal led oco-yaje in the western most Amazon reg ion of Colombia and Ecuador. The leaves ( but not the bark) of a third species of 8anisteriopsis.8. 1 40). Colombia.both members of the nightshade family. Ecuador. caapi and 8. are especial ly sign ificant.especia l ly P. N-Dimethyltryptamine ( DMT) 1 04 . Two additives.are often added to the preparation " to lengthen and brighten the vision s. it has been found recently to contain the strongly hallucinogenic N.PLANTS ADDED TO A YAHUASCA by some Indians in the preparation of the ha llucinogenic drink are a mazingly diverse and include even ferns. including Amazonian Brazi l. This 20-foot forest treelet belongs to the coffee fam ily. Over a much wider area. Rubiaceae. and both containing active principles.

.

" Although T. The drink is very bitter and has an u nusual yel low hue. we still know nothing of its chemistry. meaning " pa inted caapi . .ANOTHER KIND OF CAAPI is prepared from Tetrapteris methystica. it is closely related to Banisteriop­ sis and there is every probability that similar or iden­ tical alkaloids are present. However. There are 90 species of Tetrapteris-vines a nd sma l l trees found throughout the humid American tropics. One group of Maku Indians of the northwesternmost part of the Brazilian Amazon prepares ' a cold-water drink from the bark. There is no other plant i ng redient. Th is may be the " second kind" of caapi mentioned by several explorers as caapi-pinima. methystica prod uces effects identica l with those of Banisteriopsis caapi. a forest vine also belong ing to the family Malpigh iaceae.

and also in New Zealand. The weird effects are due possibly to an un­ identified glycoside. which include the sensation of flight. Coriaria is the only known genus in the family. most of which are shrubs. but the chemistry of this species is still poorly understood. from the Med iterranean area eastward to Japan. 1 07 . The fruits are eaten for their intox icating effects. They are found the mountains from Mexico to Chile. Coriariaceae. Shanshi is their name for the plant.SHANSHI ( Coriaria thymifolia) is a widespread Andean shrub long recogn ized as very poisonous to cattle. Shanshi is one of 1 5 species of in Coriaria. It has recently been reported as one of the plants used as an hallucinogen by peasants in Ecuad or .

with voices or sounds distorted and seeming to come from a distance. is the hallucinogen ic use i mportant. Only in Mexico. Rhynchosia. but chemists have recently found six a l ka loids in Heim ia salicifolia. myrtifolia. and represents an American genus of three hardly disting uishable species that range in the highlands from southern U nited States to Argentina. appears to be the most active. The resulting juice is put in the sun to fer­ ment into a slightly i ntoxicating drink that causes giddiness. With the closely related H. but excessive drinking of the i ntoxicant can be quite harmful. They belong to the q uinolizidine group. cryogenine or vertine. Heimia belongs to the loosestrife fami ly. slightly wilted. are crushed a nd sooked in water. Its leaves. Th is provides us with another example of the often appreciable difference be­ tween the effects of drugs taken as natura l products and the effects of their purified chemical constituents . it has interesting uses in folk medicine. darkening of the surroundings. althoug h the ha llucinogenic effects fol lowi ng i ngestion of the total plant have not yet been duplicated by any of the alkaloids isolated thus far. 1 08 . Partakers claim that unpleasant after-effects are rare. Either deafness or auditory hallucinations may result. but Heimia s a lici fo lia commands the greatest respect. Presence of ha lluci­ nogenic principles was unknown i n this family. however. and Piscidia.SINICUICHI (Heimia salicifolia) i s a poorly u nderstood but fascinating auditory hallucinogen of central Mexico. One. shrinkage of the world. Sinicuichi is a name given also to other plants that are important both medica lly and as intoxicants in various parts of Mexico . Other intoxicating sinicuich is are Erythrina. Lythraceae. and drowsiness or euphoria.

Heimio solicifolia flower. slightly enlarged 1 09 .

often sold in native markets. several field researchers indicate that a variety of SA N PEDRO I 10 . Ecuador. a re sliced like loaves of bread and then boi led in water for several hours. Short lengths of the stem. An intoxicating drink called cimora is made from the San Pedro cactus. " wh ich differ ma inly in the number of ribs. the most common type having seven. Th is cactus is sometimes planted along fields as a fence row to keep sheep and cattle from roaming.Trichocereus pachanoi flowering branch ( flowers are night-blooming and very fragrant) areole ( spines often absent) (Trichocereus pachanoi) is a large colum­ nar cactu s widely cultivated as an hallucinogen in the Andes of Peru . recognize severa l " kinds. Although cimora is often made from San Ped ro a lone. sometimes with superstitious objects such as cemetery d ust and powdered bones. who also call it aguacolla or giganton. and Bo livia . The natives.

the shrub Pedilanthus tithym alo ides of the cos­ tor oil fami ly. Only recently have researchers become awa re of the importance of the " secondary " p lant ingre­ dients often employed by primitive societies. On occasion. N. - 1 1 1 . and the companulaceous /sotoma longi­ flora. other plants may sometimes be added to the brew. although the sign ifi­ cance of the add itives in changing the hallucinogenic effects of the brew is sti ll not fu l ly understood . an Andean species the chemistry of wh ich has not yet been deter­ mined. other more obviously potent plants ore added D atura.cross-section of stem From collection of Munson·Williams-Proctor Institute-Utica. All these plants may have biodynamic constituents. for example .Y. The fact that mesca line occurs in the San Pedro cactus does not mean that the drink prepared from it may not be altered by the addition of other plants. These include the cactu s Neoraimondia macrostibas.

These infl uences a re evident even in the naming of the cactus after Saint Peter. There is no reason to suppose that the use of the San Pedro cactus in hallucinogenic and divinatory rit­ ual s does not have a long history. But the overall con­ text of the ritual a nd our modern understanding of the San Pedro cult. which is connected inti mately with moon mythology. mescal i ne. Mescal ine has been isolated not only from San Pedro but from another species of Trichocereus. the same a lkaloid. We must recognize. having the ability to whistle in such u nearth ly fashion that intruders flee in terror. Although San Pedro is not closely related botan­ ically to peyote. is re­ sponsible for the visual hallucinations caused by both. Trichocereus comprises about 40 species of columnar cacti that grow in subtropica l a nd temperate ports of the Andes. An observer has described the plant as ' ' the catalyst that activates all the complex forces at work in a folk healing session. Chemica l studies of Trichocereus are very recent. that the modern use has been affected greatly by Christian i nfluences. pos­ sibly stemming from the Christian belief that Sa int Peter holds the keys to heaven. But the powers of San Pedro are supposed to extend beyond medicine. certainly. 112 .Cimora is the basis of a folk healing cere mony that combines a ncient i ndigenous ritual with imported Christian elements. pachanoi. it is said to guard houses like a dog. especially the vision­ ary and divinatory powers" of the native medicine man. leads us to believe that it represents an authentic amalgam of pagan a nd Christian elements. and therefore it is possible that additional alkaloids may yet be found i n T. Its use seems to be spread ing in Peru.

It is not defin itely known whether this tol l organ cactus is hall ucinogenic. or Pachycereus p ecten-aboriginum.Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum tip of flowering branch fruit Cowe. 1 13 . i s one of the plants com­ bined with the Son Pedro cactus by the Torohumore of Mexico.

Lophophora williamsii

plant in flower, with accessory heads

PEYOTE ( Lophophora williamsii), an unobtrusive cactus that grows in rocky deserts, is the most spectacu lar hallucinogenic plant of the New World . It is also one of the earliest known. The Aztecs used it, ca l ling it peyotl . Peyote is a small, fleshy, spineless cactus with a rounded gray-green top, tufts of white ha ir, and a long carrotl ike root. It rarely exceeds 71h inches in length or 3 inches across. The Indians cut off the crowns to sun-dry into brown, discoidal " mesca l buttons " that last long periods and can be shipped to distant points for use. When the top is severed, the pla nt often sprouts new crowns so that many-headed peyotes are common . Peyote was first described botanically in 1 845 and
1 14

dried peyote cro wns ( mesca l buttons)

flower of L. williamsii

L. williamsii whole plant with tapering carrotlike root

Lophophora diffuse

called Echinocactus williamsii. It has been given many other technical names. The one used most commonly by chemists has been Anhalonium lewinii. Most botanists now agree peyote belongs in a distinct genus, Lopho­ phora. There are two species: the w idespread L. wil­ liamsii and the local L. diffuse in Quereta ro . Peyote is native to the Rio Grande va l ley of Texas and northern and central parts of the Mexican plateau. It be longs to the cactu s fam ily, Cactaceae, comprising some 2 ,000 species in 50 to 1 50 g en era, native pri­ marily to the drier parts of tropica l America . Many species are va lued as horticultural curiosities, and some have i nteresting folk uses among the I nd ians.
1 15

USE OF PEYOTE BY THE AZTECS was described by Spanish chroniclers. One reported that those who ate it saw frig htfu l visions and rema ined drunk for two or three days; that it was a common food of the Chich­ imeca I ndians, " sustaining them and giving them courage to flght and not feel fear nor hunger nor thirst; a nd they say that it protects them from all danger . " In 1 5 9 1 , another chronicler wrote that the native s who eat it " lose their senses, see visions of terrifying sights like the devi l, and are able to prophesy their future with ' satanic trickery. ' " Dr. Hernandez, the physician to the King of Spain, described the cactus as Peyotl zacatecensis and wrote of its " wonderfu l properties. " He took note of its small s ize and described it by saying that " it scarcely issues from the earth, as if it did not wish to harm those who flnd and eat it. " Recent archaeologica l flnds of peyote buttons in the state of Texas are approximately 1 ,000 years old. OPPOSITIO N TO THE USE OF P EYOTE by the Aztecs was strong among the Spanish conquerors. One early Spanish ch urch document likened the eating of peyote to cannibal ism. Upset by the religious hold that peyote had on the I ndians, the Spanish tried, with great vigor but little success, to stamp out its use. By 1 720, the eating of peyote was prohibited th rough­ out Mex ico. But despite four centuries of civil and ec­ clesiastica l persecution, the use and importance of peyote have spread beyond its early lim ited confines. Today it is so strongly anchored in native lore that even Christian­ ized I ndians believe that a patron saint- EI Santo Nino de Peyotl-wa l ks on the hills where peyote grows. There is continu ing opposition in certain religious
1 16

a few states have enforced repressive laws against even the religious use of peyote . H uichol I ndian art indicating the importance of peyote in a trinity in­ volving man and the maize plant. Those tribes living far from sou rces of peyote-some as fa r north as Canada-can legally import mescal buttons by mai l .organization s in the United States to the Indian s ' use of peyote as a ceremon ial sacrament. Nevertheless. however. 1 17 . the federal government has never seriously questioned or inte rfered with the practice since it is essentially a religious one. Despite constitutional guarantees separating ch urch and state.

is highly religious. The peyote-collecting trip of the Huichols. for example. The most spectac­ ular of the many effects is the ka leidoscopic play of indescribably rich. a journey wh ich. The pilgrims must confess in order to become spirit and enter into the sacred country through the gateway of clashing clouds. he left peyote. followed by artificial calm a nd muscu lar sluggishness at which time the subject begins to pay less attention to his sur­ roundings and increase his introspective "meditation . that when gathered it sings happily in its bags all the way home.RELIGIOUS I M PORTA NCE OF PEYOTE persists among the Tarahumare. but it has been exa lted to a position of near-divinity. and other Mexican Indians. The Tarahumare believe that when Father Sun left earth to dwell above. colored visions. and taste often occur as wel l . for it reenacts the first peyote quest of the divine ancestors . Hallucinations of hearing. requi ring pilgrims to forego adult experiences. Huichol. " Before visions appear. feeling. and that God speaks through the plant in this way. The intoxication may b e divided into two periods: one of contentment and extrasensitivity. according to their tradition. some three hours after eating 1 18 . or hikuli. especially sexual. It m ight be esteemed merely as an everyday medicine. repeats the "journey of the soul of the dead to the underworld . to cure man ' s i l l s and woes. that peyote sings and talks a s it grows. Many legends about the supernatural powers of peyote underlie its religious importance. " EFFECTS O F PEYOTE o n the mind and body are so utterly unworldly and fantastic that it is easy to under­ stand the native belief that the cactus must be the residence of spirit forces or a divinity.

Parap hernalia u sed in a typical Plains Indian peyote ceremony. Though the colored visua l hallucinations undoubtedly underlie the rapid spread of the use of peyote. Peyote ' s reputation as a panacea and a l l-powerful "medicine" -both in physical and psychic senses ­ may be equally responsible for its spread. Note the blend of C h ristian and pagan symbol s on the s m ok e-stick. 1 19 . espe­ cially in those Indian cultures where the q uest for visions has always been importa nt. The visions often fol low a sequence from geometric figures to unfamiliar and grotesque objects that vary with the individual. peyote. there ore flashes and scinti l lations in colors. their depth and saturation defying description . many natives assert that visions are " not good " and lock rel igious significance.

teaches brotherly love. How the use of peyote diffused from Mexico north. A typical Plains Indian ceremony takes place weekly in an a l l-night meeting in a teepee. and abstention from a lcohol .000 members . The ashes are shaped into the form of a thunderbird. a combination of Christian and native elements. in 1 720. partly for protection against fierce Christia n-missio na ry persecution . led by a " roadman.000 faithful in more than 30 tribes in North America . in Texas. The ceremony. Worshipers sit in a circle around a ha l f-moon a l ta r of sand ( see p . many Indian missionaries were active in spreading the peyote ceremony from tribe to tribe. and occasionally a curing ritual. the peyote cult numbered over 1 3. By 1 920. high mora l principles. lessons. alternating with prayers. The ritual ends with breakfast at dawn when the teepee is hauled down. It considers peyote a sacrament through which God manifests Himself to man. 1 20 . THE PEYOTE RITUAL as practiced by Indians in the United States varies somewhat from tribe to tribe. is not fully known . 6 ) on which a large specimen called a " Father Peyote " is set a nd at which a sacred fire burns. " consists of chanting accompanied by rattle and drum.USE OF PEYOTE I N THE UN ITED STATES first came to public attention about 1 8 80 when the Kiowa and the Comanche Indians established a peyote ceremony de­ rived from the Mexican but remodeled into a vision­ quest ritual typical of the Plains Indians. Use of peyote had been recorded earlier. During the 1 8 80's. into the Native American Church. far beyond the natural range of the cactus. testimonies. At night dried peyote tops ( mescal buttons) are moistened a nd swallowed-from 4 to 30 or more. which now claims 250. It was legally organized. This cult.

( Origina l painting is by S tephen Mopape. Kickapao Indian artist. ) 121 . in collection of Harvard Botanical Museum .Indian painting of Peyote "roadman".leader of the Peyote ceremony.

was described by a scientist who experienced it as follows : " . . . clouds . . . tai l of pheasant turns into bright yel low star; star into sparks. Moving, scintil lating screw; hundreds of screws. A sequence of rapidly changing objects in agreeable colors . A rotating wheel in the center of a silvery ground . . . The upper part of a man with a pale face and red cheeks, rising slowly from below. Wh ile I am thinking of a friend, the head of an Indian appears. Beads in different colors . . . so bright that I doubt my eyes are closed . . . . Yellow mass like saltwater taffy pierced by two teeth . Silvery water pouring downward, suddenly flowing upward . . . exploding shells turn into strange flowers . . . A drawing of a head turns into a mush­ room, then a skeleton in lateral view . . . Head and legs are lacking . . . Soft, deep darkness with moving wheels and stars in . . . pleasant colors. Nuns in silver dress . . . quickly disappearing. Col lection of bluish ink bottles with labels. Red, brown ish, and violet threads running together in the center. Autumn leaves turning into mescal buttons . . . Man in green ish velvet jumping into a deep chasm. Strange animal turns into a piece of wood in horizonta l position . "
A PEYOTE VISION

i s extremely interesting and is sti l l subject to intense study by chem ists and pharmacolog ists. More than 30 active constituents have been found in the peyote tissues . They are mainly alkaloids of two types: phenylethylamines and isoquino­ lines. Much pharmacological and psychological research has been done on mescaline, the alkaloid responsible for the colored visions, but the effects of most of the other constituents, alone or in combination, are not wel l understood .
THE C H EMISTRY O F PEYOTE
1 22

CHEMICAL STR UCTURES OF SEVERAL PEYOTE ALKALOIDS

CH

p

C H 30
An ha line

w
� I
OH
Anha lamine

NH

.

H

Mesca l ine

Anhalonidine

C Hp
\

c Hp 0
I

C H 2.....-

w

o

lophophorine

C H2_..... 0

I

NH

w
'" I '
CH3 CH

N

'c H3

p

o

CH3

c Hp

An halonine

Anha lidine

w

I

N

OH

H

'c H 3

" FALSE PEYOTES" are other species of cactus used by the Tarahumare and Huichol Indians of northern Mexico. One, called hikuli mulato, is believed to make the eyes so large and clear that the user can see sorcerers. Thi s small cactus has been identified as Epithelantha micromeris. A species known as hikuli sunami (Ariocarpus fissuratus) is said to be more power­ ful than peyote (hikuli ), and the Tarahumare bel ieve that robbers are powerles s to steal when this cactus calls soldiers to its aid. Hikuli wa lula saeliami, meaning " h iku li of greatest authority, " is so rare that it has not yet been identified,
Epithelantha micromeris
plant in flower, with accessory head

Ariocarpus fissuratus

fruits, enlarged

but it is reputedly the most powerful of a l l hallucino­ genic cacti. driving a man mad in the desert if he has not been properly instructed by the shaman or is not in a state of ritual purity that allows him to find the true peyote plant. Ariocarpus refusus vertical section af flower plant in flower Pelecyphora aselliformis . especially anhalonine. Pelecyphora aselliformis. Among the Huichol. " has recently been found to contain alkaloids. have been found in Ariocarpus. it is be lieved capable of sorcery and deception. tsuwi ri (Ariocarpus retusus) is considered dangerous to eat. but m esca line is apparently absent. Several toxic alka loids. Noth ing is known of the chemistry of Epithelantha. another "false peyote.

is wel l recogn ized as poisonous. the Galapagos and Fa l kland islands. which in Chile is ca lled h ierba loco ( " madden ing p lant") or hued hued . These plants belong to the heath fam i ly. and trai ling arbutus. and New Zea land. a long with the cranberry. and permanent insanity. Ericaceoe. a g lycoside. parvifolia) a re two of about 25 species of Pernettya. capable of inducing hallucinations and other psychic alterations as well as affecting the motor nerves . pa rvifolia flower and leaf of P. fvrens PerneHya p arvifolia H I ERBA LOCA and T AGLLI (Pernettya furens and P. Tasmania. blueberry. can cause mental confusion. The fruit of tagl li. madness. of Ecuador. rhododendron. The intoxication resembles that fo llowing the ingestion of Datura. but only these two are known definitely to be employed as hallucinogens . Pernettya furens. has fru its that. it seems that the tox icity may be due to andromedotoxin. a resinoid. when eaten. 1 26 . Though the chemistry of these and other species of Pernettya needs further study. Both compounds are rather com­ mon in this plant family. Scotch heather. mostly very sma l l subshrubs that grow in the high lands from Mexico to Chi le. Several species are known to be toxic to cattle and man.habit of flower and leaf of P. or to arbutin.

enlarged 1 27 .Pernettya furens flowering branch flower. enlarged fruit.

These were recently identified respectively as the seeds of Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea. yet they seem never to have been used as hallucinogens. 1 28 . Ololiuqui is a sma ll. and medicine. I n other parts of the world the concentration of these principles may be higher than in the Mexican morning glories. Since botanical nomenclature in th is family is not always clear. with heart-shaped leaves and white flowers. respectively. 700 temperate and tropical species contain highly intoxicating pri nciples. Although the morning glory family. round. magic.of two species (Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea) provide Mexi­ can Indians with hallucinogenic seeds. coatl-xoxouhqui ( "snake plant" ). only in recent years has it been discovered that some of the 1 . tlitliltzin was merely mentioned in the a ncient writings. Spanish chron­ iclers reported that ololiuqui a nd tlitli ltzin were importa nt divinatory hallucinogens of Aztec religion. SACRED MEXICAN MORN I N G GLOR IES Seeds of Rivea corymbosa Seeds of Ipomoea violacea Shortly after the conquest of Mexico. Whereas much was written about ololi uqu i. a ngular seed . these two species are sometimes called Turbine corymbosa and Ipomoea tricolor. Convolvulaceae. brown ish seed from a vine. has been im­ portant as the source of severa l med icines and many ornamentals. tlitliltzin is a black.

Offerings were made to them under the strictest secrecy in places unknown to persons not involved in the worship. " Another contended that "the natives com­ mun icate in th is way with the devi l. and olo l i uqui to benumb the flesh and lose a l l fea r. " One ea rly chro nicler wrote that ololiuqui " deprives of his senses him who has taken it. for it is very powerfu l .MEDICAL AND RELIGIOUS of the morning glory cal led ololiuqui were of major importance to the Aztecs. wrote that ' ' when the priests wanted to commune with their god s and receive messages from them . 1 29 . USES . a lso k nown as alaliuqui ( Hernandez. 1 65 1 ) thou sand visions . they ate this plant to inEarliest illustration of Rivea duce a d el irium. . Before making sacrifices. a ppeered to them . O loliuqui is pre­ sumed to have pain-ki lling properties. tobacco. Aztec priests rubbed themselves with an ointment of the ashes of insects. physician to the King of Spain. for they usually ta lk when drunk with olol iuqui and are deceived by the hallucinations which they attribute to the deity residing in the seed s . Hernandez. . " The seeds were venerated and placed in the idols of Indian ancestors. Rome. a nd a cor ym ba s a .

I DE NTI FICA liON of ololiuqui and tlitli ltzin as morning g lories had to wait for four centuries. Not until 1 93 9 were actual specimens of Rivea corymbosa used in Mazatec I nd ian d ivinatory ritua ls collected in Oaxaca and identified as the ololiuqui of the ancient Aztecs. An i l l u stration of olol iuqui i n fruit. a Spanish friar. Severa l crude draw­ ings in the chronicles indicated that ololiuqui was a morn­ ing g lory. book XI. Mexican botanists identified it as such as early as 1 854. a known ha llucinogen sti l l used in Mex ico. vol . from Sahag u n ' s H is tor ic de las Casas de Nueva Esp ana. because efforts of the Spanish to eradicate the use of these sacred hallu­ cinogens drove them into the hills. Sahagun.1 5 9 0 . wrote about the marvels of the New World in the years 1 5 2 9 . But doubts persisted because the morn­ ing g lory family was thought to be devoid of intoxi­ cating principles. it was suggested early in the 1 900's that ololiuqui was not a morning g lory but a Datura ( p. 1 30 . Ipomoea violacea was found 20 years later in ceremon ial use among the Zapotecs of the same region and identified as tlitliltzin. Mainly on the basis of similarity of the flowers. IV. 1 4 2 ) . and no member of the fam i ly had ever been seen employed as an hal lucinogen .

Mazatecs. is a curious blending of old I ndian beliefs and Christianity. featuring the use of morn ing glory seeds to treat an illness. and Zapotecs. and the patient drinks it at night in silence. in a special ritual accompan ied by com plex prayer. The seeds a re ground by a virgin.often the magic number is 1 3is measured out. The seeds are used for divination. and diagnosis and treatment of i l l ness by many tribes. I n almost I ndian girl from Oaxaca grind· vil lages.PRESENT USE of the sa­ cred Mexica n morn ing glory seeds differs little from ancient practices. " The mod ern ceremony. the resulting bev­ erag e is strained. 1 31 . prophecy. The native who is to be treated col lects the seeds h i mself. Chinantecs. After more prayers. About a th imbleful of the seeds. Oaxacan all the seed s serve the Indians "as an ever present help in time of trouble. Water is added. usually a chi ld. ing Ip om oea seeds on a metate . This dete rm ines the cause of his troubles. especially the Chatinos. he lies down with someone by his side who liste ns to what he says while in­ toxicated. I ndian patient drinking potion prepared from I p omoea seeds.

var. Pearly Ga tes .

Rivea corymbosa 1 33 .

1 34 . At that time the chem ist who discovered LSD analyzed the plant and found severa l alkaloids closely related to that potently hallucinogenic synthetic compound. While these alka loids are not uncommon in numerous morning glories around the world. In Europe. elymoclavine. causing a terrible intoxication and leading frequently to wide­ spread insanity and death . The total alka­ loid content of Ipomoea violacea is five times that of Rivea corymbosa. apparently only in Mex ico have the plants been utilized as narcotics. The main hallucinogenic constituents of both seeds are ergine (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) and isoergine. a parasite on the grains of rye. Half a dozen of these ergoline alkaloids have been found in seeds of Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea vio­ lacea. and lysergol .EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES of the narcotic morning g lories began in 1 95 5 when a psychiatrist published notes on self-experimentation with Rivea seeds. His astonishing discovery met with widespread dis­ belief. when ergot was accidentally ground up in a mill with rye flour and eaten in bread made from the flour. before causes were understood and preventative measures taken. but no active principle could be found unti l the 1 960's. these mysterious mass attacks were cal led St. showing that they brought on an intoxication accom pa nied by hallucinations. but other related bases occur in m inor amounts-chiefly chanoclavine. Anthony' s Fire and were attributed to God ' s wrath. This announcement prompted chemists to examine the plant. which explains why the natives use fewer of the Ipomoea seeds in preparing for their ritua ls. partly because these lysergic-acid de rivatives had hitherto been known in nature only in the primitive fungus ergot (Ciaviceps purpurea). In the Middle Ages. it poisoned whole towns.

1 35 . The purp le-black structures are the ergot sc lerotia.Head of rye infested with Claviceps purp urea. showing their chemical relationship to LSD. the ergot fungus. H LSD 2 5 H H Ergine C H 20 H CH3 lsoergine C H .O H Ergometrine (Ergonovine) H Chanoclavine Elymoclavine Lysergol Alkaloids of the sacred Mexican morning glories.

In fact. Blue Stars. also contain these sub­ stances. including the popular ornamentals Heaven ly Blue. and Weddi ng Bells. hal lucinogenic compounds are so preva lent in th is family. Flying Saucers. cornea. The Hawaiian wood rose (A. are said to be used as ha lluci no­ gens in Ecuadorian folk med icine. Or hove they? fruit Ipomoea . notably Argyreia and Stictocardia. Seeds of I. both geo­ graphical ly and botanically. nervosa). that it is difficult to ex­ plain why the morning glories hove not been more widely employed as narcotics by prim itive societies. Pearly Gates.MANY HORTICULTURAL VARIETIES of Ipomoea viola­ ceo. which are known to possess bio­ dynamic constituents. has been found to be highly intoxicating. contain ha llucinogenic constituents. for example. a s well as other varieties of Ipomoea. Other genera.

Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca employ the leaves as a divinatory narcotic. then diluted with water and filtered for drinking. Chemical studies have as yet failed to isolate any psychoactive component. if ever. " The leaves are chewed fresh. Ingesting leaves of the plant has been found experi­ mentally to induce an intoxication similar to that of the sacred mushrooms but less striking and of shorter dura­ tion. both names meaning " leaves of the Shepherdess. 5 8 ) or morning glory seeds (p. is the only one of 700 species of Salvia known to be used as an hallucinogen. 1 2 8 ) are scarce. It is characterized by three-dimensional colored designs in ka leidoscopic motion. 1 37 . enlarged HOJAS DE LA PASTORA (Salvia divinorum). hence divi­ norum ( "of the diviners " ).flower. The Mazatecs plant this mint vegeta­ tively in remote mounta in ravines. develops from seed . or the plants a re ground on a metate. of Mexico. and most families use it as a drug when the sacred mushrooms (p. The plant is not known in the wild and rarely. The Mazatecs call the plant hojas de Ia Pastore in Spanish and shka-Pastora in their native tongue. It is commonly believed to be the hallucinogenic pipilzintzintl i of the ancient Aztecs.

pumilus as el macho ( " the ma le" ) . COLEUS BORRAC H ERA (Jochroma fuchsioides) is one of about two dozen species of lochroma. There are suspicions and u n­ confirmed reports that several species of lochroma are loca lly taken in hallucinatory drinks. the I ndians recognize the fa mily relationship between these two genera of mints. which they ca l l el n ino ( " the child") and e l ahijado ( " the godson " ) . Indeed . but the tree is widely feared and respected. it be­ longs to the n ightshade fam ily. where they are va lued in folk medicine but apparently have not been used as hallucinogens. There are two forms of C. 1 3 7) . Dosages are a closely guarded secret. Solanaceae. Although no chemica l studies have been made of lochroma. all native to the high­ lands of South America . divinorum as Ia hembra ( " the fema le") a nd to C. ARBOL DE LOS BRUJOS ( " sorcerers' tree " ) or latue (Latua pubiflora) is used by the Mapuche Indian medicine men of Va ldivia. wel l recog­ nized for its toxic and hallucinogenic principles. These two species are native to Asia. blumei. and occasional ly permanent insanity. both of the family Labiatae. They refer to S. Mexico. who reputedly employ the leaves in the same way as they use the leaves of Salvia divinorum ( see p. hal l ucina­ tions. to cause del irium. by Indians in the Sibu ndoy Val ley of southern Colombia. Chile. No ha llucinogenic principle has yet been discovered in the 1 50 known Coleus species . blumei) is cultivated by the Mazatecs of Oaxaca. either alone or mixed with other narcotic plants. a nd it is widely believed that a madness of any desired dur­ ation may be induced by a medicine man who knows 1 38 .( Coleus pumilus and C. There is no cult or ritua l surrounding its use.

The natives employ the fresh fruits. The alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine have been isolated from the fruit and are responsible for its potent effects. Solanaceae. the tree is con­ fined to coa sta l mountains of centra l Chile. The only species of Latua known./ochroma fuchsioides how to mea sure the doses properly. 1 39 . It belongs to the nightshade fami ly.

Recently.(Brunfelsia) are the most common of the native names for severa l species of shrubs that a ppear to have been impo rtan t hallu­ cinogens among some South American India n tribes. The use of the name borrachero. as among the Kach ina ua of Brazil. and Peru recognize the shrub 's narcotic properties. " indicates that the natives of Colombia. a nd the special care ta ken in its cultivation seems to suggest a former rel igious or m agic place in tr ibol l ife. or as an additive to other ha llucinogenic C H I RIC-CASPI and C H I RIC SA NANGO Brunfelsia chiricaspi . rea l evidence has pointed to the use of severa l species of Brunfelsia either as the source of an hallucinogenic drink. Ecuador. which means " in­ toxicator.

enlarged I portion of bra nch. show i ng thin. enter into folk medicine. Brunfelsia grandiflora seed. B. chiricaspi. however. and what the active principles may be has not yet been determ ined.drinks. hopeana) has been included in the Brazilian pha rmacopoeia. The genus comprises 40 species of shrubs native to tropical South America and the West Indies. grandi­ flora a nd B. uniflora ( a s B. being used especially to reduce fevers and as antirheumatic agents. Chemical investigation of the active compounds in the various species of Brun felsia is stil l in the in itia l stage. flaky ba rk 141 . All species. It belongs to the nightshade fam ily. as among the J lvaro and Kofan I ndians of Ecuador. The species hallucinogenica lly employed are B. Sola naceae.

I ntoxication cau sed by the drug is characterized in itial­ ly by effects so violent that physical restraint m ust be imposed until the partaker passes into a stage of sleep and halluci nations.(Datura) form a genus of some 20 species of the nightshade fami ly. Use differs widely from tribe to tribe. Scopolamine is often the major constituent. apprehend th ieves. and prophesy the fu tu re. their identification to species is often difficult. a m ou ntain-g irt va lley in the high Andes of Colombia. all species of Datura have a similar chemical composition. Some of the Indians in the Andes of southern Colom­ bia cultivate a number of clones of highly atrophied " va rieties. Biological mon­ strosities. Med icine men ma intain that they differ in patency from the usua l Daturas. wh ich are tropane alkaloids. Though highly toxic. Their active principles a re ma inly hyoscya­ mine and scopolamine. Their use in fol k medicine d erives from their high concentration of a l kaloids. Basica l ly. They may be the result of m utations induced by viruses. DATURAS 1 42 . A nu mber of minor. meteloid ine." perhaps incipient species. norscopalam ine. chem ically related alka loids may be present: atropine. most spe­ cies have been used extensively in medicine from early times to the pres�nt. Solanaceae. The drug is usua l ly prepared by dropping pu lverized seeds into fermented drinks or by steeping leaves and twigs in water. They seem to be confined to Sibundoy. an indication tha t perhaps their chemical constitution as wel l as their morphology ha s been changed . They occur and are used as hal lucinogens in both hem ispheres. The differences among species are chiefly in the relative concentrations of these various alka loids. Th e medicine man interprets the vi­ sions as visitations of the spirits and is supposedly thu s able to· d iagnose disease.

forking stems that grows in marshes and shallow waters. indi­ cates its potency a s a narcotic . " one of the morn ing glories ( see p . referred to it as "sister of ololiuqui . lorna­ loco ( "maddening plant" ). The Aztecs. especia lly the brownish-black seeds. used by the Algonquin Indians of east­ em North America before the ritual of initiation i nto man­ hood ( see p. Its modern Mexican name. 9 ) .seeds stramonium JIMSON WEED or thorn apple (Da tura stramonium) is an i l l ­ scented weedy annual with white to purplish flowers. 1 43 . who i nvoked its spirit in treating certain diseases. Thi s species is bel ieved to have been the chief ingredient . TORNA-LOCO (Da tura cerato­ ca u la ) is a fleshy plant with thick. it now grows in temperate and sub­ tropica l reg ions around the world . Probably native to North America. 1 2 8 ) . All parts of the plant. Its unusual habitat and its strong narcotic properties earned it a special place among the ancient Mexican hallucino­ gens. are toxic.of wysoccan.

The priests put the powdered root in their eyes. disco/or and D. screaming like animals. has a long history of use as on hallucinogen. Yokuts use the drug in a spring ceremony to assure good health and long l ife to the young. and a poultice for treating wounds. Hernandez recorded many medical uses but warned that token in excess it would drive a patient to madness. Yumons toke it to induce dreams. Only the rai n priests ore permitted to gather it. mete/aides). asking intercession for rai n . climbing annual native to Mexico and southwestern United States. until they drop and succumb to the drug ' s effects. seeds. also they chew the root to commune with spirits of the dead. T h e Luiseiios use on infusion of tolooche in on initiation cere­ mony. and predict the futu re. wrightii of the some region ore similarly used. The modern Torohumores still odd the roots. known also as D.TOLOACHE ( D a tu r a inoxio. Zunis value the plant as a narcotic. The young participants who drink it donee. . The related D. and leaves to their maize beer. who called it tolootzin. gai n occult powers. It wos extremely important to the Aztecs. a coarse. an anes­ thetic.

At Sogamoza. or huacas. Colombia.TREE DATURAS of severa l species are native to South America where they go by such native names as bor­ rachero. floripondia. candida. The a ncient Chibchas of Bogota used D. In Matucanas. from Colombia to Peru.1 4 7 for exa mples) . Aboriginal peoples from Colombia to Chile va lue these trees as sou rces of ritualistic hallucinogens a nd medicines. candida and D. sanguinea. Species from this region a re · D. it is used as an hallucinogen. 1 46. Datura suaveolens is indigenous to the warmer low­ lands. D. 1 45 . appears to be the center of the g roup 's orig in. aurea. hence the loca l name for the plant. dolichocarpa. The tree daturos o re sometimes con­ sidered a distinct genus: Brugmansia. D. The Jlva ros say that the spirits of their ancestors admonish recalci­ trant chi ldren during the ha l lucinations. campanilla. toe. and tonga.huacacachu ( " g rave plant " ) . Indians say it will reveal to them treasures preserved in ancient graves. Recognized as toxic and narcotic. Indians took D. sanguinea ceremon ially in the Temple of the Sun . The narcotic prepared from this red-flowered species is known locally as tonga . the Mapuche I ndians use D. vulcanicola ( see pp. Al l are cultivated plants. Many Peruvian natives sti l l bel ieve that tonga perm its them to commun icate with ancestors or other depa rted sou ls. alone or as an admixture. The northern Andes. maicoa. In Chile. huanto. arborea. D. Peru. aurea seeds to ind uce stupor in the wives and slaves of dead wa rriors and chieftains before they were buried a l ive to accom pany husbands and masters on the last trip. D. unknown in the truly wild state and associated with man since earl iest times. a nd the newly d iscovered D. sanguinea to correct u nruly children.

aurea.D. golden·flowered form san guinea 1 46 .

.

Colombia. An infusion of the leaves is said to be more potent and dangerous to use than simi lar prepa rations of Datura. a tree reaching a height of 25 feet. and delirium. hallucinations. The chemica l composition explains its great potency: 80 percent of the several typical tropane alkaloids present is scopolamine. " C ULEBRA BORRACH ERO (Methysticodendron amesian­ um). The trees are the special property of certain medicine men who employ the d rug in d ifficult cases of di sease diagnosis. this drug may cause excitement. 1 48 . The Indians a l so call it mitskway borra­ chera ( " snake intoxicant " ) . Perhaps nowhere in the N ew World does the importance of hal lucinogens i n native magic and medicine acquire such significance as in the Vo lley of Sibundoy. d ivination. is known only from cultivated trees in the Kamsa Indian town of Sibun­ doy. or witchcraft. This tree i s the only species of its genus a nd may represent an extremely aberrant form of a tree species of Datura. which has been characterized as " the most narcotic­ conscious a rea of the New World .Sibundoy I ndian witch doctor collecting leaves and flowers of Methysticodendron amesianum. prophecy. Its 1 1 -inch wh ite flowers differ from those of the tree daturas in having their bell-shaped corolla split nearly to the base. Even in small doses.

seeds amesian um .

Some 40 species of petun ias grow in South America and in warmer parts of North America . Loganiaceae. funnel-shaped blooms. Cultivated varieties. they are closely a l l ied to the genus Nicotiana ( to bacco) . related to the nutmeg fam i ly. there have been no chemical studies made of this tree. phytochemical investigation of pe­ tunias is urgently needed . made probably into a tea. It is the only species in a rare family. Whether their effects are truly hallucinogenic is not known.1t whether the effects are truly hallucinogenic is not yet known . KEU LE (Gomortega keule) is a smal l tree restricted to about 1 00 square mi les in central Chile. Members of the nightshade family. So far. for intoxication. Its leaves. b1. The genus Desfontainia contains one or two other Andean species and belongs to the family Desfontainiaceae. Solanaceae. in­ cludes the plants from which certain South American arrow poisons are made. It is taken by the Indians in Ecu­ ador to induce the sensation of flight. with their attractive. Gomortegaceae. Petunia violacea as well as other species are horticultura lly important. TA IQUE (Desfontainia hookeri) is a shrub of Andean valleys. The Mapuche Indians of Chile are said to eat the fruit of keule.SHAN I N (Petunia violacea) is one of the most recently reported hallucinogens. nor has their chemical composition been investigated. A related family. are em­ ployed in southern Chile as a folk medicine and as a narcotic . 1 50 . are popular garden flowers that bloom profusely through­ out the summer months. or hualhual. Although an alkaloid of unknown identity has been reported from this species of petunia.

.

Some species enter into folk medicine. and other com pla ints. They contain the alkaloid lobeline and several derivatives of it. is a recently d iscovered hallucinogen that seems to be used only by the Chontals of Oaxaca . Whether they are truly hallucinogenic has not yet been established . He knows that he has had enough when he feels drowsy a nd hears his own pu lse and heartbeat. Recent stud ies ind icate the presence of an unidentified alkaloid that may be respon­ sible for the auditory hallucinations. After drinking a tea made from the shrub ' s crushed dried leaves. and they belong to the bluebell fam ily. Some are highly prized as garden ornamentals. In Chi le. 1 52 . There are 300 species of Lobelia. known loca lly as Indian tobacco. From earl iest times.TUPA (Lobelia tupa). It has been used medicinally and as a smoking deterrent. They belong to the daisy fam i ly. an inconspicuous shrub ranging from Mexico to Costa Rica. espe­ cially L. variable plant of the h igh Andes. the plant ' s i nten sely bitter taste ( zacatechichi i s the Aztec word m ean­ ing "bitter grass " ) has made it a favorite folk medicine for fevers. and grow on open or scrubby hillsides in tropical America. a ta ll. nausea. There are a hundred or more species of Calea. The same alka loid occurs in some North American species of Lobelia. is also ca lled tabaco del d iablo ( "devi l ' s tobac­ co " ). an Indian lies down in a quiet place and smokes a cigarette made of the dried leaves. inflata. mostly tropical and sub­ tropical. the Mapuche Indians smoke the dried leaves of this beautiful red-flowered plant for their nar­ cotic effects. Compositae. They take it to "clarify the senses " and to enable them to communicate verbally with the spirit world. ZACATEC H I C H I ( Calea zacatechichi). Campa­ nulaceae.

Lobelia tupa Co/eo zacatechichi 1 53 .

Hallucinogens act directly on the central nervous sys­ tem. inducing a state between consciousness a nd sleep a nd cha racterized by hal lucinations. etc. mainly in the ali­ mentary canal and urinary tracts. lack of water for long periods. it i ntoxicates. Their ef­ fects are usually short-l ived. Scopola mine. poisons. The effects of psychoactive agents result from con­ stituents that belong to many classes of chemicals. They have both physical and psychic activity.often indistinguisha ble to the lay­ man from true hal l ucinations-may be caused by many abnormal conditions upsetting body homeostasis. has medica l uses not associated with the centra l nervous system: it is antispasmodic and antisecretory. however. affecting norma l meta bolism of the animal body . I f a plant conta ins an active substance. an alkaloid of the nightshade family. Some psychiatrists believe that mental d isorders a re the result of an imba l ance in body chemistry: " For every twisted thought. lasting only as long as the chemica l remains at the point of action in the body. fasti ng.PSYCHO PHARMACOLOGY Psychopharmacology studies the effects of d rugs. there is a twisted molecule. Pseudohal lucinations. Taken in proper doses. " Some spe­ cialists formerly thought and sti l l maintain that " model 1 54 . An example is scopolamine. or nor­ ma l metabolism : fevers. Pseudoha l lucinations m ay often be of much longer duration than hallucinations. espe­ cially hal luci nogens. its medica l potential is of interest to pharmacologists. but they may a lso affect other parts of the body. Al l have one characteristic in common: they are biodynamic. on the central nervous system. Investigation may ind icate that true ha llucinogenic compounds have va lue for purposes far removed from their psychoactivity.

artificially induced states similar to some abnormal mental conditions-m ight be a va lua ble ana­ lytic tool. One specialist states that studies of " various as­ pects of the norma l a nd the a bnorma l " may elucidate certain a reas of the " hinterland of character. " It must be remembered that alteration of the function of the centra l nervous system by chemica ls is not new. depicting one of the images experienced during an a boriginal caapi intoxication. it is older than written history. who studied the mythological signifiCance of hallucinogens among the Indians. such a s schizophrenia. Collected in the field by the Colombian anthropologist Dr.Crayon drawing by a Tukanoan I ndian of Amazonian Colombia. hallucinogens were employed in magico-relig ious and curing rituals. psychoses " . In the past. but there is little doubt that hal lucinogens may be of experimenta l help in understa nding the functioni ng of the central nervous system. especially in primitive societies. Whether or not the use of hal lucinogens to create such model psychoses will be of therapeutic va lue is sti l l a question. and the mental state ind uced by hallucinogens. 1 55 . Gerardo Reichei-Dolmataff. rare ly for plea sure. There are many similarities between psychotic conditions.

I f we com­ pare uses of hallucinogenic plants in primitive societies with the medica l va lue claimed for them by some psy­ chiatrists. Nevertheless. Although many modern psychiatrists are critical of chemica l psychoses as tools in treating mental aberra­ tions. 1 56 .In some cultures. No reliable studies have been made of the ha llucinogenic properties of such plants. other reports may be outright hoaxes. notably those suffering accultu ration. we see that model psychoses are not a new development. it is too early completely to rule out their possible medica l va lue. Artificially induced psychoses have long been used as healing practices in primitive cultures. and ginger. ha l lucinogens are sometimes used to enhance social con­ tacts or even for expla ining mental disorders. and new ones are con­ tinually being d iscovered . cinnamon. numerous other species containing bio­ dynamic principles are known to exist. many of these plants do have a chemistry theoretica lly capable of producing ha llucinations. Many are common household varieties like catnip. OTHER HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS In addition to the hallucinogenic plants used by primi­ tive peoples. Some of the effects reported to have been caused by them may be imaginary. Experimentation continues with plants-common and uncommon-known or sus­ pected to be ha llucinogen ic.

Jr. Spri ngfield . SOMA . Charles C. . U . D . R ichard Evans. H . 1 4 3. 1 9 73 Schultes. and R. I l l . Tauchn itz . . DROGUES ET PLANTES MAGIQUES. No. C . C .CU RRENT CoNCEPTS A N D RES EARCH. DRUG ABUS E . Leipzig. 1 9 5 8 Hoffer.. Wil liam E . I l l . Herm. Richard Evans. S pringfield. C . . Oxford U n iversity Press. New York. 1 9 73 Hartwich. ) . ) . 2 1 . HA LLUCI NOGENS A N D SHAMAN ISM. R . and H . " Narcotic Plants and Stimulants o f the Ancient America n s .. 1 967 Keup. Gordon . . 1 9 73 Taylor. H . Bureau of Ameri­ can Ethnology. Nat. THE HALLUC I N OGEN S . J. . N ew York. ETH NOPHARMACOLOGIC SEARCH FOR PSYCH OACTIVE DRUGS. Hist. " i n AN NUAL REPORT OF THE SMITHSONIAN I N STITUT I O N .MO R E I N F O R M A T I O N Cooper. Hafner Press. 1 9 1 6 . 1 9 72 Harner. H ar­ court. Government Printing Office. DIE MENSCHLICHEN GENUSSMITT EL. S . C. D . Government Printing O ffice. Bul letin No. NARCOTIC PLA NTS . " i n AN N U AL REV I EW OF PLANT PHYS IOLOGY. Norman. . S ire s­ bourg. Edit. and Albert H ofmann. W . 1 967 Emboden. Washington. New York. U . THE BoTANY A N D CHEMIST RY O F HALLU CINOGENS.NARCOTIC AND STIMULAT ING DRUGS : TH EIR UsE AND ABUSE.. M u s . 1 9 70 . Washington. J . Macmi llan Co. 1 94 9 Wasson. New York. H . 1 9 1 1 Heim. Charles C. Seward ( Ed . N . D . Washi ngton.. Lou i s . "Stimulants and Narcotics. DIVI N E MUSHROOM OF IMMORTALITY . fLIGHT FROM REALITY. Paris. D. S . N ew York. 1 9 64 Pelt. W i l liam J. J . Publi sher. 1 64 5 . 1 96 7 1 57 . Thomas. PHANTASTI CA. ." i n HANDBpOK O F S OUTH AMERICAN I N DIANS. Ch r . . New York . . . -M. ( Ed . 1 97 1 Safford. SACRED NARCOTIC PLANTS O F THE N E W Wo RLD I N DIANS. "The Botanical and Chem ical D istribution of the Hall ucinogen s . 1 972 Lewin. John M . . . Osmund. LES CHAMPIG N O N S HA U U C I N OGENES Du MEX IQUE. Duell. Schu ltes. Lon d on . Routledge and Kegan Paul. . 1 9 1 7 Schleiffer. 1 949 Efron. Public Health Service Publ . Horizons de f rance. Academic Press. Sloa n and Pearce. A . R . Gordon Wasson. . Thomas Publ isher.

1 5 5 Chara s. 2 1 . 30. 5 2 Atropa belladonna. 9 6 . 1 5 6 Cawe. ). 1 1 2. 2 4 27 Folk medicine. 46 . ·1 2 4 . 6 3 . 2 1 . 148 De l p h i . 1 3 9. 6 8 . 4 2 . 3 8 . . 44. 1 0 3 . 9 7. 40. 1 50151 Ha llucinations. 2 8 Algonquin Indians ( U. 54 Caapi. 1 2 9. 57. 1 1 8. 1 8 .1 4 1 Chiric sanango. 5 2 Chiric-caspi. 1 0 8. 52 Ayahuasca.1 2 3. 9 3 Datura ( New World sp. 1 04 . 1 1 9. 1 3 0. 29 Bwiti cult. 30-4 1 .1 1 2 Cinnamon. 1 1 1 . 2 9 . 1 58 . . 1 2 4. 46Datura s. 3 4 . 7.5 3 East Indies. 1 5 4 defined. 6 2 . 8. 2 1 . 5 2 . 2 1 . 1 6 . 2 6 2 7 . 86-9 1 . 29. 5 8 . 2 9 Golbulimima belgraveana. 4 8 . 97. 1 4 0. 1 2 6 Argyrela sp. 1 4 8. 9 3 . 1 44 . . 2 5 Epithelontho micromeris. 76 . tree. 1 04. 1 4 0. 1 45 Brunfelsia sp. 4 3 .I N DEX Acorus calamus. 1 0 7 Culebra borrachero.1 0 6 Cole a zacalechichi. ).1 2 5 Ereriba . 115 Elizabetha princep5. 4 6 ." 50 Dutra. 3 6 . 5 8 . 3 8.5 1 False peyote s. 1 6. 79. 1 2 8. 1 3 4.1 4 7 . 7 3 . 5 2 . 2 8 .1 3 9 Brugman•ia sp. 28 Galen ( Gr. 4. 2 8 Ergot. 6 1 .1 4 2 . 1 6. 54 . 5 4 Agora. 46-47 Atropine.1 4 9 Curare. 5 2 fchinococtus williamsii.4. 2 1 .1 44 47 Bhang. 43 Alkaloid s. ) . 1 08 Europe. 1 0 1 . 26-27. 8 2 . 1 1 . 1 09. 1 4 4. 1 0 8 . 56 Coleu• sp. 1 38 .5 3 Dibenzopyrans. 1 5 . Datura s. 1 45 . 2 1 . 1 2 5 Arrow poiso n . 78 Endocannibalism. 4 8 . 6 2 . 4 5 . 1 3 8 . 1 7. 8 6 . . 1 45 . 8 1 . 1 4 8. 97. 70-7 1 . 9 6 Conocybe sp. 1 1 2. 45 . 56 S e e also Ma rihuana Catnip. 6 9 . 1 2 4 . " 3 6 . 9. 1 4 1 . 1 3 6. 1 5 2 153 Canada . 2 9 . Datura (Old World s p . 65. 21 . 30. 1 5 0. 9 6 . 1 3 8 .1 05 .1 3 9 Colorines. 1 3 4. 5 7 . 2 1 . 70.1 1 9. 38. . 76 . 7 . 1 1 0 . 1 3 0. 1 4 2 . 1 2 6.1 47. 1 00 . 1 2 0. 1 1 0. 1 5 2 auditory. 4 0 . . 90. 1 06. 93 Ginger. 8 4 . 1 3 4 Erythrina s p . 1 36 Ariocarpu• sp. 1 08 . 8 4 . 1 4 2 Avicenna ( Arab. 5 9 . . Oracle of. 1 3 5 Coca. S . 38 Chemistry of hallucino­ gens. 1 02 . 9. 1 2 2 . 2 1 . 1 !!. 36. 9 8 . 9.1 4 1 Bushmen. 5 0. 1 6 " Doctrine of Signatures.1 4 1 Christian ity. 9 8 . natives of. 4 6 . 3 0 . ) .1 2 5 Fly agaric.1 5 1 Dhatu ra . 1 3 8 . 1 3 5. 8 0 Epen a . 40. 77. 5 1 . 1 4 3 . phys. 9. 1 1 81 1 9.1 9. 7. 77. 94. 9.3 9 Genista conoriensis. 2 0. 1 3 1 Cyti•ine. 4 2 . 1 04. 1 1 5 Arbol de los brujos. 4 . 1 1 6. . 2 2 . 73 Cannabino ls. 1 5 2 . Indians of. physicia n ) . 5 . 1 5 2 d efined and causes. 7 2 . 1 0 8 . 2 2 . 1 5 6 Gomortega keule. 68. 34 Ganjah. 5 4 . 7. 1 1 4 . 42 Africa.1 2 3 . 1 5 2 1 48 Banisteriopsis sp. 5 2 . 40 Cannabis sp . 3 1 . 1 5 4. 1 0 3 . 8 8 Epilobium. . Indians of. 1 56 Clavicep• purpurea. 1 5 2. 1 1 2 . 9 8 . 96 . 2 3 . 1 2 6 Anhalonium lewinii. 9 . 1 1 2. 1 1 6 . 1 06 52-53 Belladonna. 3 8 Borrachera. med ieval. 6 1 . 5 2. 2 1 . 9. 1 3 1 . 2 4 . .1 9. 1 3 1 Cimora . 1 1 8 . 1 4 2 . 1 5 0.1 05 Aztecs. 1 06 Anadenanthera sp. 1 4 8 . 94 Cytisus conoriensis. 82 Curing rituals. 9. 1 3 7. 8 1 . 1 4 . 3 8 . 1 4 8. 7 3 Afghanistan. 7. 7. 2 2 . 1 5 5. 1 4 0. 1 5 0. 5 . 43. 9 8 . . 5 Ha llucinogens a n d d eity. 23-27 Amazon. 1 4 2. 1 3 7. 1 5 0 And romedotoxin. 4 4 . 5 2 Desfontoinia hookeri. 9 3 . 1 2 9 . Indians of.1 3 5 China. 1 04 . 92 Andes. . 9 . 1 50 AJia. 1 2 0. 65 . 6 7 Coria ria thymifolio. 6 5 . 54. 48. 1 6 Amanita muscaria.4 1 . 1 0 7. 1 42 . 1 2 5. 54.1 5 6 Galango. 1 2 2. 1 2 2. 56 Cocaine. 1 3 8 Arb utin. 1 1 3 Centra l nervous system. 46. 1 04 . 1 4 2 . 2 8 . 1 4 5 .

6 5 . 5 9 . 6 2 stones. . 4 . defined . 1 1 1 Nepeto cataria. 1 1 1 Jimson weed. 1 1 8 and psychiatry.6 5 . 1 7.1 3 6 lsotoma longiRora. 1 26 . 1 3 1 . 1 1 7 . 3 8 . 1 1 6 . 29 Logochilus inebrians. 8 6 . 1 28 .3 5 medicina l value. 6 0 worship. ) . 2 2 . 1 2 9 chemistry.. . 1 1 4. 3 6 classification. 1 9. 1 2 5 Humboldt. 1 1 5. 1 1 41 23 LSD. 1 2 9 . phys. 9 8 . 2 1 .1 5 1 Kif. 1 4 3 Jurema.1 5 3 Lophophora sp. 1 00 Pachycereus pecten­ aboriginum. 1 4 2. 94. 1 1 1 . 1 1 8. . 2 0 . 1 3 8 Med ical uses of ha llucinog e n s .. 1 1 8 . 2 9 Kanno. 1 3 4. 3 4 . 72 Maraba. 79 . 1 5 2 Maquira sclerophylla. 4 6 . 1 1 3 Pakistan. . 4 2 latua pubiflora.5 9 . ) . 1 6 . ) . 1 3 7. 1 01 1 in plant kingdom. 38 Poncrotium trianthum. 69 identification. 9 3 .1 49 Mexico. 5 7 " Model psychoses. 4 . 5 4 lbotenic acid . 7. 1 7 Nutmeg. 5 2 . 9 . 1 25 lochroma fuchsiodes. 1 20 48-49 lboga. 1 5 4. 5 8 . 1 2 9 . Justitia sp. 1 3 5 ide ntification. 54 . 6 .. 5 2 Orinilca Ba s i n ( S . 1 3 7. 9. 6 8 .1 09 Hemp. 46. 1 5 4 Mescal b e a n . 2 1 medical uses. 7 New World. 3 1 effects. A . 3 8 narcotic use. 40 Mushrooms. 2 6 . 9. 1 02 . 74 Macropsia. 1 1 3. 2 2 . 1 1 8 . 2 1 . 60 Mazalec I n d i a n s (Mex. 4 8 . 5 8 -7 1 . 7 1 effects. 1 2 4 . 1 5 . 1 1 6. 1 2 9. 5 1 . 5 4 . 2 8 Ha p . 8 . 1 3 4 . 1 38139 lobelia sp. 7 2 Olo liuqui. 3 6 . 1 36 Heimia sp. 1 3 0. 1 5 2 Mescaline. 2 2 . 29 1 59 . 2 9 Nicotiana sp.: Mesembrya n themum sp. 50-5 1 Ma puche Indians ( S . 1 30. 5 8 . 64. 1 2 5 . 62 . 1 5 . 1 5 2. S . 8 8 . 1 4 8 . 2 1 . 1 6. 8 1 . 1 4 2 Hyoscyamus niger. 6 8 . 1 3 6 Moslems. Indians of.1 53 Old World. 2 1 . 1 3 7 Homo/omena sp. 1 3 1 . 1 3 7. 3 5 . 5 Neoroimondio macrostibas. 2 1 . 1 5 0 Nicotine. 57.1 9 defined . 20 New Guinea. 1 4 4. 8 3 M a y a I n d i a n s ( Guo!. 1 3 9. 4 8. 9. 4 0 history. lndoles. 4 6 . 1 1 6. 1 1 8 chemistry. 1 4 3 Aztec use. 2 1 in modern world . 44-4 5 Keu le. 2 1 . 1 44. 6 1 -6 3 chemistry. 3 1 Hyo scyamine. 56. 8. 1 2 3." 1 54 . 1 30 medical uses. ) . 1 5 0. 1 3 7 Aztec use. 1 4 15 i n prim itive societies. 1 281 3 6. 1 5 2 Mimosa hosti/is. 2 1 . 36 methods o f using. 3 1 Hasheesh. 3 4 . 3 1 HaHentots. 1 2 8. ) . ). 63 modern Mazatec ceremony. 30-4 1 Henbane. 9 1 .5 5 Ibogaine.4 9 Herna ndez ( Spa n . 87-88 Humu lus. 5 2 Indian tobacco.1 56 Morning glories. Alexa nder von . 1 3 8 .9 5 . 4 3 . 4 8 . 2 6 . ) . 9. 64 . 7-9. 1 4 5 . 1 3 1 va rieties. 30-4 1 Hawaiian wood rose. 78.85 44-45 Methysticodendron amesionum. 64-65 opposition to. 8 4 .8 5 Mixtecs ( Me x . 1 1 2 . 20 Na rcotic. 1 39 Ipomoea sp . 9 6 . 1 03 1 2 2. 1 2 9 . 5 9 Myristica fragrans. ) . 59. 1 3 1 relig ious uses. 1 2 8 . 2 5 . 1 8. . 20 . 9 2 India. 1 8 . 8. 74 Oa xaca ( Me x . 1 8 . 9 6 Mescal buHons. 6 8 . ) . 1 30 . 7 relig ious uses. 1 3 8 . 3 1 . 152 Olmedioperebea sclero­ phy/la. 7 . 1 3 1 . 9 4 . 1 3 8 . 8. 5 7. 9. 70 . 1 08 .1 5 6 a n d spirit wo rld. 1 3 8. 97. 1 2 4 .1 2 7 Ha j a s de Ia Pastora. 9. 1 4 3 Oracle o f Delphi. 1 1 9. 1 20 Kwashi. 1 5 2. 8 4 . 1 0 8. 8 3 Kaempferia galanga. 1 3 5 Lycoperdon sp. 5 h o w token. 1 4 4 Hierba loco. 30 Kiowa Indians ( U .. .1 9.5 5 psych ic powers from. 57 Mace. 1 3 0. . 4 4 Hu ichol Indians ( M ex . 5 6 . 2 7 Incas. 30-4 1 chemistry. 29 Ma rihuana . 50-5 1 Ma ndrake. 9 7. 2 2. A . 3 9 Masha-hari. 9 4 . 90 Mandragora olficinarum. 1 5 0.

1 06 Tlitliltzin. 1 4 2 . 1 1 3. 82 chemistry. 1 39 . 1 0 8 South American Indians. natives of. 1 9 opposition to. 8 6 Wisteria sinensis. tree datura . 1 50 . 2 1 . 151 1 3 7. 1 08 Parica. 1 2 8 Turkestan mint. clockwise from lower left: fly agaric mushroom. Shan shi. 1 4 . 1 38 Piscidia. 1 30 Tobacco. 2 1 . 1 25 1 28-1'35 Pernettya s p . 86 . 6 . 5 Syrian rue. ) . 1 2 8 . 1 9. 7 2 . 42 Voccinium. S . 7 7 . 9 . 67. 74 . 65 . 86 Sophora sp. 1 8 . Pion! kingdom. peyote. . 1 1 9 . 1 4 5 . 1 2 0 Sibundoy Valley ( S . 1 26. 94-95 -9 1 Sorce rer's tree.2 7 ritual. 1 1 6 . 9 2 Virola sp." Reefers. 1 06 . 2 1 . 1 00. ) .1 5 1 religious importance. 86. 1 7 Taiq ue. 55 Tag l i i . . 1 6 . 5 4 Psycho tria vi rid is. Richard. 80-8 1 ' 8 2 . . 74. 1 5 2. 5 67 Psychopharmacology. 76-8 1 . 42 Turkoman tri bes. 8 1 ' 8 4 . Piule. 1 1 6 5 2 . " 3 8 . 1 4 1 .1 1 9 Siberian tribes.1 09 1 25 Snuff. 4 . 1 04 . 63 Terpenphenolic com­ pounds. 9 .1 5 1 Rape dos indios. 36. Aztec use. 2 0 Witches' brews. 8. 9 7 7. 3 4 . 2 2 .1 2 7 S t . 1 43 Tree datura s. 1 8 .1 1 2 Tropanes. 74-8 2 . 1 44 lorna-loco. 80 snuff. ) . ) . 4 1 Papua. 65 . . 48. San Pedro cactus. 1 50Salvia divinorum. 1 8 . 43 Psychotomimetics. 73 1 5 4. 69 Sticlocardia.1 2 7 1 05 Taino Indians ( W. 2 1 . . 4. 1 5 0. 9. 70 Stropharia sp. 5 Tabemanthe iboga. 1 5 4 1 1 2. 8 8 . 1 1 6 Shan in. 92 . 1 0 7 1 1 8. 83 West Indies. morning glory. 1 34 Petunia violacea. 9 7 . 1 6 Tetra hydroca nnobinols. 1 0 2 Zaca lechich i . . 9 . 1 24 . 43 115 Pelecyphora aselliformis. 2 1 . 1 1 0 . 25 Vilca . 8 3 . 62. 1 4 . chemistry.9 1 . 2 1 . Sebil.76 . 79. 6 3 . 42 United States Indians. 8 1 effects. 5 8 . A . 8 1 ritual. 77. 1 1 1 Peganum harmala.8 2 . 8 6. Anthon y ' s Fire. Sweet calomel. 1 20 84 . 1 3 8 Peyote. 1 2 . 5 7 86 Quinine. 2 1 . 2 1 . Plains lndians ( U . 1 2 0 Seroton in. 1 5 2 Psilocybe sp. 7. 5 1 .1 5 5 Sweet flag. 1 1 4 1 1 0.8 2 . 1 1 8 . 1 00 66 .. 8 1 Waika Indians ( S . 1 2 6. 83 Virolas. Indies) . 1 1 9. 2 1 . 72 . Puffballs. Rig-Veda.1 1 3 1 23 Scopo lamine. 1 1 . 2 1 . 5 8 . 96. A. 6 2 . 1 2 2 1 3 8.1 5 1 0 2. 86-9 1 Yurupari ceremony. 26 Rio G rande Valley ( Tex . 1 08. 1 3 6 Psilocybin. 46. 7 4 . 9. 5 1 Wood rose. 83 a s po i son. 1 44 Tarlar tribes. 9 2 . 6 2 . 25 Uzbek tribes. 2 1 . 1 1 8 Scythians. 56 Toloac he. 2 1 . 1 38.1 47 Trichocereus sp.1 2 3 1 54 effects. Pharmacology. vision. 2 0 1 4 5. 1 4 8 Tryptamines. Pseudohallucinogens. 1 9 . 4 2 Teananacatl. 94. 2 6 Piptadenia peregrina. 7 2 R e d B e a n Da n c e . 9 8 loid s . 9 2 1 1 7. 9. 40 Tetrapteris methystica. 76 . 73 Psychota raxics. 9 4 Tajik tribes. 1 1 0. 1 50. 1 4 8 .9 1 Pedilanthus tithymaloides. 1 5 2. S . 42 Tara humare Indians (Mex . 1 43 Ya je. Riveo corymhosa. 7 9 . 1 60 B C D E . 2 4 . 6. 1 4 3 Urine drinking ritual. 8 . 1 42. " 1 24 Sinicuichi. 3 5 modern use in U . " Fa l se . Chemistry Soma . 1 4 8 Peyotes. see page 6 2 . cannabis. 6 5 . 1 0 7.. 1 8 . 1 2 0.1 5 3 Fron t cover. 2 1 . Bock cover. see Alka­ 86-89. Pseudohallucinations. 5 1 .1 5 3 Turbine corymbosa. 2 1 . sinicuichi. 56. Spruc e. 1 2 2 . 70 . 5 6 . 1 48 . 1 04 Tu po . ). 46. 28 Rhynchosia sp. 5 8 . 4 8 . 2 1 . 94 . Psychedelics. 1 36 Wysocca n . 98 Yo po .

a n d i s a m e m b e r of several A m e r i ca n a n d fo r e i g n aca d e m i e s of s c i ­ e n ce. Sch u l tes s p e n t s o m e 14 y e a r s i n S o u t h A m e r i ca l i v i n g a m o n g I n d i a n t r i bes i n o rd e r t o i nves t i gate d i rectly th e i r u ses o f s u c h p l a n ts . s e l f-ta u g h t i n a r t . . D r. ELMER W. P h . Sch u l tes i s t h e rec i p i e n t o f n u m e r­ o u s h o n o rs. S . w i t h A l bert H o fm a n n h e w rote The Botany and Ch em is try of Ha llucinogens.HALLU C I N O G EN I C PLANTS A GO LDEN GUIDE® RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES. C u r r e n t l y h e i s a n a rt i s t a t t h e B o ta n i ca l M u s e u m o f H a rvard U n i v e rs i ty . S . m ed i c i n a l a n d p o i s o n o u s p l a n ts. i s a free.l a n c e a r t i st. . A n i n te r n a t i o n a l l y k n o w n b o ta n i st s p e ­ c i a l i z i n g i n n a rc o t i c. w i t h a n M . i s p rofesso r o f n a t u r a l s c i e n ces a n d d i recto r of t h e Bota n i c a l M u se u m a t H a rvard U n i v e rs i ty . a m o n g t h e m a decora t i o n fro m t h e gove r n ­ m e n t o f Co l o m b i a fo r h i s w o r k i n t h e A m a z o n . i n c l u d i n g t h e N a t i o n a l Acad emy of S c i e n ces. a new E n g l a n d Ya n kee by b i rth a n d i n c l i n a t i o n . GOLDEN PRESS • NEW YORK . a n d he h a s i l l u s t rated n u m e r o u s textbooks i n t h e f i e l d of b i o l ogy. d e g ree f r o m t h e U n ivers i ty o f Massa c h u setts. SMITH. S m i t h ' s w o r k a p · pears i n c h i l d re n ' s books as wel l as i n s c i e n t i f i c j o u r n a l s. D . H e i s ed i t o r of t h e j o u r n a l Economic Botany a n d t h e a u t h o r o f m a n y s c i e n t i f i c p a p e r s . F . L . and h a s t raveled a n d col l ected i n t h e A m a z o n w i t h h i s f r i e n d a n d c o l l ea g u e t h e a u t h o r of H A L L U C I N OG E N I C P LA N T S . D r . H e i l l u s­ t rated t h e G o l d e n G u i d e O R C H I DS.

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