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 Hallucinogenic Plants

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:02



by RICHARD EVANS SHULTES

Illustrated by ELMER W. SMITH


Hallucinogenic plants have been featured on many postage stamps:



(1, 6) Amanita muscaria,
(2) fruit of Peganum harmala,
(3) Atropa belladonna,
(4) Pancratium trianthum,
(5) Rivea corymbosa,
(7) Datura stramonium,
(8) Datura candida,
(9) Hyoscyamus niger.


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:04

Statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec "Prince of Flowers."



unearthed in Tlalmanalco on the slopes of the volcano Popocatepetl and now on display in the Museo Nacional in Mexico City.

Labels indicate probable botanical interpretations of stylized glyphs.


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:06





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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:08

FLY AGARIC MUSHROOM, Amanita muscaria may be one of man's oldest hallucinogens. It has been suggested that perhaps its strange effects contributed to man's early ideas of deity.



Fly agaric mushrooms grow in the north temperate regions of both hemispheres.
The Eurasian type has a beautiful deep orange to blood-red cap flecked with white scales.

The cap of the usual North American type varies from cream to an orange-yellow.
There are also chemical differences between the two, for the New World type is devoid of the strongly hallucinogenic effects of its Old World counterpart.

Amanita muscaria typically occurs in association with birches.

The use of this mushroom as an orgiastic and shamanistic inebriant was discovered in Siberia in 1730. Subsequently, its utilization has been noted among several isolated groups of Finno-Ugrian peoples (Ostyak and Vogul) in western Siberia and three primitive tribes (Chuckchee, Koryak, and Kamchadal) in northeastern Siberia. These tribes had no other intoxicant until they learned recently of alcohol.

These Siberians ingest the mushroom alone, either sun-dried or toasted slowly over a fire, or they may take it in reindeer milk or with the juice of wild plants, such as a species of Vaccinium and a species of Epilobium. When eaten alone, the dried mushrooms are moistened in the mouth and swallowed, or the women may moisten and roll them into pellets for the men to swallow.

A very old and curious practice of these tribesmen is the ritualistic drinking of urine from men who have become intoxicated with the mushroom. The active principles pass through the body and are excreted unchanged or as still active derivatives. Consequently, a few mushrooms may inebriate many people.


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:12

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 effects. 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 before 1000 B.C., reports therapeutic uses of cannabis. That the early Hindus appreciated its intoxicating properties is attested 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 use of hemp in cakes produced narcotic effects. In 13th century Asia Minor, organized murderers, rewarded with hasheesh, were known as hashishins from which may come the term assassin in European languages.

Hemp as a source of fiber was introduced by the Pilgrims to New England and by the Spanish and Portuguese to their colonies in the New World


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:13

METHODS OF USING CANNABIS vary.



In the New World, marihuana (maconha in Brazil) is smoked--the dried, crushed flowering tips or leaves, often mixed with tobacco in cigarettes, or "reefers." Hasheesh, the resin from the female plant, is eaten or smoked, often 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 thst 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 with tobacco, consists of resin-rich dried tops from the female plant. Many of these unusually potent preparations may be derived from C. indica.


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:16

DHATURA and DUTRA (Datura metel) are the common names in India for an important Old World species of Datura.



The narcotic properties of this purple-flowered member of the deadly nightshade family, Solanaceae, have been known and valued in India since prehistory. The plant has a long history in other countries as well. Some writers have credited it with being responsible for the intoxicating smoke associated with the Oracle of Delphi. Early Chinese writings report an hallucinogen that has been identified with this species. And it is undoubtedly the plant that Avicenna, the Arabian physician, mentioned under the name jouzmathel in the 11th century. Its use as an aphrodisiac in the East Indies was recorded in 1578. The plant was held sacred in China, where people believed that when Buddha preached, heaven sprinkled the plant with dew.

Nevertheless, the utilization of Datura preparations in Asia entailed much less ritual than in the New World. In many parts of Asia, even today, seeds of Datura are often mixed with food and tobacco for illicit use, especially by thieves for stupefying victims, who may remain seriously intoxicated for several days.

Datura metel is commonly mixed with cannabis and smoked in Asia to this day. Leaves of a white-flowered form of the plant (considered by some botanists to be a distinct species, D. fastuosa) are smoked with cannabis or tobacco in many parts of Africa and Asia.

The plant contains highly toxic alkaloids, the principal one being scopolamine. This hallucinogen is present in heaviest concentrations in the leaves and seeds. Scopolamine is found also in the New World species of Datura (pp. 142-147). Datura ferox, a related Old World species, not so widespread in Asia, is also valued for its narcotic and medicinal properties.


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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:17





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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: Hallucinogenic Plants   23.10.10 14:21



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