Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Say Hello to my Little Friends (reprise)


Papaver somniferum- The Opium poppy. This plant was worshipped by central Asian cultures, and goddess statues devoted to the poppy were found in some of our earliest cities in the Fertile Crescent.

The plant in the picture grew from seeds purchased at an organic foods store for fifty cents. A test subject identified the active agents- morphine, and a complex array of other opiates. The human nervous system produces its own opiates in the form of endorphins.

These poppies are legal to cultivate in the U.S., although law enforcement may be prone to do some weeding. It blows my mind that junkies that sell their souls and homes to get high on heroine from terrorists in the middle east could simply grow their own botanically purer, and much, much safer drug in their own backyard. America is truly stranger than fiction.


Ipomoea tricolor- the Morning Glory. This plant was worshipped by the Aztecs and Toltects primarily, but also by the Maya. active agents- Lysergic acid mono-amide, or LSA, a chemical relative of LSD. This plant was discovered by the Zealous Spanish missionaries who tried to burn it out of Mesoamerican existence. They failed. It was rediscovered by the '60's, but Uncle Sam doesn't seem to be worried about it. This one is LEGAL to cultivate. The human nervous system produces serotonine, which is related to LSA. LSA molecules bind to serotonine receptors in the central nervous system.


Psychotria viridis- "chacruna"- this plant is deified in Amazonian, Andean, and Central American shamanic cultures. active agents- DMT. Previously, the FDA and the DEA thought DMT was a synthetic hallucinogen, like LSD. DMT is actually one of the most potent AND widespread botanical hallucinogens. DMT is a phototropic auxin; it regulates the circadian rhythms of plants. DMT amounts concentrated in the leaves and stems are highest in the morning and after sunset. Curiously, DMT is also produced in the pineal gland of the human (and mammalian) brain (AND it also regulates circadian rhythms in animals). In effect, although this plant, being a botanical producer of DMT, is questionably legal to cultivate, it doesn't matter, because both the cultivator of the plant and the law enforcement officer that might arrest the cultivator of this plant are producers of DMT, a Schedule 1 narcotic under the 1969 Controlled Substances Act.

Funny how poorly informed, poorly written, and dangerously outdated laws can fuck up important facts about life on Earth.



Salvia divinorum- there's a lot of bad press about this plant. Its a damn shame when heresay and paranoia suffice for facts in the media, but that's our media! Salvia divinorum was and is still worshipped by the rural folk of Central America and Oaxaca, Mexico. Active agents- salvinorin A and B. Toxicity is low, and the hallucinogenic effects are potent yet short lasting. Salvia divinorum, or Diviner's Mint, was and still is central to shamanic divination in southern Mexico. "Ska pastora", (The Leaf of the Shepherdess, another christianized name) is an important medicinal herb as well. The salvinorin terpenes are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. LEGAL to cultivate and consume. It's too bad the monkeys in congress want to ban this artifact of ancient horticulture because the disillusioned children of America want to get high. We just might have something to learn from this plant.


Passiflora edulis- Passionvine- worshipped by Mesoamericans like the Aztecs and Maya. The Spanish tried to alter the religious (or "satanic") significance of the vine, and so convinced the natives to call the plant by the Christianized name, "the Flower of the Passion". Passionvine is a mild CNS depressant. Active agents- Harmaline, beta carbolines: MAOI (mono-amine oxydase inhibitor), thus, the leaves and sap were used to amplify the effects of other plant hallucinogens. This plant is LEGAL to eat and cultivate, although it's use as a drug is still cautioned.


Datura inoxia- a very potent hallucinogen, causing acute delirium that can last for days. The person intoxicated on datura can not tell dreams or nightmares from reality. active agents- atropine, scopolamine, hyoscyamine. Datura was worshipped by native america tribes. It was used during puberty rites to prepare children for adult hood. Medicinally, datura was used as an anelgesic, and to relieve insect bites. The Maya produced powdered drug extracts from Datura that were used to paralyze sacrificial victims. Modern Mesoamerican witchcraft and fringe voodoo cults still use drug extracts of datura to poison, curse, enslave, and kill.

The Tropane Alkaloids of datura mimic the action of endogenous acetylcholine and bind to cholinergic receptors in the central nervous system. These receptors seem to regulate dream stages to some degree, yet so little is still known in cognitive neuroscience. So much to learn!

Datura is LEGAL to cultivate, yet illegal to eat. Datura is sold at many garden centers around the nation.


Brugmansia aurea- a potent hallucinogen, causing acute delirium for days on end. It also causes amnesia. Highly toxic. worshiped by the Inca, the Maya, and Amazonian tribes. The blooms and leaves were used in Andean, Amazonian, and Mayan mind control political tactics: powdered extracts were blown at sacrifice victims to paralyze them before a sacrifice; drug extracts were also used to enslave or poison "wrongdoers". Active agents- scopolamine, hyoscyamine (more tropane alkaloids, see DATURA). LEGAL to cultivate, illegal to eat. This plant is sold at garden centers all over the nation. You can get one at Home Depot!


Cannabis sativa- one of humanity's first cultivated crops. ancient humans used it as medicine, as food, as fibers for cultural works, clothing, rope, twine, and tools. It is hands down humanity's most useful crop. active agents- cannabinoids like, THC, CBD. THC is a vasodilator, thus improving blood circulation throughout the body. THC is also effective at dampening overactive nerves, (like in M.S., and Parkinson's Disease), and easing pain. It can help regulate appetites, relieve glaucoma, eczema, and headaches. CBD has been shown to have anti-tumor properties, shutting off the growth of cancerous growth. As a food, cannabis seeds and seed oil are high in essential fatty acids, protein, and trace micronutrients like iron and zinc. It can replace a seafood diet. Essential fatty acids are necessary for healing damaged tissue. In this sense, cannabis is an all around handy medicine to use. It has remarkably low toxicity, and is not chemically addictive like tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, heroine, or coffee.

Curiously, the human nervous system produces anandamide which is our own endogenous cannabinoid (see also the Human Endo-Cannabinoid System). It seems that this plant is not the only producer of the "illegal drug" THC. Every human brain is too! None the less, cannabis is still ILLEGAL to cultivate in the U.S.

Makes sense, don't it?

So, are these plants dangerous drugs? Are they sacred entheogens? Are they special ethnobotanicals that influence the development of human society?

Why do these plants exist? Did God create them? Why do they produce chemicals that function as neurotransmitters in the human central nervous system? Why do humans have neural receptors that bind with the drugs produced by these plants?

Why have they driven economies, religions, and wars throughout history?

And why is it that the really dangerous hallucinogenic drug-producing plants are legal to grow in the U.S., but the less toxic, more beneficial ones are illegal?

Seem backward?

What exactly is going on here...?



are you ready for the truth?

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