5 Psychoactive Plants Found in Special Brews
These 5 plants each play a big part in a few of the many brews and potions from around the world! Subsequently, while they may not be the most powerful out there, but when they’re combined with other key plants… they transform into some of the most magical potions in the universe. Most importantly check with local ordinances to ensure compliance with local and Federal Laws.
Banisteriopsis Caapi aka Ayahuasca
South American natives refer to the plant as ayahuasca vine or vine of the soul, is known as banisteriopsis caapi, and caapi for short. It has a long list of other names given. However, American Dennis McKenna identified two distinct varieties; those are Campari and Tukonaka.
To sum it up, Ayahuasca is a giant vine with very long and very woody stems that branch repeatedly. Secondly, the flowers have 5 white or pale pink flowers (sepals) which rarely appear, only around January. It is one half of ayahuasca, a brew with a long history of entheogenic use and it earned the nickname “plant teacher” that originated among the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rain forest. Further, it carries antioxidant properties.
Psychoactive material is in the stems, trunk bark, and dried leaves.
Caapi contains the following harmala alkaloids:
- 0.31–8.43% Harmine
- 0.03–0.83% Harmaline
- 0.05–2.94% Tetrahydroharmine
These alkaloids of the beta-carboline class act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). They prepare the brew with a stronger or primary psychoactive compound.
Although the indigenous tribes of South America have been used for centuries, caapi was only identified by the English in 1851. A botanist sure he’d found the next great thing. He observed the indigenous people of Llanos in Venezuela preferred to chew the bark of Caapi. This was unusual because up until then Westerners had only seen caapi in traditional drinks or additive to some medicinal brew.
Cultivation occurs through cuttings, as most cuttings are infertile. Young shoots or branches placed in water until a root system forms. With roots, it will survive transplant into humus rich soil and watered profusely. This plant thrives only in moist tropical climates and does not tolerate frost.
Nymphaea Nouchali aka Blue Lotus Flower
Nymphaea nouchali, often called Nymphaea stellata, or more commonly blue lotus flower. This flower predominantly grows in Egypt and certain parts of Asia.
It is a vibrant violet flower with burst of yellow and red in the center. The blue lotus flower holds substantial religious and cultural meaning throughout this region. The flower’s image is on tombs and ancient text. People believe it treats common ailments like anxiety and insomnia.
The two main compounds responsible for the flower’s psychoactive and medicinal effects are apomorphine and nuciferine.
● Apomorphine is a psychoactive compound that causes dopamine release. As the oldest drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease; prescribed for muscle control and other conditions like erectile dysfunction.
● Nuciferine is a compound that interacts with dopamine receptors in an unknown way. It is associated with muscle movement. It may also induce trance like states or muscle spasms.
Euphoria and other feelings likened to smoking cannabis have been reported by those that ingest the blue lotus flower. Careful though, while the blue lotus flower isn’t on the controlled substance list, it is not approved for human consumption in the U.S.
Syrian Rue aka Wild Rue
Peganum harmala, commonly called wild rue, Syrian rue, African rue. It has a underground woody root-stock. It’s part of the Nitrariaceae family. Wild Rue grows in saline soils, desert climates, and Mediterranean regions.
Wild Rue is is popular in Persian cultural traditions, and is a hallucinogen. David Flattery and Martin Schwartz wrote a book in 1989 in which they theorized that the plant is the Avestan haoma. ancient Persian Zoroastrian texts mention Hoama. The transcribed word “haoma” is thought to be related to the Vedic word “soma”. Both words refer to a magical, purportedly entheogenic plant/drink that is mentioned in ancient Indo-Iranian texts but whose exact identity has been lost to history.
Cultivation can be difficult, however in the correct climates, it can be simple. Seeds spread onto moist potting soil and pressed in, with sunlight, and warm air should grow. In the United States, it is considered an invasive, noxious weed in the following states and is considered illegal in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oregon.
Passiflora aka Passion Flower
Passiflora aka the passion flower, splays tiny tendrils and appear in both the woody and herbaceous varieties. The flowers are very distinctive and are often a subject for artists. When ripe, the flower transforms into an incandescent fruit full of many seeds. This South American flower has added at least two subspecies since 2005.
Further, the passion flower only contains a tiny amount of nectar, but that’s not what gets the most attention. It’s the leaves and roots of the passion flower! They have a bigger concentration of the entheogenic compounds. That nectar contains a tiny concentration of amino acids and alkaloids, some of which are MAOIs.
While it can be grown from seed all year round, the best time for planting is between November and April. It requires loose airy potting soil and a lot of water.
Psychotria Viridis aka N-DMT
Psychotria viridis, is a shrubby flowering perennial in the Rubiaceae coffee family. Sometimes combined with one half of ayahuasca, a decoction it has a long history of its entheogenic use. Consequently earning it the name of “plant teacher” among Amazon Forest indigenous people. That is to say, it is a sacred plant
What makes this plant special is that it contains an indole alkaloid called dimethyltryptamine, or N-DMT for short. As a result, the levels of any one plant might vary from 0.1% to 0.61% of dried mass depending on region. Secondly, N-DMT is known primarily as an additive to an ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America. Similarly, alkaloids such as beta-carbolines and N-methyltryptamine (NMT) might be found depending on the native species and encompass environmental variations. Surprisingly, the alkaloid content is said to be consistently highest in the morning.
Vegetalistas or indigenous healers from some parts of South America recognize subspecies of the plant based on the position of glands on the backs of the leaves. That is to say, it has many uses, for instance, the Machiguenga people of Peru use juice from the leaves as eye drops to treat common ailments like migraine headaches and anxiety.
On the other hand, this plant is a little more difficult to grow from seed. It can take up to 60 days to germinate and has a very low success rate. Moreover, branch cuttings are more effective when they are placed in soil and watered thoroughly with at least one leaf partially covered.
Cultivating this plant indoors requires light cycles. To clarify, due to the fact that the plant will not utilize it’s root system during daylight hours. For example, this is a nocturnal plant that requires an optimal water garden pH is 5.5 to 6.1. Subsequently, the level of nutrient in the solution should be 300 to 500 parts per million.
In conclusion, you become more familiar with these plants, please consider growing your own to further your knowledge and involvement in teaching the world about plant medicines. Join us next time for a few out of this world’s magic brew and potions recipes.
The views of this blog may not represent the views of Psychedelco. Always use caution and best judgement whenever researching and learning about potentially regulated substances and seek legal advice whenever applicable. To read more please visit Top 5 Psychoactive Plants You Need to Know About.