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Notes on the Identity of Pipiltzintzintli Options
 
Entropymancer
#1 Posted : 2/12/2011 2:18:26 AM

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Edit: See post #10 for a discussion of the proposed identities. This post started out as in inquiry, and I've left that in tact to preserve continuity

So I'm familiar with the published comments of Agustin de Vetancurt from 1698 in Teatro Mexicano. And I'm familiar Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran's comments on the Aztec pipiltzintzintli based on records he found in the Inquisition archives, and the Archivo General de la Nación (contained in his 1955 book Medicina y Magia), and with Mercedes Garza's comments on the subject in her 1990 book Sueño y alucinación en el mundo náhuatl y maya. To my mind, none of these provide any compelling information arguing for the proposed identification of Salvia divinorum as pipiltzintzintli.

But I've come across comments that Bret Blosser turned up further references to pipiltzintzintli in the Archivo General de la Nación, and that these references tend to support its identification Salvia divinorum. Unfortunately I can't find anywhere that Blosser published these, nor have I encountered them in any other sources yet. All I know is that he presented them at the 2000 Salvia Conference at Breitenbush Hot Springs.

Has anyone else encountered these anywhere? Am I missing something?
 

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burningmouth
#2 Posted : 2/13/2011 9:37:37 PM

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Sorry, but I haven't heard anything about it. It looks like you've done your research. I guess you googled salvia + pipiltzintzintli.
I can't even pronounce the word.
 
Ljosalfar
#3 Posted : 2/14/2011 5:47:18 AM

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E,
I attach an interesting paper re the etymology of 'marihuana' - the relevant portions are below - they do not support S. divinorum as the likely candidate but are interesting nonetheless.

" At least one author has identified the plant called pipiltzintzintli in Nahuatl, the
language of the Aztecs and modern Mexican Amerindians, as cannabis. Jose Luis Diaz62 cites
an eighteenth-century reference 63 that identifies pipiltzintzintli as cannabis. However, the
morning-glories, cannabis and another psychoactive plant, Salvia divinorum, have been
considered as candidates for pipiltzintzintli, and a precise botanical identification remains
uncertain."

62 Jose Luis Diaz, "Ethnopharmacology and Taxonomy of Mexican Psychodysleptic Plants, " Journal of
Psychedelic Drugs, 11 (1979): 71-101.
63 A. Alzate y Ramirez (1772) El canamo, algunas costumbres de los indios. Gacetas de Literatura de Mexico
4:95 -10.

Although I'm not a big fan of smoking Salvia (perhaps a quid and a hammock would help!?), I do love research - don't hesitate to put out the call! Hope this helped.
L
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman
 
clouds
#4 Posted : 2/14/2011 3:23:12 PM

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According to this site:

Quote:
Etimología y denominaciones

Salvia divinorum viene del latin salvus, "salvar" y divinorum que significa "de los adivinos". De acuerdo a Wasson la identidad del psicoactivo conocido en el antiguo México como pipiltzintzintli corresponde a la planta Salvia divinorum, mejor conocida en el área de Oaxaca como ska pastora, ska María o hierba María. El término náhuatl pipiltzintzintli significa "la más noble princesa". Pipiltzin se refiere a algo enteramente noble. Pipiltzintzintli es un término superlativo. Denota algo no meramente sobrenatural y extraordinario, sino que excede otras cosas ya de por sí sobrenaturales y extraordinarias. Dice Wasson que si el término se aplicó a una planta, ello connota la superioridad de la planta a los ojos de nuestros ancestros. La palabra sólo podía ser usada para nombrar algo verdaderamente sagrado y altamente estimado. (15)


(15) 15. Wasson, Gordon: "El ololihuqui y otros alucinógenos de México", en Espacios, No. 20, año XIV, ICSH, México, 1996.
 
jamie
#5 Posted : 2/14/2011 6:14:07 PM

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Ljosalfar wrote:
E,
I attach an interesting paper re the etymology of 'marihuana' - the relevant portions are below - they do not support S. divinorum as the likely candidate but are interesting nonetheless.

" At least one author has identified the plant called pipiltzintzintli in Nahuatl, the
language of the Aztecs and modern Mexican Amerindians, as cannabis. Jose Luis Diaz62 cites
an eighteenth-century reference 63 that identifies pipiltzintzintli as cannabis. However, the
morning-glories, cannabis and another psychoactive plant, Salvia divinorum, have been
considered as candidates for pipiltzintzintli, and a precise botanical identification remains
uncertain."

62 Jose Luis Diaz, "Ethnopharmacology and Taxonomy of Mexican Psychodysleptic Plants, " Journal of
Psychedelic Drugs, 11 (1979): 71-101.
63 A. Alzate y Ramirez (1772) El canamo, algunas costumbres de los indios. Gacetas de Literatura de Mexico
4:95 -10.

Although I'm not a big fan of smoking Salvia (perhaps a quid and a hammock would help!?), I do love research - don't hesitate to put out the call! Hope this helped.
L


Cannabis is not indigenous to the americas though as far as I know..so how could cannabis be pipiltzintzintli?..I have read this theory before and always wondered how that could be possible..
 
Ljosalfar
#6 Posted : 2/14/2011 8:20:06 PM

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Fractal,
I agree, it is VERY unlikely cannabis is New World. But read the article I attached in my previous post - etymologically it is fascinating!. And remember, in centuries past biogeography was not as well understood, was heretical, even. More recently pre-columbian mummies from Peru were reported to contain THC/Egyptian mummies were reported to contain cocaine... it's in the article.
There is great skepticism for these claims and others have questioned these tests convincingly, however. More tests, anyone?!
L

Sorry to stray off-topic - lets all help Entropymancer in his quest!
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman
 
Entropymancer
#7 Posted : 2/15/2011 4:33:47 AM

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Thanks for the replies everyone! As I've continued to look around, I've come to the conclusion that the additional references I'm looking for haven't been published yet. I'm trying to contact Dr. Blosser via email to confirm whether he's published them or if he can point me in the right direction.

Looks like the Wasson article cited in the quote clouds found is a Spanish translation of Wasson's 1963 article from the Harvard Botanical Museum Leaflet series where he first proposed that S. divinorum might be pipiltzintzintli on the basis of very scant evidence (drawing on the accounts published by Beltrán, but drawing different conclusions; Beltrán thought that pipiltzintzintli was another term for ololiuhqui) [Edit: Actually this turns out to be incorrect. Beltrán says they refer to an essentially identical mythological complex, but clearly cannot be referring to the same species of plant].

The reference indicating that pipiltzintzintli is cannabis is interesting... It does tell us that cannabis was introduced to Mexico earlier than is generally supposed - Antonio Alzate was a native Mexican historian and scientist, so we can reasonably suppose that cannabis was in fact known in Mexico by the time he published this statement in 1772. It's even possible that by that time the term pipiltzintzintli had been adopted by some cultural group to refer to cannabis. But as fractal says, it's patently impossible that cannabis was the original pipiltzintzintli. The only two individuals I know of who believe this to be a legitimate suggestion are José Díaz and Leander Valdés; I have no idea how Díaz made such an obvious error, but Valdés tends to be prone to bouts of idiocy. Edit: This notion is in fact not so idiotic as Ott makes it sound... see post #10 for details

The other plant that both Díaz and Valdés regard as a plausible candidate for pipiltzintzintli is the entheogenic morning glory Turbina corymbosa... but of course there are already names for both the plant (coaxihuitl) and its seeds (ololiuhqui) in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). Furthermore, none of the published references refer to the use of the seeds (which are the most active part of the morning glories), and one source (Vetancurt 1698 ) even describes ololiuhqui as being used in conjunction with pipiltzintzintli for healing a bone fracture, clearly indicating that they're two separate plants.

Jonathan Ott agrees that the evidence for identifying pipiltzintzinli as S. divinorum is rather scare, but still regards it as the most plausible candidate. About the strongest evidence he can muster is that seeds are never mentioned, and that pipiltzintzintli was both used for divinations as an infusion, and applied as a poultice in effecting a cure (both uses have been observed for S. divinorum among the Mazatecs to some extent). What Ott leaves out (and what, to me, seems to argue strongly against the identification) is that it's primarily the root of pipiltzintzintli that is used, and further that this root resembles the root of peyote (which has a thick stump of a root Edit: I later came to the conclusion that the source didn't mean to indicate that the roots had similar appearances, but rather that the physiological effects of the root when ingested by humans resemble the effects of peyotl; when reading Beltrán, I discovered that he came to the same conclusion) and its leaves resemble those of marigolds. This physical description and emphasis on the use of the root seem to pretty thoroughly disqualify S. divinorum as a candidate.
 
Ginkgo
#8 Posted : 2/15/2011 8:19:14 AM

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Where is pipiltzintzintli described as having a root resembling the one of peyote and leaves like marigolds? And what plant has these characteristics? If pipiltzintzintli in fact isn't Salvia divinorum, then what may it be? Do you have any ideas, Entrypomancer? I would assume a plant obviously that highly treasured by the Aztecs may have been of interest to their enemies, including the Spaniards and earlier groups in opposition. Maybe the plant is now extinct because of the work of their enemies? Or extinct for other reasons?

Or perhaps more likely, what if the real identification is deliberately hidden? It is well-known that the Aztecs and Mayans tried (and generally succeeded) to hide their knowledge from the Spaniards. If the real identity of pipiltzintzintli was indeed deliberately hidden, it could have been lost through the course of time. However, it may also be that it is still known in certain circles. It is generally believed that some ancient Mesoamerican knowledge is still being withheld, for example it is thought to exist several other "Mayan" calendars.
 
Entropymancer
#9 Posted : 2/15/2011 3:30:59 PM

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It's from Friar Augustín de Vetancurt's 1698 Teatro Mexicano (the same source that Ott quotes on it being used in divination and as a poultice in healing), Ott just left the first sentence off of the quotation. In the original Spanish, it reads:

Quote:
Raíz de pipiltzintzin, cuyas hojas son como las del cempoalxochitl, y la raíz de peyotl, son muy estimadas entre los naturales: tienen hembra y macho. Tómanla en bebida para no sentir cansancio, y aplicada por modo de emplasto, cura las partes desconcertadas: en el agua ordinaria aprovecha al calor del hígado; y aunque los naturales las estiman, los españoles las aborrecen por supersticiosas, porque aquellos las suelen tomar para adivinar y saber lo oculto en sueños: mézclase con zacazili y ololiuhqui para las fracturas."


Translated to English:

Quote:
The root of pipiltzintzin, whose leaves are like cempoalxochitl and whose root is like peyotl, is highly valued among the natives; it has male and female varieties. They take it as a drink so as not to feel weariness, and applied it as a poultice to heal injuries, in ordinary water ... and although the Natural Ones (Indians) esteem it, the Spaniards abhor it as superstitious because those people are wont to take it for divination, and to learn hidden things in dreams, mixing it with zacazili and ololiuhqui for fractures.


Cempoalxochitl refers to some member of the genus Tagetes, though the term is fairly generic so it's unclear which species of marigold Vetancurt meant.

I don't really speak Spanish, so if I've mistranslated that, I hope one of our Spanish-speaking members will let me know.
 
Entropymancer
#10 Posted : 5/19/2011 6:29:26 PM

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At this point I've reviewed nearly all of the available information (I've found information about the additional Inquisition records that Blosser found, but I still need to track down a book called Las Plantas Fantásticas de Mexico by Francisco Guerra). And I've got to say the issue is even more convoluted than I gave it credit for! Numerous sources (including Jonathan Ott, I'm sad to say) have repeatedly misconstrued information from the primary literature. Here's are some of the more significant points:

Ott ridiculed Díaz and Valdés for considering cannabis to be a likely candidate for the identity of pipiltzintzintli, comparing it to speculating that soma was in fact peyotl (=Lophophora williamsii). But that analogy would only be apt if the first reference to soma came nearly two centuries after the Aryans established contact with a culture who grew peyotl, and in that case it would be a much less laughable notion. The first records we have of pipiltzintzintli are not contemporary with the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs (which occurred from 1519-1521), but in fact do not appear until 1696-1706, during which time the Inquisition archives record several arrests for the use of the plant. While cannabis did not come into widespread cultivation in Mexico until the late-18th or early-19th century, it is not inconceivable that the plant might have been introduced during the 175 years after the Spanish conquest and found use as a psychoactive and medicinal plant among the descendants of the Mexican Indians. I personally find it unlikely that the early cases recorded by the Inquisition refer to the use of cannabis, but I do not doubt that the term had come to refer to cannabis by the time José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez identified it as such in 1772.

A second point, one of particular interest to this forum, is the fact that in Mexico, some plants in the family Leguminosae are apparently referred to as pipiltzintli (this claim comes from a 1977 paper by Díaz, who cites the book by Guerra that I'm trying to obtain). Recall also that early references to pipiltzintzintli indicate that a hallucinogenic beverage was made from the plant, that the effects of the root were compared to peyotl, and that the plant was also applied topically as a medicine. Now, can we think of a Leguminosae indigenous to Mexico whose root might be aptly compared to peyotl, and which is used to prepare topical folk medicines? I cannot help but think of Mimosa tenuiflora, from whose root bark (MHRB) DMT is so commonly extracted. At present, this is pure speculation. I hope that Guerra's book will provide information to either support or refute the notion, but for the moment it's an interesting possibility.

In discussions of pipiltzintzintli, much has been made of its proposed identification as ololiuhqui (the seeds of Turbina corymbosa). Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán's 1955 book Medicina y Magia is generally cited as the source of this identification, both by Valdés (who supports the notion) and by Ott (who contradicts it). I have recently read the book, and it turns out that Beltrán in fact never made this claim; he specifically says that the evidence from the Inquisition archives "precludes the possibility of both plants belonging to the same species." What he says is that their "mystical identity is clearly the same" ("en el plano místico la identidad es absoluta"), which is to say that their mythological and magicomedicinal roles are identical. While he doesn't say so explicitly, he seems to be suggesting that ololiuhqui either fell out of favor or was suppressed by the Inquisition, and that pipiltzintzintli was adopted, at least temporarily, as a replacement. This leaves Valdés standing alone as the sole supporter of the extremely unlikely notion that both names refer to Turbina corymbosa.

Since Wasson apparently retracted his hypothesis that Salvia divinorum is pipiltzintzintli (in a personal correspondence with Díaz, reported by Díaz in 1979), Jonathan Ott appears to be the only partisan left writing (in an informed manner, at any rate) in favor of the hypothesis, though to his credit he at least acknowledges the identification as far from conclusive. Unfortunately his supporting evidence is unconvincing at best, and at times downright misleading. We've already shown that his rejection of the cannabis identification is unfounded, or at least over-stated. He acknowledges evidence that the term currently is used to refer to Rhynchosia seeds, but argues that this is not a plant to which the name referred in the archives of the Inquisition, because in those cases no mention was ever made of the seeds. Where his argument really goes astray is his assertion that Vetancurt's commentary (translated in the previous post) refers to the use of the "leaves of pipiltzintzintli," when in fact it clearly indicates that the roots are the part of the plant most commonly employed. His arguments about the topical use of S. divinorum (as reported by Valdés et al. in 1983 and by Weitlaner in 1952) become much less relevant when one considers that the primary literature refers to the topical use of a preparation made from the root of the plant.

As much as I dislike having to disagree so thoroughly with Ott, I find the most likely possibility is that the name does not refer to a single plant (as is certainly the case at present), and that it may not even have referred to a single plant at the time of our earliest records, around the end of the 17th century. Díaz hinted at this possibility in 1977, but as far as I know this is the first time it has been stated explicitly. I don't believe it will be possible to establish whether this notion is correct; unless the additional references found by Blosser are more revolutionary than I've been led to believe, I expect the identity of the plant referred to in the Inquisition archives is likely to remain largely insoluble. But based on the available evidence, I see no reason to believe that pipiltzintzintli ever referred to S. divinorum prior to Wasson's publication to that effect in 1963.

A few additional points:

Sadly none of the libraries that hold Guerra's Las Plantas Fantásticas de México will lend it out to other libraries, so I don't know if it contains any details beyond the fact that "some Leguminosae" are called pipiltzintli. If anyone happens to be at one of the Universities that holds the book, it would be wonderful if they could scan the relevant pages (the Universities in question would be U of W in Seattle, UC Davis, UC San Diego, U of T in Austin, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard).

I have, however, acquired a copy of José Antonio de Alzate's article identifying "pipiltzintzintlis" as cannabis, and the identification seems to be beyond reproach. Cannabis had definitely been introduced to Mexico by the time he wrote the article (1772), as he attests to having personally seen the plant in a local arboretum. When he had the chance to acquire some of the pipiltzintzintlis, it turned out to be a mixture of leaves and seeds which he thought he recognized as hemp (based on having previously seen the plant). To confirm the identification, Alzate grew some of the seeds, and indeed found them to yield hemp plants. So clearly hemp had not only been introduced to Mexico by that time, but was also used as a sort of folk medicine by some Indians.

It is an entirely different matter whether this is the same plant that the earlier records refer to by the same name. Certainly it is not likely to have been friar Vetancurt's pipiltzintzin, as Vetancurt referred primarily to the use of the root as a psychoactive and medicinal agent. There is only one record in the Inquisition archives that mentions using seeds, and these seeds rendered the subject unconscious for about ten hours, so this reference is also not likely to refer to cannabis. Nor does cannabis bear large flowers that might be compared to roses, as we see in another of the Inquisition records. But there are other records whose description of the herb, though ambiguous, are not inconsistent with the use of cannabis as an oral preparation.

All things considered, the evidence tends to support the notion that pipiltzintzintli did not refer to a single particular plant, even in the earliest records of the term. It does, however, seem to have been specific to a particular plant within certain local regions. In more than one case, an Indian recommended that a person acquire some pipiltzintzintli at the local market and gave them instructions on how to use it. These recommendations would make little sense if the term was generic and did not refer to a specific herb which they were recommending.

There is an 18th-century case where pipiltzintzintli is described as little beans, and they quickly rendered a person unconscious for ten hours. That doesn't really sound like datura or morning glory seeds, but rather leads me to suspect it might be one of the more obscure toxic seeds that are occasionally mentioned in the literature, possibly colorines or piule (Rhynchosia spp.). Interestingly, some Rhynchosia species are referred to in modern Mexico as pipiltzintli or piltzintzintli, and Wasson observed a species of Rhynchosia seeds being used in conjunction with a mushroom known as apipiltzin (=Psilocybe aztecorum).
 
Entropymancer
#11 Posted : 5/31/2011 5:44:43 AM

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deegmt
#12 Posted : 6/2/2011 8:45:20 AM
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Well, I did a thorough read (front to back about 100 pages) through Las Plantas Fantasticas De Mexico and couldn't find a single reference on pipiltzintzintli or pipiltzintli. Well, more like scanned, recognising every 5th Spanish word.

Each of the 16 plants are given their own section. And the bulk of the sections contain references to pharmaceutical and psychiatric research. I tried to pay more attention to the legume family species: colorin and loco. Loco wasn't relevant; Guerra talks mostly about its high toxicity to animals.

Colorin seemed interesting. The following quote is the closest thing I could find referring to indigenous Mexico and "fantastica" legumes.
Quote:
El arbol de los colorines segun Krikoff (1939), es una planta de distribucion universal en las regiones tropicales y subtropicales de la tierra; este arbol o arbusto era conocido de los aztecas como tzompaquahuitl. Tienen unas semillas de color rojo, brillante y en forma de frijol llamadas colorines, patoles, pichocos o chocolines. Reko (1949), menciona que en los libros del convento de San Angel hay suficiente informacion acerca de casos de muerte provocada por colorines y sobre los suenos lujuriosos que producen. El primer caso data de 1919; en 1800, ya se conocian perfectamente los sintomas de envenenamiento por colorines, asi como sus efectos de goce erotico. Los indios de la tierra de Tlaltizapan, en Michoacan, usan hasta hoy un extracto de estas semillas con propositos de venganza o para favorecer a alguno en cuestion de amores. Es probable que los colorines fueran conocidos por los antiguos griegos. En el medioevo su uso se prohibio a las mujeres virtuosas y los alemanes creian que las brujas, en la noche de Walpurgis, recibian una de estas semillas del mismo diablo. Standley (1922), menciona el empleo de los colorines como hipnotico por los indigenas de nuestro pais. La inclusion de los colorines dentro de los fantasticas mexicanas se justifica en virtud de los suenos y visiones fuertemente lujuriosas que provocan, propiedades que han sido conocidas desde hace mucho.
...
Los efectos en el hombre no se han estudiado de un modo completo; en la intoxicacion por colorines, primero aparece un breve periodo de excitacion, siguen modificaciones en la conducta, marcha cerebelosa, depresion y paralisis. Cuando el envenenamiento es agudo, los sintomas semejan a los del envenenamiento por nicotina: angustia, disnea, palidez y sudoracion. En la esfera psiquica solo se han encontrado suenos de caracter erotico. Su uso en nuestro pais no esta muy extendido.

Kirkoff, B. A. and Smith, A. C. Botanical components of curare. Bulletin of the Torrey Botany Club 64: 401-409, 1937

Reko. Victor Aloisius. Magische gifte. Rausch und Betaubungsmittel der Neuen Welt. Ed. Ferdinand Enke. Stuttgart, 1949. xi, 175 p., 21 cms.

Standley, Paul C. Trees and Shrubs of Mexico. Contributions from the U.S. National Herbarium. Government Printing Office. Washington. 1920-1923. xviii, xxvii, xxviii, 848, p., 24 cms.

And the poor translation...
Quote:
This tree of bright colors according Krikoff (1939), is a universally distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the earth, this tree or shrub was known to the Aztecs as tzompaquahuitl. Their seeds are red, shiny, bean-shaped and called patola, pichocos or Chocolinas. Reko (1949), mentioned that in the books of the convent of San Angel, there is insufficient information about deaths and lusty dreams caused by Colorine. The first case dates back to 1919, in 1800, people were well aware of Colorine's toxicity, as well as the effect of erotic pleasure. Indians Tlaltizapan land in Michoacan, used an extract of the seeds for revenge or to favor one's love. It is likely that the buntings were known to the ancient Greeks. In the Middle Ages its use was banned from virtuous women and the Germans believed that witches on Walpurgis Night, received one of these devil seeds. Standley (1922), mentions the use of Colorine as a hypnotic for the indigenous people of our country [Mexico]. The inclusion of Colorine as a Mexican Fantastica is justified because of strong lustful dreams and visions, properties that have been known since long ago.
...
The effects in humans have not been studied in a comprehensive manner, in the Coraline intoxication, first is a brief period of excitement, are changes in behavior, cerebellar march, depression and paralysis. When the poisoning is severe, the symptoms resemble those of nicotine poisoning, anxiety, dyspnea, pallor and sweating. The psychiatry field has observed dreams of an erotic nature. Its use in our country is not widespread.

In the text there is a reference Krikoff (1939), but there is only a Krikoff (1937) citation: probably a typo. I looked up this citation and couldn't find any mention of colorin or erythrina; which seems odd. So perhaps Kirkoff was the typo? There are three other references to 1939; I'll look these up later.

Trees and shrubs of Mexico states the Erythrina plant is used for hypnotic, purgative, diuretic, sudorific, and emmenagogue-ic properties and that the flowers are used in salads.

The German reference (Reko) may be the only source about the erotic visionary dreams. I looked up the one obvious psychiatry reference and didn't find anything about "dreams of erotic nature". The fact Colorine it is an emmenagogue would explain these dreams. Does fantastica mean mythological or psychotropic in this context?

The 16 Plant sections in Plantas Fantasticas (in Spanish)
- Teonanacatl: paneolus campanulatus
- Marihuana: cannabis indica
- Canela: Cinnamomum ceylanicum
- Chicolate: Argemone ochrodeuca
- Adormidera: Papaver somniferum
- *Colorin: Erythrina coraloides
- *Loco: Oxytropis lambertii
- Peyote: Lophophora williamsii
- Sinicuichi: Heimia salicifolia
- Cozticzapotl: Lucuma salicifolia
- Ololiuqui: Rivea corymbosa
- Camotillo: solanum tuberosum
- Toloache: Datura stramonium
- Coca: Erythroxylon coca
- Banisteria: Banisteria caapi
- Cohombrillo: Cucurbita foetidisima
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rOm
#13 Posted : 6/2/2011 8:54:39 AM

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Are you sure toloache is d.stramonium ?
I've got recently that it was d.inoxia.
I'd like to know.
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deegmt
#14 Posted : 6/2/2011 9:57:09 AM
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I just copied the sci. names from the book too. I'm not sure.
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Entropymancer
#15 Posted : 6/2/2011 2:43:53 PM

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Deegmt, thank you so much. I really appreciate that you took the time to skim the book.

If you didn't notice anything about pipiltzintli while scanning through, I guess it's probably safe to assume it's just a quick offhand comment and doesn't give much detail, or else Díaz got his references mixed up.

It's interesting that you mention colorines, as I'd actually been thinking about them recently myself. There's a 18th-century case where pipiltzintzintli is described as little beans, and they quickly rendered a person unconscious for ten hours. That doesn't really sound like datura or morning glory seeds, so I thought it might be one of the more obscure toxic seeds that are occasionally mentioned in the literature, possibly colorines or piule (Rhynchosia spp.).

I wouldn't give much credence to the Reko reference. Viktor Reko was apparently a fraud, freely embellishing the stories he heard from his brother Blas Pablo and passing the whole thing off as fact in that book (Magische Gifte). Blas Pablo Reko's work is supposed to be very interesting though; R.E. Schultes actually got his start in the field of ethnobotany by more or less plagiarising his then-unpublished work.

rOm, I think it's just a matter of nomenclature; at the time the book was published, I don't think D. stramonium and D. inoxia where always clearly distinguished. I'm pretty sure that toloache would more correctly be named as D. inoxia.
 
tigerstrike92
#16 Posted : 6/4/2011 3:20:32 AM

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On the male/female comment...

Salvia and Coleus are sometimes referred to as the male and female for each other. Any possibility Coleus could be Pipiltzintzintli?
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jamie
#17 Posted : 6/4/2011 4:14:09 AM

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^ I doubt it. I have grown and tested many coleus plants and never found one to be psychoactive. I dont even know if there is any actaul evidence to suggest it used as a visionary plant other than that one report that is quoted everywhere where some currandero says coleus is salvias sibling or something like that..
 
Entropymancer
#18 Posted : 6/4/2011 6:00:11 AM

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tigerstrike92 wrote:
On the male/female comment...

Salvia and Coleus are sometimes referred to as the male and female for each other. Any possibility Coleus could be Pipiltzintzintli?


Not terribly likely. The only male/female reference with pipiltzintzintli is talking about a plant whose root is used as the main active part. Also, both Coleus species that the Mazatecs regard as being part of th salvia "family" are of Asiatic origin, so unless there are specific references that they had been introduced in the 17th century, it's difficult to consider it as a serious candidate. And as fractal notes, a lot of people have experimented with various Coleus on account of the Mazatec-salvia connection, and there's no real indications that they have much activity.
 
tigerstrike92
#19 Posted : 6/5/2011 8:25:49 PM

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Yeah you are probably right. I just thought I'd throw it out there. The psychoactive properties of coleus have always been sketchy to begin with.
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PowerfulMedicine
#20 Posted : 12/24/2011 3:30:35 AM

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tigerstrike92 wrote:
On the male/female comment...

Salvia and Coleus are sometimes referred to as the male and female for each other. Any possibility Coleus could be Pipiltzintzintli?


I know that this is not the best source for legitimate information, but in The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Casteneda, datura is said to have a male and female variety and the variety is determined by the growth habit of the roots which are one of the main parts used.

I don't really think that datura is the identity of pipiltzintzintli, but I just wanted to add some more conflicting information to the arguments.
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