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History of morning glory seeds (and other psychoactive bindweeds) Options
 
Entropymancer
#1 Posted : 3/8/2010 7:39:42 PM

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I don't know about the rest of you, but I find the cultural history of psychoactives to be absolutely fascinating. Lately I've been compiling sources on the historical use of ololiuqui (Turbina corymbosa) and tlitliltzin (Ipomoea violacea). At this point I'm fairly confident that I've turned up all the extant sources on ololiuqui from the early post-conquest literature (though if anyone knows of any that I haven't listed below, I'd love to hear about them!), but I only have one reference to tlitliltzin at present so I'm hoping I'll be able to find more of those in the next few days.

Two things before I begin:

First: I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of Richard Evans Schultes' 1941 paper A Contribution to Our Knowledge of Rivea corymbosa, the Narcotic ololiuqui of the Aztecs. I've read so many other papers discussing it that I don't think I'm missing any crucial data, but there's one reference that eludes me. In his later papers on ololiuqui, Schultes was very lax about citations, and often refers simply to "an early account" or "a 17th century account" and cites his 1941 paper when quoting historical sources. I've identified the source of all these quotations except one, so if anyone has access to this paper, I'd be eternally grateful if you could check what his source for the quote was. The quotation in question begins: "... it was a serious fever and the medicine man advised the patient to take ololiuqui..." (for the full quote, see below).

Second: The identification of tlitliltzin as I. violacea is not as certain as ololiuqui; we don't have drawings of the plant or botanical descriptions in the historical records (as we do for ololiuqui). What the records do tell us is that tlitliltzin is a seed, and that it is not identical with ololiuqui. Of course, there are plenty of psychoactive seeds indigenous to the region, so the identification of it as morning glory seeds specifically rests on the name itself. In Nahuatl, tlitliltzin translates roughly to "divine black one"; it is literally composed of the Nahuatl word for black, with a reverential suffix attatched. Ipomoea violacea is the only black psychoactive seed that we know of in the region, so essentially the identification rests on the assumption that the Nahuatl name refers to the color of the seed.

But enough discussion; let's get on to the nitty gritty!








Early Post-Conquest Sources

1547-1569 - Bernardino de Sahagún - A Franciscan missionary. While converting the native population was his objective, Sahagún also had a genuine interest in recording as much as he could of the Nahuatl language and Aztec culture. Between 1547 and 1569 he collected the information that comprises what we now know as the Florentine Codex, a record of the Aztec religion and culture based on interviews with native informants. While the Nahuatl text of the Codex was complete by 1569, Sahagún continued translating text and incorporating the illustrations for several year; it was not until approximately 1585 that the Codex was completed in the format available today. In addition to briefly noting the properties of ololiuqui, he also included an illustration of the fruiting plant (see below).
Quote:
[The] leaves [of the coaxihuitl (snakeplant)] are slender and ropelike, small. Its name is ololiuhqui. It inebriates one; it makes one crazy, stirs one up, makes one mad, makes one possessed. He who eats of it, he who drinks it, sees many things that will make him afraid to a high degree. He is truly terrified of the great snake that he sees for this reason.

He who hates people causes one to swallow it in drink and in food to make one mad. But it smells sour; it burns a little in the throat. It is applied on the surface alone to treat gout.





1571-1578 - Franisco Hernández - Court physician to the King of Spain, he was trained in botany and medicine, and embarked on the first scientific expedition to the New World from 1571 to 1578 to explore the native plants and medicine. Portions of his work were published in 1615 in Mexico by Francisco Ximénez (who had translated the manuscripts from Latin to Spanish) and in 1651 in Rome by Federico Cesi (in the original Latin) as Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae thesaurus. Ximénez took a dim view of the indigenous divinatory plants, commenting in the 1615 publication that "it matters little that this plant be here described or that Spaniards be made acquainted with it." In addition to recording information about the uses of ololiuqui, Hernández also provided an illustration of the plant (see below).
Quote:
Ololiuhqui, which some call coaxihuitl, or snakeplant, is a twining herb with thin, green cordate leaves; slender, green, terete stems; and long, white flowers. The seed is round and very much like coriander whence the name (in Nahuatl, the term 'ololiuhqui' means 'round thing'Pleased of the plant. The roots are fibrous and slender. The plant is hot in the fourth degree [Note: this refers to the humoral theory of medicine] . . . . The seed has some medicinal use. If pulverized or taken in a decoction or used as a poultice on the head or forehead, with milk and chili, it is said to cure eye troubles. When drunk, it acts as an aphrodisiac. It has a sharp taste and is very hot. Formerly when the priests wanted to commune with their gods and to receive a message from them, they ate this plant to induce a delirium. A thousand visions and satanic hallucinations appeared to them. In its manner of action, this plant can be compared with Solanum Maniacum of Dioscorides.





1574-1576 - Diego Durán - Dominican friar. Differed from his contemporaries in that he respected the Aztecs. Best known for his History of the Indies of New Spain (which was criticized for "helping the heathen maintain their culture" of all things). His clearest reference to ololiuqui comes from his Book of the Gods and Rites, composed between 1574 and 1576.
Quote:
... the priests covered themselves with a pitch made of soot from torch pine, combined with mashed spiders, scorpions, centipedes, vipers, and other poisonous creatures. Added to this mixture were ground seeds of ololiuhqui... This pitch was called teotlacualli ['food of the gods' or 'flesh of the gods'] and was thought to protect the wearer from all evil




1590 - José de Acosta - Jesuit missionary and naturalist. His Historia Natural y Moral de las Indias (Natural and Moral History of the Indies), published in 1590 in Seville, mentions ololiuqui.
Quote:
They carried their hair in tresses... which they died black with pitch... for in antiquity it had been an offering they made unto their idols, and for this cause it was much revered. They were always dyed with this tincture from the foot to the head, so as they were like unto shining negroes... When they went to sacrifice and give incense in the mountains, or mountain tops, or in any dark and obscure caves where their idols were, they used another kind of unction... This unction was made with diverse little venomous beasts, such as spiders, scorpions, salamanders, and vipers... To make an ointment of these beasts they took them all together, and burnt them upon the harth of the temple, which was before the altar, until they were consumed to ashes; then they put them in mortars with much tobacco (being an herb that they use to benumb the flesh, so they do not feel the weariness of travel), with the which they mingle the ashes... likewise did they mingle live scorpions and spiders with these ashes... then they put to it a certain seed... which they call Ololuchqui, from which the Indians make a drink to see visions, for the virtue of this herb is to deprive man of sense... all this they mingled together with pitch... putting it in small pots which they set before their god, saying it was his meat... By means of this ointment they became witches, and did see and speak with the Devil. The priests being slobbered with this ointment lost all fear, putting on a spirit of cruelty. So anointed, they would boldly kill men in their sacrifices, going all alone in the night to the mountains and into obscure caves...




1629 - Hernándo Ruiz de Alarcón - A catholic priest, and a truly evil fuck if ever there was one. His torture of the natives was so extreme that the church intervened, upset that he was conducting auto-da-fés (though when they determined that he was simply overzealous and had not meant to exceed his authority, he was promoted). He published his Tratado de las supersticiones y costumbres gentílicas que hoy viven entre los indios naturales de esta Nueva España (Treatise on the heathen superstitions that today live among the Indians native to this New Spain) in 1629, devoting two chapters to the use of ololiuqui.
Quote:
The so-called ololiuhqui is a seed like lentils or lentil vetch which, when drunk, deprives one of judgment. And the faith that these unhappy natives have in this seed is amazing, since, by drinking, they consult it like an oracle for everything whatever they want to know, even those things which are beyond human knowledge, such as knowing the cause of illnesses, because almost everyone among them who is consumptive, tubercular, with diarrhea, or with whatever other sickness of the persistent kind right away attributes it to sorcery. And in order to resolve this doubt and others like it, such as those about stolen things and of aggressors, they consult this seed by means of their deceitful doctors, some of whom have it as their job to drink this seed for such consultations, and this kind of doctor is called Pàyni, because of the job, for which he is paid very well, and they bribe him with meals and drinks in their fashion.

If the doctor either does not have this function or wishes to excuse himself from that torment, he advises the patient himself to drink that seed, or another person for whose services they pay as they do the doctor, but the doctor indicates to him the day and the hour in which to drink it, and he tells him for what purpose he will drink it.

Finally, whether it is the doctor or another person in his place, in order to drink the seed, or peyote, which is [a] small root and for which the have the same faith as for [the] seed, he closes himself up alone in a room, which usually is his oratory, where no one is to enter throughout all the time that the consultation lasts, which is for as long as the consultant is out of his mind, for then they believe the ololiuhqui or peyote is revealing to them that which they want to know. As soon as the intoxication or deprivation of judgment passes from this person, he tells two thousand hoaxes, among which the Devil usually includes some truths, so that he has them deceived or duped absolutely…

Also they make use of this drink to find things that have been stolen, lost, or misplaced and in order to know who took or stole them…

When the wife leaves the husband or the husband the wife, they also take advantage of ololiuhqui, and in this case the imagination and fantasy work also, and even better than in the case of sicknesses, because in this second case conjectures follow that are the cause of more vehement suspicion, and thus it works with greater strength at the time of the intoxication, since it is easily seen that one person will be persuaded that another carried off his wife or stole his property…

Finally these prophets make use of ololiuhqui or peyote to solve these riddles, in the way already described. Then they say that a venerable old man appears to them who says that he is the ololiuhqui or the peyote and that he has come at their call in order to help them in whatever way might be necessary. Then, being asked about the theft or about the absent wife, he answers where and how they will find it or her…

Here it should be carefully noted how much these miserable people hide this superstition of the ololiuhqui from us, and the reason is that, as they confess, the very one they consult orders them not to reveal it to us… And thus their excuse is ipampa àmo nechtlahueliz, which is to say ‘in order that the ololiuhqui will not declare himself to be my enemy...

Almost all of [the Indians] hold that the ololiuhqui is a divine thing… And with the same veneration they drink the said seed, shutting themselves in those places like one who was in the sanctasanctórum, with many other superstitions. And the veneration with which these barbarous people revere the seed is so excessive that part of their devotions include washing and sweeping even those places where the bushes are found which produce them, which are some heavy vines, even though they are in the wilderness and thickets.

Quote:
Since preaching has not sufficed, rigorous punishment is needed, because, being – as they are – children of terror, it may be that punishment may accomplish what reason has not been sufficient to, since the Apostle said, compelle intrare [Compel them to come in; Luke 14:23].



c. 1629 - Pedro Ponce - Beneficiado of the district of Zumpahuacán. Contemporary with Alarcón, his Breve relación de los dioses y ritos de la gentilidad (Brief Relation of the Gods and Rites of Heathenism) was published circa 1629. It mentions both ololiuqui and tlitliltzin, making clear that they are different materials, and that the latter is a seed.
Quote:
They drink ololiuhque, peyote, and a seed that they call tlitliltzin. These are so strong that they deprive them of their senses and they say that one like a little black man appears to them and tells them all they want. Others say that Our Lord appears to them, others the angels. And when they do this, they enter a room and close themselves in and set a guard so that he may hear what they say, and people are not to speak to them until the delirium has left them because they become like madmen. And then they ask what they have said, and that is what is certain.




1634 - Bartolomé de Alva - Secular mestizo priest. In 1634 he published a Nahuatl-language confessionary, Confessionario mayor y menor en lengua mexicana for priests ministering to the native population. Among the confessions, we find a poignant reference to the seeds.
Quote:
"I have believed in dreams, in magic herbs, in peyote, and in ololiuqui, in the owl, etc."




1656 Jacinto de la Serna - A missionary. He composed a manual to aid other missionaries in ministering to the native population, Manual de Ministros de Indios para el Conocimiento de sus Idolatrias y Extirpación de Ellas, published in 1656. Among the native's "idolatries", he discusses ololiuqui.
Quote:
They venerate these plants as though they were divine. When they drink these herbs, they consult them like oracles. . . . They consult these herbs about all things which cannot be fathomed by the human mind . . . consulting these plants . . . all their doubts and uncertainties are dispelled. These seeds . . . are held in great veneration. . . . They place offerings to the seeds . . . in secret places so that the offerings cannot be found if a search be made. They also place these seeds among the idols of their ancestors . . . the natives do these things with so much respect that when some transgressor of the law who has the seeds in his possession is arrested and is asked for the paraphernalia which are used in taking ololiuqui . . . or for the seeds themselves, he denies vehemently that he knows anything about the practices. The natives do this not so much because of fear of the law as because of the veneration in which they hold the seed ololiuqui. They do not wish to offend ololiuqui with demonstrations before the judges of the use of the seeds and with public destruction of the seed by burning.




17th century [Unknown] - This is the one quotation whose source I haven't been able to track down. I'd love it if someone could shed some light on where it comes from.
Quote:
... it was a serious fever and the medicine man advised the patient to take ololiuqui. The patient refused. Finally, however, the medicine man persuaded all members of the family ... to drink ololiuqui to help the patient. After drinking, they lighted candles and gave ololiuqui to the sick man. All became drunk ... and when they regained their senses, the sick man began to rage in agony, calling the doctor a knave and witch. With this, the patient died ... It is not without concern that the Christian priests see the facility with which the devil works amongst these people, even after they have been ... accepted into the church.




1780 - Francisco Javier Clavigero - A Jesuit scholar. In Botany and Chemistry of the Hallucinogens, Schultes and Hofmann quote the following passage along with José de Acosta's (see above), alleging them to be two "early accounts". This is a very misleading characterization considering that the Aztec civilization was long-dead when Clavigero composed the book from which the passage was excerpted (Historia Antigua de México). The passage is in fact either a retelling of Acosta's account, or possibly a synthesis of the accounts of Acosta and Durán. On the other hand, it is noteworthy for being an 18th century reference to ololiuqui; in fact it's the only such reference I'm aware of from that century. After the post-conquest accounts, ololiuqui pretty well drops off the radar for two centuries (I guess the indigenous people learned that bad things happened to them whenever Europeans saw them using their divine plants).
Quote:
The Aztec priests went to make sacrifices on the tops of mountains, or in the dark caverns of the earth. They took a large quantity of poisonous insects, burned them over a stove of their temple, and beat their ashes in a mortar together with the foot of the ocotl, tobacco, the herb ololiuqui, and some live insects… They presented this diabolical mixture in small vessels to their gods, and afterwards rubbed their bodies with it. When thus anointed, they became fearless to every danger… They called it Teopatli, the divine medicament
 

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Entropymancer
#2 Posted : 3/9/2010 5:46:00 AM

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Well damn, I've been looking for other references to tlitliltzin and it looks like Ponce's reference may be the only one. When Wasson proposed that it likely referred to I. violacea in 1963, he noted that it might be a hapax legomenon (a word that occurs only once in the written record of a language), and it appears that the intervening years have borne out this notion. The term doesn't appear in any of the early sources where we typically find details about the indigenous sacraments and medicaments. It's not in Molina's Vocabulario, Sahagún's Florentine Codex, or any of Hernández's extant field notes (I suppose it's not impossible that it could be mentioned in an unpublished part of his manuscripts that were lost in a fire in 1671, but it seems unlikely). Further, no identifiable depictions of I. violacea occur in any of the pictorial Codices of the era. If it occurs in any of the unpublished records of the Inquisition, no scholar has ever mentioned it.

There is, however, one other record from the era that seems to refer to I. violacea seeds. In Medicina y Magica (1955), Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán mentions that among the unpublished records of the Inquisition, an African slave who acted also as a curandero talks about an "ololiuhqui del moreno", which Beltrán indicates was his way of saying "black ololiuqui". At the time, Beltrán thought ololiuqui was a species of Datura (likely due to William Stafford's obstinate pigheadedness on the subject), and assumed that the seeds became black with age (for the record, no such color change is observed with Datura seeds). This reference is explained much more parsimoniously as a reference to I. violacea seeds, echoing the contemporary Zapotec terms badoh (for T. corymbosa seeds) and badoh negro (for I. violacea seeds).

While there isn't any evidence to confirm Wasson's identification of tlitliltzin as I. violacea, the reasoning is sound and I'm not really inclined to reject it, particularly in light of the "ololiuhqui del moreno" account which seems to credibly assert that the seeds were known to be psychoactive at least in certain parts of Mexico. I do, however, find the ramifications of this assertion perplexing. How are we to explain the extreme paucity of references to I. violacea seeds if they were in fact known at the time of the conquest?

Among the contemporary indigenous groups who use both I. violacea and T. corymbosa, the former are generally preferred, and are unambiguously regarded as being more powerful (and correctly so; they typically contain roughly five times more ergoline alkaloids by weight). So why is T. corymbosa so ubiquitously represented in the extent literature from the 16th and 17th centuries, but we have to search long and hard to turn up even two references that could arguably refer to I. violacea? This incongruity is mystifying.
 
Entropymancer
#3 Posted : 3/10/2010 12:11:44 AM

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Whew, I think I've put together about as robust a bibliography as I can manage on the history of psychoactive bindweeds for part of a monograph that I'm working on (about 140 sources... I imagine that's going to grow quite a bit when I get to tackling the chemistry). I've condensed my notes into a chronology to help organize my thoughts in the writing process, and figured others might find it interesting as well (I've cited all the information below, but don't yet have the actual bibliography in an easily-postable format... sorry... all you get for now is the author and year of publication).

One of the things that I found most interesting was that Wasson at one point considered a bindweed with ergot alkaloids as a candidate for soma (many sources indicate that the original soma was a sort of creeper vine), but abandoned the notion since no such plant was known to occur in India at the time... and apparently he never picked the notion back up even when Argyreia nervosa (indigenous to India despite being popularly known as Hawaiian baby woodrose) was found to contain massive amounts of lysergic acid derivatives!


Conquest-Era References (see above for details)

1547-1569 - Bernardino de Sahagún
1571-1578 - Franisco Hernández
1574-1576 - Diego Durán
1590 - José de Acosta
1629 - Hernándo Ruiz de Alarcón
c. 1629 - Pedro Ponce
1634 - Bartolomé de Alva
1656 - Jacinto de la Serna
1780 - Francisco Javier Clavijero





Contemporary-Era References

1854, 1888 - Oliva and León recognize ololiuhqui to be convolvulaceous. (León 1888; Oliva 1854)

1897 - Urbina identifies ololiuhqui as Ipomoea sidaefolia [=Turbina corymbosa] (Urbina 1897; Urbina 1903)

1911 - Hartwich rejects Urbina's identification, believing ololiuqui to be a solanaceous plant (Hartwich 1911)

1915 - Stafford argues that ololiuhqui can't be convolvulaceous since no bindweeds are known to be psychoactive. He asserts that it must be Datura meteloides; much of the botanical world accepts his mistake as fact for decades (Stafford 1915; Schultes & Hofmann 1980)

1919, 1929 - Blas Pablo Reko observes the use of T. corymbosa seeds in Oaxaca (including under the name ololuc), and reports the people who drink the infusion of the seeds enter a somnambulent state of intoxication (Reko 1919; Reko 1929)

1932 - Cerna suggests ololiuhqui might be the seeds of a narcotic variety of poppies (Cerna 1932)

1934 - Blas Pablo Reko becomes the first non-indigenous person known to have consumed the seeds (Reko 1934). He does not perceive any psychoactivity after ingesting "a handful", but there are strong indications he did not grind the seeds (Osmond 1955; Ott 1996)

1935 - Ergonovine is isolated... but from ergot, not bindweed seeds (Dudley & Moir 1935; Kharasch & Legault 1935; Stoll & Burckhardt; Thompson 1935). As a result, many of the active chemicals from the bindweeds would be known as synthetic products before being rediscovered in the 60s (Hofmann 1963)

1936 - Parsons reports that the Zapotecs refer to the seeds of I. violacea as 'badoh negro', but does not mention their being employed in any ritual contexts (Parsons 1936)

1937 - First chemical analysis T. corymbosa seeds was performed by Santesson, who recieved the seeds from Reko. He was unable to isolate crystalline products, but found an ethanolic extract of the seeds to produce a semi-narcotic state (Halbnarkose) in frogs (Santesson 1937a; Santesson 1937b)

1938 - Blas Pablo Reko and Richard Evans Schultes collect the first good voucher specimens of coaxihuitl and ololiuhqui, identifying them definitively as T. corymbosa (Schultes 1941). Stafford continues to obstinately insist that ololiuhqui is a Datura species (Hoffer & Osmond 1967)

1941 - Marsh, a doctor with the US Agricultural Service bioassayed T. corymbosa seeds. Like Reko, he found them to be inactive. It is not known whether he ground the seeds, nor is it known what quantity he consumed (Schultes 1941)

1941 - Schultes publishes an overview of the conquest-era references to ololiuhqui and the contemporary use of T. corymbosa seeds, finally putting to rest the notion that ololiuhqui might be a Datura species (Schultes 1941). Having now essentially stolen the fruits of Blas Pablo Reko's decades of study both on ololiuqui and teonanácatl (psilocybian mushrooms), Schultes never again returns to Mexico, shifting his focus to the visionary plants of the Amazon... Reko describes Schultes scathingly as "an ambitious young Harvard student, having turned literary pirate, [who] has taken credit for my discoveries" (Valdes 2001).

1944 - Taylor publishes another early ethnographic account of ololiuhqui use (Taylor 1944)

1945 - Reko reports observing the use of seeds from another species of bindweed, Ipomoea violacea, among the Mazatecs (Reko 1945)

1947 – Hofmann establishes ergine (lysergic acid amide) as psychoactive at doses of 500 ug to 1 mg (primarily sedating, mildly visionary), 13 years before it’s found in the Convolvulaceae. Hofmann's experiences are basically confirmed by Solm's description of the effects nine years later (Hofmann 1961; Hofmann 1963; Solms 1956A; Solms 1956B). No visionary effect was noticed with 2 mg isoergine, only “tiredness, apathy, a feeling of mental emptiness and the unreality and complete meaninglessness of the outside world.” (Hofmann 1963)

1955 - Humphrey Osmond performs the first successful bioassay of T. corymbosa, finding 60-100 to have visionary activity as well as substantially sedative (Osmond 1955)

1957 - Dr. Isbell (of Project MKULTRA) administers T. corymbosa seeds to addicts at the Lexington Narcotic Farm, in doses ranging up to 6 g (about 300 seeds) but observes no significant response (Hoffer & Osmond 1967; Isbell & Gorodetzky 1966)

1958 - Two years before they're found in bindweed seeds, Yui and Takea observe elymoclavine and lysergol to produce an "excitation syndrome" in some animals (Yui & Takeo 1958 )

1959 - Kinross-Wright administers doses up to 125 seeds to eight male volunteers, and likewise does not find them to be active (Kinross-Wright 1959)

1959 - R. Gordon Wasson sends samples of T. corymbosa and I. violacea to Albert Hofmann, who detects the presence of indole alkaloids and asks Wasson to provide a bulk quantity of the seeds so he can characterize the active principles (Hofmann 1963; Wasson 1963)

1960 - Tómas McDougall publishes the first documentation of I. violacea being used among the Zapotecs in essentially the same fashion as T. corymbosa. They use the terms 'badungas' or 'badoh negro', both of which mean "black badoh". 'Badoh' is the Zapotec term for T. corymbosa seeds (McDougall 1960)

1960 - Pérezamador and Herrán isolate a glucoside, turbicoryn, from T. corymbosa (Pérezamador & Herrán 1960) [Turbicoryn is not believed to play any role in the psychoactive effects of the seeds]

1960 - With the help of Robert Weitlander, Irmgard Weitlander-Johnson, and Tómas MacDougall, Wasson collects 12 kg T. corymbosa and 14 kg I. violacea to send to Hofmann for analysis (Hofmann 1963)

1960 - By the fall of 1960, Hofmann isolates several ergot alkaloids from the seeds of both species (Hofmann 1963; Hofmann 1961; Hofmann & Tscherter 1960). This discovery is met with a great deal of skepticism; some suggest that the seeds might have been infected with ergot, others rudely suggest that the results might be compromised by the presumed presence of lysergic compounds in Hofmann's equipment from his previous work with ergot alkaloid derivatives (Hoffer & Osmond 1967; Hofmann 1980; Schultes 1972; Taber & Heacock 1962).

1961 - Though it has not yet been recognized in the seeds, Glässer finds D-Lysergic acid N-(1-hydroxyethyl) amide to have a stimulant effect in animals (Glässer 1961)

1961-1973 - Researchers find lysergic acid derivatives in numerous species in the bindweed family, Convolvulaceae (Beyerman et al. 1963; Chao & Der Marderosian 1973B; Der Marderosian 1967; Der Marderosian & Youngken 1966; Der Marderosian et al. 1964A; Der Marderosian et al. 1964B; Gardiner et al. 1965; Genest & Sahasrabudhe 1966; Hofmann 1961; Lascano et al. 1967; Ott 1996; Staba & Laursen 1966)

1962 - Cook and Kealand isolate a glucoside from T. corymbosa; it turns out to be the already-reported turbicoryn (Cook & Kealand 1962). [Cook was a member of Project MKULTRA]

1962 - Hoffer tells Wasson that his research group had isolated ergot alkaloids from the leaves and stems of the bindweeds in quantities similar to those present in the seeds, and that they suspect ergot alkaloids to be cosmopolitan among the Convolvulaceae. Wasson writes an excited letter to Schultes and Hofmann suggesting that perhaps ololiuhqui might hold the key to the soma mystery, in the form of a similarly psychoactive bindweed indigenous to India [note that there are many indications that the original soma was a creeper vine of some sort]. This was before Wasson had begun to work on the soma question in earnest, and at the time he saw "no reason to think soma came from a mushroom" (Riedlinger 1993). [Here I really have to comment. Even though just three years later it would be discovered that Argyreia nervosa (a morning glory indigenous to India) in fact contained by far the greatest concentration of ergot alkaloids, it appears Wasson never returned to this line of speculation... nor in fact has any other author considered it much (aside from a single passing sentence in Rätsch's Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants)... even in Riedlinger's 1993 article on Wasson's alternative soma candidates, he doesn't bother to mention A. nervosa. Personally I regard the soma problem as fundamentally insoluble, but the arguments for A. nervosa would seem to be roughly consubstantial with the other major candidates, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be considered as a major candidate itself]

1963, 1965 - Hofmann's identification of lysergic acid derivatives in bindweeds in confirmed by multiple research groups (Taber et al 1963A; Taber et al 1963B; Genest 1965)

1963 - Wasson publishes an ethnographic overview of the literature on T. corymbosa and I. violacea use in Mexico. It's here that he suggests Ponce's "tlitliltzin" and the reference to "ololiuhqui del moreno" that Beltrán dug up both refer to I. violacea seeds. This is also where he suggests that all of the indigenous names that translate to "seeds of the virgin" likely refers to the virgin who grinds the seeds rather than the Virgin Mary (Wasson 1963)

1963 - Recreational use of the seeds comes on the radar in America (Shawcross 1983; Shulgin & Shulgin 1997). Herb Caen publishes an article on the subject in the San Francisco chronicle. Shulgin recalls the article in TiHKAL: "People were ordering 25 lb. sacks of seeds from whomever sold them. In the middle of May, 1963, a vice president of a major supplier, the Ferry Morse Seed Company, began to get suspicious. Although morning glory seeds were one of their five most popular items, he said, their sales had leapt to 50 times normal. The three most sought-after varieties had the unbelievable names, Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, and Flying Saucers." (Shulgin & Shulgin 1997)

1964, 1967 - Ipomoea carnea, known locally as borrachero (“inebriating one”) or matacabra (“goat killer”) is seen to be used traditionally as an entheogen in Ecaudor, and its seeds are shown to contain ergot alkaloids (Lascano et al. 1967; Naranjo et al. 1964)

1965 – The seeds of Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose), a bindweed species with no known history of entheogenic use, are first reported to contain concentrations of lysergic acid derivatives substantially higher than any other species that has been analyzed (Chao 1970; Chao & Der Merderosian 1973A; Chao & Der Merderosian 1973B; Hylin & Watson 1965; McJunkins et al. 1968 )

1965 - Isbell and Gorodetzky found that mixtures of synthetic lysergic acid derivatives mimicked the effect of the whole alkaloid extract of T. corymbosa, both of them differing substantially from LSD in that there was a strong sedative component to the effects (Isbell & Gorodetzky 1966)

1965-1969 - A total of 19 indole alkaloids are identified in A. nervosa (Genest 1965; Genest 1966; Niwaguchi & Inoue 1969)

1967 - Hoffer and Osmond observe turbicoryn to show hints of activity at 30 mg (Hoffer & Osmond 1967)

1969 - Dobberstein and Staba explore ways to manipulate the alkaloid content of A. nervosa (Dobberstein & Staba 1969)

1970s - Numerous accounts in the popular literature begin to recommend using bindweed seeds as an LSD substitute (Gottlieb 1973; Grinspoon & Bakalar 1979; Superweed 1970)

1971 - Hofmann ascertains that some of the ergine and isoergine in most bindweeds is present as the acetaldehyde adduct (N-(1-hydroxyethyl)amides) which readily hydrolyze to ergine and isoergine during the course of most extractions (Hofmann 1971)

1976 - Hofmann discovers ergonovine to be visionary on April 1, 1976, when he injests 2 mg to test the chemical basis for the ergot-Kykeon theory which he's investigating with Wasson and Ruck at the time (Hofmann 1978 ). Ott and Bigwood later confirm this finding, exploring the substance up to 10 mg (Bigwood et al 1979). Ripinsky-Naxon and colleagues likewise found 6 mg to be "entheogenic" (Ripinsky-Naxon 1993)

1976 - Furst reports that in some areas, the seeds of T. corymbosa are prepared as a snuff.

1978-1994 - The mamas (shaman priests) of the Kogi people, who dwell in the Sierra Madre of Colombia, are reported to use I. violacea in ritual contexts (Baumgartner 1994; Reichel-Dolmatoff 1978; Reichel-Dolmatoff 1987). While these accounts do suggest a member of the Convolvulacea, it has not been confirmed to be I. violacea by trained botanists. Rätsch considers this identification unlikely, and suggests that it may instead be I. carnea which is indigenous to South America (Rätsch 2005)

1979 – The Mayans are reported to know of I. violacea as yaxce’lil and use it in a medico-religious manner similar to the Chinantec, Mazatec, Mixtec, and Zapotec (Garza 1990; Leuenberger 1979)

1980 - Ott and Neely explore methylergonovine, finding 2 mg to be roughly equipotent with 10 mg ergonovine (Ott & Neely 1980)

1983 - Shawcross reviews the phenomenon of recreational use of Hawaiian baby wood rose seeds, and reports the experience of several individuals taking the seeds at various dosages. While undeniably psychoactive, he finds them to have substantial somatic side-effects and does not feel them to be particularly recreational (Shawcross 1983)

1985 - In addition to the medico-religious use, the Chinantec are observed to use T. corymbosa as an ecbolic. The local term for the plant is m’ ‘oo quiá’ sée (Browner 1985, Ortíz de Montellano & Browner 1985)

1987 - De Smet and Lipp find evidence that ololiuhqui seeds may have been administered as an enema in antiquity (De Smet & Lipp 1987)

1990, 1991 - Lipp studies the use of I. violacea and T. corymbosa among the Mixe. They regard the two as siblings and consider I. violacea to be the more powerful of the two. T. corymbosa is considered to be an apotropaic (Lipp 1990; Lipp 1991)

1992 - The elymoclavine-rich Securidaca longipedunculata of the Polygalaceae family is reportedly used as an entheogen by the Balanta people of Guinea Bissau (Costa et al. 1992)

2002-2009 - A few modern reports of intoxication and "toxic psychosis" induced by A. nervosa are published in the medical literature (Borsutzky et al 2002; Göpel et al 2003; Klinke et al 2009)

2010 - For the first time in the United States, the proprietor of a botanical products vendor is arrested for distributing morning glory seeds.




Well, that pretty well covers the major salient points. I tried to leave out tangential bits for the sake of brevity.
 
Infundibulum
#4 Posted : 3/10/2010 12:21:16 AM

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Amazing, this is too much good information to go unnoticed; I'll sticky the thread.

And thank you very much for compiling, writing and posting all this on the Nexus!


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Entropymancer
#5 Posted : 3/10/2010 12:47:08 AM

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No problem. I can't post the finished monograph, since I'm intending it for publication as part of a collection, but it didn't seem like posting an outline and some quotes from the primary literature would hurt anything Smile
 
narmz
#6 Posted : 3/10/2010 1:16:55 AM

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Oh my lord. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! What I have wondered about is soon to become what I know. This is so complete and awesome.
Everything I post is made up fiction. SWIM represents a character who is not based in or on reality.
 
jamie
#7 Posted : 3/10/2010 1:36:32 AM

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This is really great entropymancer!..really enjoyed the read!
 
1992
#8 Posted : 5/29/2010 10:59:45 PM

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Does anyone know if ipomea carnea is any good? Growing a tree would be alot more convenient than a vine...
 
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#9 Posted : 1/14/2011 11:17:54 AM

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What a great read, it amazes me at how far back these things go and yet after centuries of use and research, governments still find the need to crack down on them. This sort of material is a real asset - many thanks
"We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are. "

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hypnotoad
#10 Posted : 11/9/2012 12:38:37 PM

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AMAZING read! im also very intrested in the history and rituals with psychedelics, sometimes even more than the effectsof them. thanks a loy for all the amazing info!
Explore the limits of the mind...
 
D.REYx420
#11 Posted : 11/9/2012 6:35:10 PM

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Tank you Very happy makes me want to go for some lsa containing seeds maybe it's about time for another experience. The scorpion and spider maseratiion thing always intrigued me though I thought that wld be one gnarly way of imbibing in the lsa and maybe it had some way of combating the side effects from most of these seeds and the reference of a snuff is very intriguing.
"we are not human being's having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual being's having human experience's." (Teilhard de Chardin (1975?)
 
Entropymancer
#12 Posted : 11/25/2012 8:27:09 PM

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Good news! Schultes' seminal monograph, A contribution to our knowledge of Rivea corymbosa the narcotic Ololiuqui of the Aztecs, is now hosted in pdf form on the website of the William L. Brown Center (part of the Missouri Botanical Garden).

Link to download the pdf

Actually, it looks like they're hosting just about everything Schultes ever wrote with the exception of books still in print (e.g. Botany and Chemistry of the Hallucinogens, Plants of the Gods).


I haven't updated the original post here, but that quotation whose source I couldn't locate was from Jacinto de la Serna (the same publication that the quote directly above it is excerpted from).
 
Aum_Shanti
#13 Posted : 5/11/2017 5:41:36 PM
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Quote:
1965 - Isbell and Gorodetzky found that mixtures of synthetic lysergic acid derivatives mimicked the effect of the whole alkaloid extract of T. corymbosa, both of them differing substantially from LSD in that there was a strong sedative component to the effects (Isbell & Gorodetzky 1966)


Could you please quote the exact paper for this? As I would be very interested what mix they used and to what they compared it (pure seeds?, CWE?, fresh?, ...).
IMHO the many unsuccessful attempts could be because the used seeds were not fresh.
Also as this work was in 1965 I do not think they did use LSH.

I heard quite some times, that the indigenous use was always with fresh seeds. Is there any source for this claim?

Edit:
Ah found the title "Effect of alkaloids of ololiuqui in man." but no pdf.
Edit2:
Found the PDF, see other thread if interested:
https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&m=807028#post807028
I claim not that this is the truth. As this is just what got manifested into my mind at the current position in time on this physical plane. So please feel not offended by anything I say.
 
Cognitive Heart
#14 Posted : 5/11/2017 7:38:56 PM

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Aum_Shanti wrote:
I heard quite some times, that the indigenous use was always with fresh seeds. Is there any source for this claim?


Probably not. I've read anecdotally on Erowid that ancient Mesoamerica rituals utilized a young virgin woman to harvest exactly 26 fresh morning glory seeds, and to crush the seeds with water which involved an old mortar and pestle technique. This would then be consumed in one gulp by the locals seeking shamanic truth or divinity, and were taken to a dark, silent 'chamber' to receive the spiritual/medicinal visions.


"What's going to happen?" "Something wonderful."
 
Aum_Shanti
#15 Posted : 5/11/2017 7:54:25 PM
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Lol, but often there's still some little truth behind it.

E.g. what I also didn't get is: After they soaked in the water, did they drink it with the seeds or did they strain the water?
Is there any specific mentioning of it in the historic data?

First it seems like only straining would make sense.
But OTOH if there shall be any specific chemical reaction happening prior in the water, then not straining could actually also make sense.
But this is IMHO quite unlikely, but a possibility.
I claim not that this is the truth. As this is just what got manifested into my mind at the current position in time on this physical plane. So please feel not offended by anything I say.
 
Cognitive Heart
#16 Posted : 5/11/2017 8:09:35 PM

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If I recall correctly from Erowid, the seeds were extracted in local spring water through a vase-like object and were let to sit for half-hour to an hour, and then strained before partaking. Only to remove the husk, though. The outer shell of morning glories contain glycosides.

Interesting PDF's as a general read here: https://erowid.org/psych...precolumbian_mexico.pdf

And here: http://www.wayeb.org/dow.../theses/blainey_2005.pdf
"What's going to happen?" "Something wonderful."
 
Aum_Shanti
#17 Posted : 7/27/2017 2:40:43 PM
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IMHO two points one could add to this history thread as they are IMHO also significant.

1963 Gröger discovers that the seeds contain LSH. Actually that it seems LSA is originally in the seeds in the form of LSH.

2004 Kucht discovers that the ergolines are not built by the plant, but by a fungus on the plant.


@Cognitive Heart:
I had a look around on Erowid, but couldn't find any detailed description as you gave them about their traditional usage.
Would really be interested from which source these 30Min to 1h soaking is, as currently I'm lacking a source giving a definite time window for a traditional CWE.
Wasson said in his 1963 paper just, that they soaked it "briefly".
So if you ever happen to stumble again on this, remember me and shortly note the source.
Thank you
I claim not that this is the truth. As this is just what got manifested into my mind at the current position in time on this physical plane. So please feel not offended by anything I say.
 
Cognitive Heart
#18 Posted : 7/27/2017 7:52:13 PM

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Yes, will do. I gave it some effort back in May but unfortunately couldn't retrieve that info at the time. I do know for a fact, however, that this info was published in an old psychoactive encyclopaedia, containing only about a paragraph or so long about its utilization. A shorter and older book, at that. On the side of the page is a displayed 'virgin woman' preparing the medicine.

I'll have to dig around again in a bit because now its bugging me. Smile I shall update when and if I recover that info.
"What's going to happen?" "Something wonderful."
 
Cognitive Heart
#19 Posted : 7/27/2017 8:05:29 PM

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Alright, so I did find something quite quickly here but this isn't exactly what I was originally referring to. It should help, though.

"From "Plants of the Gods" by Richard Evans Schultes & Albert Hoffman.."

http://www.hoboes.com/pu...Plant%20of%20the%20Gods/
"What's going to happen?" "Something wonderful."
 
Aum_Shanti
#20 Posted : 7/27/2017 8:24:35 PM
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Lol that was exactly what I thought too, when you gave the description. I immediately read it again (the pdf is on archive.org). But unfortunately there's no such detailed description of usage in there.
Then I came back here and saw your post Big grin
I saw that in Voogelbreinder's Garden of Eden is a short note of "half an hour or longer" soaking.
But in the references he gives I cannot find it.
But I didn't find all references indicated. E.g. "The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens" I couldn't find online.

But anyways thanks for you efforts.
And as said, if you ever again stumble upon it, think about this thread.Thumbs up
I claim not that this is the truth. As this is just what got manifested into my mind at the current position in time on this physical plane. So please feel not offended by anything I say.
 
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