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Old-School Low-Tech Tek. w/ Pics Options
 
Sandtrout
#1 Posted : 2/9/2012 7:19:46 AM

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I was fortunate enough to travel to the foothills of the Andes in Argentina to visit Trichocereus terscheckii with a contemporary "cactus practitioner." This cactus, he told me, was medicine for the heart. The ancient people, he said, would traverse the Andes solely on San Pedro and water.

His technique was beautifully simple. I am honored to share with you his technique and these pictures. Please treat this information with respect.

Here are some pictures to illustrate the process. Here is a link at the bottom to a video showing how he removed the spines: http://www.youtube.com/w..._8&feature=youtu.be

We arrived before sunrise and left as the sun was setting. The whole day was spent tending to San Pedro.



Placing a small amount of tobacco and dirt to "facilitate healing" of the cactus.

The top of the arm used is grafted onto the base to allow continued growth.


The cut "arm" is ready for despining. The video above shows a genius method for despining. After the spines are removed, the core is removed and angular cuts are made parallel to the skin, cutting the white material away from the green material under the skin. The "ribs" are separated from each other and chopped to yield chunks with green flesh attached to the skin. These chunks often have the fluffy aereoles and the base of broken spines. These are included in the final product.


These chunks are then dried by fire. Further drying takes place either by a fire or in the sun. These chips are crushed by hand and then lightly boiled for 45 minutes to an hour to produce a mild, fresh and somewhat flowery tea with considerable potency. For best taste, the tea should be thoroughly dried, in which case they become brittle and the green taste dissipates to leave the true subtle flavor of this cactus.
Small amounts of ash and dirt are considered "good for the medicine." As the chunks dry, they often become mottled a with rust color.







Cact Eye Watch

Cheers to the Nexus.
 

Good quality Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) for an incredible price!
 
ntwhtyouknw
#2 Posted : 2/9/2012 7:29:36 AM

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Oh my gosh, that is a magnificent cactus! Prolific man..
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Phlux-
#3 Posted : 2/9/2012 7:55:31 AM

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wonderful post man

i have been prepping a good few meters and torch over the past few days, i got my tek down barehanded - was quite chuffed
i suggested to my friend that he plant 2 of the terschekii's at his gate, one on each side- as guardians to his property.

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...purity of intent....purity of execution....purity of experience...

...unlike the "blind leading the blind". we are more akin to a group of blind-from-birth people who have all simultaneously been given the gift of sight but have no words or mental processing capabilites to work with this new "gift".

IT IS ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE WILLING TO EXPOSE OURSELVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ANNIHILATION THAT WE DISCOVER THAT PART OF OURSELVES THAT IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.


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Mitakuye Oyasin
#4 Posted : 2/9/2012 7:55:49 AM

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Epic! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to have some of those genetics in my garden.
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All my posts are hypothetical and for educational/entertainment purposes, and are not an endorsement of said activities. SWIM (a fictional character based on other people) either obtained a license for said activity, did said activity where it is legal to do so, or as in most cases the activity is completely fictional.
 
۩
#5 Posted : 2/9/2012 8:05:30 AM

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Thank you for sharing this I learned something new!
 
Purges
#6 Posted : 2/9/2012 2:20:39 PM

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Top notch cactus porn Very happy
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Adivino
#7 Posted : 2/9/2012 3:28:21 PM

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That method for despining is indeed genius! I wonder if it works with smaller spines such as the ones from a pachanoi.
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dg
#8 Posted : 2/9/2012 5:12:30 PM
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neat thread, thanks!
it looks like mostly new growth was used, is that correct?

also, did you bring back any seeds?
 
AlbertKLloyd
#9 Posted : 2/9/2012 6:06:21 PM

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Lovely photographs.

The idea that the ancients used SP to travel makes a lot of sense, it is frequently found adjacent to ancient roads!

It is interesting that the majority of the alkaloids were discarded.
 
VisualAnemia
#10 Posted : 2/9/2012 6:51:07 PM

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Looks like a cacti heaven Very happy

But he should not use tobacco to "facilitate healing" since it may actually disease the cacti with TMV, IMO it's best to just make a diagonal cut to avoid any water build-up and then simply let the mutilated part self dry, it will usually form a callous surface within a few days.

Personally I prefer my cacti to be consumed raw after de-spining Pleased I find it more of a challenge that way Cool Plus you'll easily know by the accumulating taste when enough is enough and therefore in most cases also avoid the stomach pains and pukes! Very happy
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

There's magic out there!
 
Ice House
#11 Posted : 2/9/2012 9:25:12 PM

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Thank you for sharing! That was a wonderful post, very informative. Learned some great stuff, Thanks again!

IH
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Sandtrout
#12 Posted : 2/9/2012 9:36:34 PM

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Evisceratechuck wrote:
But he should not use tobacco to "facilitate healing" since it may actually disease the cacti with TMV, IMO it's best to just make a diagonal cut to avoid any water build-up and then simply let the mutilated part self dry, it will usually form a callous surface within a few days.

I agree with you in principle about the TMV, although his ritual use of tobacco knows no bounds. Tobacco is his #1 "companiero" and he wouldn't dare cuting a cactus without exchanging some tobacco with it. The cactus spirit loves tobacco he said. Even burnt tobacco he said the cactus enjoys in its soil. Although I was not able to watch, he "cured" some problems (fungal) with potted San Pedro by using tobacco. Come to think of it, his ritual covering of cut cacti with "tobacco sagrado" happened every time.
Evisceratechuck wrote:
Personally I prefer my cacti to be consumed raw after de-spining Pleased I find it more of a challenge that way Cool Plus you'll easily know by the accumulating taste when enough is enough and therefore in most cases also avoid the stomach pains and pukes! Very happy

Chuck, do you just chew up the fresh flesh or what?
dg wrote:
neat thread, thanks!
it looks like mostly new growth was used, is that correct?

also, did you bring back any seeds?

As far as I could tell, he used rather mature arms. The tips, he said, have little medicine, which is why they are grafted back onto the arm. I looked for seeds but we were a bit out of season to find dried fruits. I would have LOVED to be there when they were all flowering. I have been able to find many terscheckii seedlings at the local hardware store. The seedlings I have are several years (3-5 I think) old and still rather barrel-like. I would suggest finding clones ot already established seedlings because the terscheckii is initially MUCH slower growing than bridgesii, peruvianus, pachanoi, etc.
Adivino wrote:
That method for despining is indeed genius! I wonder if it works with smaller spines such as the ones from a pachanoi.

There is something about the rigidity and size of the terscheckii spines that make them especially susceptible to breaking with a rock. Smaller cacti and spines have allowed their spines to bend rather than break in my experiences so this ancient rock technique isn't as effective.
۩ wrote:
Thank you for sharing this I learned something new!

Thank you House. I am most honored.

Let me note, that the medicine produced this way was powerful. After becoming acquainted with it, the 3rd ceremony left me feeling fine the next day (either my due to my youth or my prior exposure to the medicine), while the older folk were almost completely debilitated the next day.

This practitioner deeply surprised me when he served, in a different ceremony, San Pedro, Hongitos(p.cubensis) in honey, Ayahuasca, Santa Maria(ganja) and tobacco all together. I was concerned by this but he laughed and said its all good... even the Coca-cola. Everyone was fine. There were even two rather advanced children participating(around the age 10).

Another practitioner I was able to meet used Ayahuasca and mushrooms together, every weekend for many weeks she said. This woman was VERY impressive, being not only attractive to a 20-year-old, but having had like 6 children and being the mom-boss of a rather large familiar cell. I have never seen a woman smoke a piece-pipe like she did.
 
DoctorMantus
#13 Posted : 2/9/2012 10:05:36 PM

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Thanks for sharing, how amazing that must of been,
such a beautiful field of cacti.
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Madcap
#14 Posted : 2/10/2012 2:10:13 AM

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Thanks for the info!

Does the short cook time surprise anyone else? It looked like a lot of green flesh went in... Do you suspect that he was after jut the most readily soluble alks?

Awesome post thanks.
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semios
#15 Posted : 2/10/2012 7:35:07 AM

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This is a phenomenal post. Thanks so much for sharing.
 
VisualAnemia
#16 Posted : 2/10/2012 1:36:00 PM

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Sandtrout wrote:

Chuck, do you just chew up the fresh flesh or what?


Yes, I de-spine, remove the thin "peel" and core and proceed to cut the cacti in stripes like chips. After that I usually eat them like nacho-chips with some spicy food ontop like a "dip-sauce", or I just freeze the stripes and eat them frozen which I think yields less taste and is easier to consume since fresh cacti tends to cause this yucky foam that expands enormously once you start chewing it.

The frozen cacti stripes can easily be hacked into even smaller pieces and swallowed whole without any taste whatsoever, I find swallowing them with a bit of yoghurt makes it easier.
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AlbertKLloyd
#17 Posted : 2/10/2012 5:05:21 PM

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Madcap wrote:

Does the short cook time surprise anyone else?


I've often used similar cook times for diced cacti with great success.
Longer cook times seem to make a less active product in my experience.
A quick tea can be amazing.
 
Sandtrout
#18 Posted : 2/11/2012 2:01:26 AM

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I found this picture on google earth. I recognized a particular cactus. Awesome.
 
antichode
#19 Posted : 2/13/2012 2:57:26 AM

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I also notice short boil times seem to work fine, especially in a pressure cooker.... Great post man, thanks for sharing
 
Madcap
#20 Posted : 2/14/2012 1:36:19 AM

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AlbertKLloyd wrote:
Madcap wrote:

Does the short cook time surprise anyone else?


I've often used similar cook times for diced cacti with great success.
Longer cook times seem to make a less active product in my experience.
A quick tea can be amazing.


Word. I have mostly just extracted, but as my garden matures.....
All posts written by Madcap should be regarded as fiction.
 
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