Adrift in Nature's LSD
Since 1965, the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) has been known to be most potent in various alkaloids including assorted lysergic acid amides. While more than a dozen species of the genus Argyreia contain psychoactive alkaloids (Argyreia acuta, A. barnesii, A. capitata, A. cuneata, A. luzonensis, A. mollis, A. obtusifolia, A. speciosa, A. splendens and A. wallichi), Argyreia nervosa contains the highest concentrations of these alkaloids and amides. Misnamed, the Woodrose is not a rose at all but is related to the morning glory family. This should not be surprising since numerous members of the morning glory family contain lysergic acid amides. While originally native to India, the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose was transplanted throughout the tropical and semi-tropical world for its lovely and unique foliage. It is now a common plant found throughout the Hawaiian Islands, Florida and other tropical-like settings in North America or as a houseplant. The plant and seeds are also widely available on the Internet.
The seeds of Argyreia nervosa are very potent offering a full-blown LSD-like experience.
The seeds are potent, with only 4 to 8 of these 0.5-1.5-cm seeds necessary for a full-blown LSD-like experience. However, it is very important to start off with a dose of only 1 to 2 seeds as individual reaction to lysgeric acid amides can vary greatly. For some the somatic body load associated with these alkaloids is too uncomfortable, while others experience no difficulty at all. The effect of lysergic acid amides is unlike LSD in that the effect is primarily sedative. One grinds the seeds up to a powder and soaks them in water, straining out the plant material and consuming the resulting liquid. Straining out and not consuming the seeds after they have soaked can eliminate most of the negative body load.
In Kirati, Argyreia nervosa is called bhuanath haku or “ocean fruit” for the oceanic feeling associated with its ingestion.
Until very recently it was considered that Argyreia nervosa had no history of shamanic use in its local setting, although its use (mostly as a sedative) in native ayurvedic medicine was well known. However, two well known German anthropologists (Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling) have documented shamanic use of the plant by local Kirati tribal groups in Nepal. In Kirati, Argyreia nervosa is called bhuanath haku or “ocean fruit” for the oceanic feeling associated with its ingestion. More investigation is most certainly needed, particularly as this information also raises questions about the use of psychoactive plant teachings within the various Buddhist traditions. Previous notions—that Buddhism had no entheogenic roots—are thus being re-examined.
Finally, as often noted, the possession of these shamanic plants is totally legal, although utilizing them for their shamanic psychedelic nature would not be. The wise shaman always imbibes in the comfort and privacy of their own abode.
Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling (2002) Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas.
Michael Crowley and Ann Shulgin (2019) Secret Drugs of Buddhism: Psychedelic Sacraments and the Origins of the Vajrayana
For additional entheogen resources: www.iceers.org
Muraco Kyashna-tochá is a cultural anthropologist with over 50 years of experience exploring the nether regions of her mind with entheogens. She is an award-winning educator and a recognized medical cannabis advocate with extensive experience working on medical cannabis legislation in Washington State.
For more from Muraco Kyashna-tochá go to: www.muraco.org
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