Morning glory acid tripping
Like many entheogentsia, you may be curious to explore natural alternatives to feed you acidhead. Fortunately, there is a solution within reach. Grow a LSD-like substitute in your backyard—the simple elegant ever-flowering innocuous morning glory.
While LSD—lysergic acid diethylamide—is a semi-synthetic compound, one of its closest chemical and psychoactive cousins, lysergic acid can be easily found in nature. Certain morning glory seeds contain various amides of lysergic acid, most particularly lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide and lysergic acid amide (also known as ergine), which can be used to achieve a moderate LSD-like high.
The indigenous of the Oaxaca region in Mexico have esteemed the seeds of various morning glories as one of their principal hallucinogens. Known as piule to the Oaxacans (and ololiuqui to the Aztecs) the seeds from Turbina corymbosa (aka Rivea corymbosa) and Ipomoea violacea (aka I. Rubrocaerulea) were the species used. Due to the ongoing pharmacratic inquisition, morning glory seed use remained largely hidden during the first 400 years of European impact in the Americas. Thus it was not until the late 1950s that Harvard Professor R. Evans Schultes identified the plant and not until 1960 that the active ingredients were identified.
The two traditionally consumed morning glories, Turbina corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea were originally native to the whole of Central and tropical South America. Nevertheless today because these plants are commonly used in horticulture, they are found and easily cultivated throughout the North American continent. Although perennial in nature, they are most often used as an annual and thus the seeds are most easily procured in the springtime, where they are found in most garden supply shops. (I bought mine at Fred Meyer’s, which is not normally noted for selling entheogens.) These seeds may be marketed under their more popular and common names Flying Saucers, Pearly Gates, and Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, names that are also more suggestive of their entheogenic use.
Morning glories (Ipomoea violacea) and their seeds
During the 1960s, morning glory seeds received a bit of bad rap because of the associated problems of cramping, nausea and diarrhea. The physical distress was often deemed too high for the nifty psychological effects achieved. However most of these issues were due to improper method of consumption, whereby the whole seed was consumed instead of the more traditional preparation of a tea infusion from ground up seeds. (Nonetheless a mild amount of nausea is not uncommon with a trip on morning glories.)
The best method for utilizing the seeds (outside of chemical extraction) would be to thoroughly wash the seeds removing any particulates. (The rumours that commercial seed companies were coating the seeds with a toxin to keep them from being consumed appear to be false, nevertheless washing the seeds cannot hurt.) Then grind the seeds thoroughly to a powder, preferably with a grinder. Then soak the powder in water for several days, shaking regularly. One can also use high-grade alcohol for a more zesty effect (“everclear” works really well). Then drain the liquid out and consume it, but not the ground up seed mass. A typical dose is between 100 to 300 seeds. You can figure that each seed of Ipomoea violacea is roughly equivalent to 1 mcg. of LSD. Note that the alkaloid content of the more rare Turbina corymbosa is about twice that of Ipomoea violacea, and thus less seeds can be used.
The effect will leave one feeling alternatively giddy, followed by lassitude and euphoria, and finally a drowsy stage of somnambulistic narcosis will overtake the body and mind.
It must be noted that individual response range with morning glory seeds—not unlike the individual response range with LSD—is wide. What constitutes a perfect dose for one individual may give another person little psychoactive feel and a third person might have so much as to have an uncomfortable body load. Therefore, it would be best to do a careful personal assay before deciding on the “perfect” dose. Doses larger than 300 or so seeds are not recommended as the body load becomes uncomfortable. In traditional settings, the tea was consumed at night while alone to facilitate the healing and divining process. The effect of the tea will leave one feeling alternatively giddy, followed by lassitude and euphoria, and finally a drowsy stage of somnambulistic narcosis will overtake the body and mind. Therefore the effect is both similar and different than a moderate low dose of LSD.
Alternatively, if the fear of nausea leaves you wishing for another method of ingestion, the more spirited entheogentsia should try a morning glory infusion as an enema. This too was a traditional mode of use, and is a method that leaves one with less chance of an uncomfortable body load.
Finally a legal note, as with most of the other backyard entheogens, the mere possession and cultivation of said plants is perfectly legal, although their intended consumption for psychoactive content is most certainly not legal. Lysergic acid is a scheduled compound. As always the wise shaman conducts entheogenic exploration in the privacy and safety of one’s home.
Note: LSD differs from lysergic acid amide only by the replacement of two hydrogen atoms for two ethyl groups, which makes the active ingredient of LSD about 100 times more potent than lysergic acids.
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
And follow her on Twitter at: @muraco
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