Backyard Entheogens: Sleepy Grass
All the tired horses
Sleepy grass, so named because horses and cattle grazing on Stipa robusta often fall into a stupor appearing sleepy or intoxicated. Turns out, it was never the grass itself but a mould growing on the seeds of the plant. The responsible fungus is a species of Acremonium and the toxin it produces is lysergic acid amide, a close cousin of LSD. No wonder the horses looked like they were tripping!
Little is known about Sleepy grass (Stipa robusta), which is native to North America and found throughout the drier Great Plains regions (including Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas). Sleepy Grass is a very normal looking grass similar to wheat. A drive on the byways of these regions would find one’s view filled with this lysergic delight. No known indigenous use of the plant exists other than as a remedy to quiet fussy infants. So it was with some surprise in 1992 that Discover magazine noted that Stipa robusta contained the highest concentration of lysergic acid amides found in nature.
Sleepy grass (Stipa robusta) is native to North America and found throughout the drier Great Plains regions.
A dose would include 5 to 15 of the potent black seeds. It is very important to start off with a low dose as individual reaction to lysergic 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.
Finally, as often noted, the possession of this psychedelic plant is totally legal, although utilizing it for its entheogenic nature would not be. The wise shaman always imbibes in the comfort and privacy of their own abode.
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.
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