Hallucinogenic Plants

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Hallucinogenic Plants

This is a fairly complete list of the Hallucinogenic Plants
important to our ancestors in the Old West. – Doc

The use of powerful natural hallucinogenic drugs (entheogens*) is common throughout the world in rite-of-passage; various “purification”/vision quest ceremonies; to work magic and, more in modern times, for recreation. Some, such as marijuana and opium, (both imports to the West)  turn out to be very useful medications as well. The actual extent of the use of these plants and the drugs extracted from them, among various Native American tribes, is not completely known. Usage, no doubt, varied from tribe to tribe, relative to culture, religion, historical knowledge and availability of the plants/extracts, etc. It is probable that all of the known endemic plants were available, at one time or another, along the extensive trade routes extending throughout the continent. It would seem unlikely that any Medicine Man, worth the name, would not know all such that were available and how they were to be used. Even so, not all were used everywhere, anywhere, or at a given time. Note the migration from the south, and the changing focus of the Peyote** ritual. The magic mushrooms of Mexico, were surely in some north bound peddlers pack, even though several related panaeolus species were known in the north. Several other South American plants listed below may have also occasionally appeared in the trade. The Chinese certainly brought opium*** but the white man already had laudanum**** and it was he who brought marijuana***** (cannabis), another product of Asia.  {001}
*entheogen (“generating the divine within”)
A psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context, as opposed to recreational uses.
**see Peyote – below
***Opium – below
****The Originals Index – Resources & Hazards – Medicinal PlantsOpium Poppy/laudanum)
*****Marijuana – below

 

Jimson Weed Datura stramonium - Hallucinogenic PlantsJimson Weed (Datura stramonium) Active ingredients: hyoscyamine, scopolamine and other tropane alkaloids. Native to North America [now worldwide] , The plant was commonly available for collection. Certainly not used by the average people of any known tribe, but it may well have been an item of “trade” to healers as medication and for medicine men as a “path” to visions. All parts of the plant are used in various ways, the seeds being particularly “active”. This may well have been the “wysoccan” (no doubt, including some other ingredients) given by the Algonquin to young men just prior to undergoing the initiation rituals to manhood. Said to have caused temporary insanity and a forgetting of one’s childhood so that the young adult would begin with only new memories. Southwest Natives performed divination; prophecy and, ritualistic cures with the aid of Datura family plants. Photo: U.S. PD 2005, Tabor  {001}
also at:
The Originals – Resources & Hazards – Plants – Hazardous PlantsJimson WeedOld West Daily Reader Subscribe Today

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