Plant Psychedelics 101

Psychedelics can be associated with the experimental 1960/70s era or as the occasional party drug. But what exactly are psychedelics, and where are they derived in nature?

Psychedelic substances can produce intensified sensory perception, perceptual distortion and/or hallucinations, and feelings of extreme euphoria, or despair.

Betel nut (Areca catechu), cocaine (Erythroxylum coca), opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) have been widely used both in the legal and illegal market globally, and are known for causing disease, addiction, and death.

However, as psychoactive plants such as coffee (coffea arabica) and cannabis are manufactured for safe medical or recreational use, it’s only natural that we consider the power of other plants and the benefits they might have, other than getting us high.

Leave of cactus nopales, food and drink ingredient

Cacti:

  • Peruvian torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana)

  • Peyote/mescaline cactus (Lophophora williamsii)

  • San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi)

Fungi:

  • Claviceps purpurea

  • Fly agaric/fly amanita (Amanita muscaria)

  • Psilocybin mushrooms

  • Magic truffles (Sclerotia)

Baldrian (Valeriana officinalis) Wurzeln, Blätter und Blüten

Plants or trees:

  • Artemisia species

  • Ayahuasca/yagé (Banisteriopsis caapi + psychotria viridis)

  • Bitter-grass/dream herb/Mexican calea (Calea ternifolia)

  • Blue Egyptian water lily/blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea)

  • Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

  • Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa)

  • Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)

  • Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga)

  • Jurema (Mimosa hostilis)

  • Kava (Piper methysticum)

  • Khat/qat (Catha edulis)

  • Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)

  • Mimosa hostilis

  • Morning glory species

  • Nutmeg

  • Salvia, or seer’s sage (Salvia Divinorum)

  • Silene capensis/Silene undulata

  • Sun Opener (Heimia Salicifolia)

  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

  • Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe)

  • Yopo (Anadenanthera peregrina)

In future posts, we’ll explore the applications that have been found in certain psychedelics, as well as what’s being done to decriminalize their use.

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