Hofmann op it pp 4145

eaten in group ceremonies, the religious character of which

is not so evident. ° Amanita muscaria has been found to contain muscarine and slight traces of bufotenine, but no psilocvbin. Although bufotenine in sufficient quantity can affect psychic functioning in a way somewhat resembling psilo-cybin, there is considerable doubt that there is enough in these mushrooms to account for the effects produced.2'

Bufotenine has also been identified as an active ingredient of cohoba snuff of ancient Hispaniola,- and is still used by Indian tribes. The seeds of several species of Plptadenla, a tree of South America and the Caribbean

Islands, are pulverized and used as snuff to induce a trance-like state for prophesying, clairvoyance, and divina-? a tion. Also chemically present may be N,N-dimethyltryptamine, which is definitely responsible for the psychic activity of ylnho de Jurumena, a drink made from the seeds of the closely

26w. Jochelson, "Religion and Myths of the Koryak," in Jessup Worth Pacific Expedition VI (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1906), Vol. X, pp. 1-382, cited by Howard D. Fabing, "On Going Berserkt A Neurochemical Inquiry," Scientific Monthly Vol. LXXXIII, No. 5 (November, 1956), pp. 232-233. See also a fuller discussion in Wasson and Wasson, og. cit., Vol. I, pp. 190-192, 194.

20Schult«s, Pharmaceutical Sciences, pp. 158-159.

related leguminose Mimosa hostills and used in the magico-

religious ceremonies of the Pancaru Indians in Pernainbuco, 29


The Indians of the Western Amazon prepare a magic drink called ^yahuasca, crapi, or ya1e (equivalent designations), from several species of Banisteriopsls, a jungle

creeper, or in some areas, Tetrapterys methystica. This drink is used in religious manner, for prophecy, divination, the tribal initiation of male adolescents, and sacred feasts.31 There is still debate as to the exact nature of all the chemical compounds which are responsible for the pronounced psychic effects, but it seems very certain that harinine and its analogs, harmalinemd d-tetrahydroharmine,

are actively present.

Bufotenine (5-hydroxydimethyltryptamine) and N,N-dimethyltryptamine are both closely related to psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-w-N,N-dimethyltryptamine). Harmine and

31Robert S. DeRopp, Drugs and the Mind. (New Yorfci St. Martin's Press, 1957), pp. 264-69.

Schultes, Pharmaceutical Sciences, p. 179.

LSD also contain the same basic indole ring structure. All these compounds have a structural relationship to serotonin (5-hyaroxytryptamine) which is found in the brains of warmblooded animals and which plays an as yet unknown role in

psychic functioning.

Data from Clinical Research Once the active ingredients of these plants were isolated, their chemical structure determined, and a method of synthesis discovered, clinical research on their effects was facilitated. Mescaline was synthesized in 1920;3** LSD in 1938 (although the mental effects were only discovered accidentally by Hofmann in 1943),'35 and psilocybin in 1958.36 There was a surge of psychiatric interest in these drugs in the 1950's because many of their effects resembled psychotic symptoms. The drugs became known as. "psychotomimetics ."

Unger, in a comprehensive review article,37 haa

33Hofmann, op. clt., pp. 47-49. 34La Barre, op. cltp. 138.

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