Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  

Author: Michael from Melbourne (Hex)
        with thanks to J
        John and
        Petrus for assistance.


Hi there, I decided to do an Australian Supplement for the Natural Highs 
FAQ. Information was taken without permission from my Ethnobotany lecture 
notes, from The Genus Psilocybe by Gaston Guzman, 1983 (a very detailed 
study on Psilocybes), from Mushrooms and Toadstools of Australia, by 
C.I. Shepherd and C.J. Totterfell, 1988 (good book on Australian genera), 
from The Magical and Ritual use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller, 1983 (a 
very useful book with an occasional mistake, a lot of the plants in this 
list are from here), and from Wild Medicine in Australia by A.B. & 
J.W. Cribb, 1981. Also of great use was Plants of the Gods by R.E. Schultes
and A. Hofmann, 1979 (the classic hallucinogen ethnobotany work!). Other 
useful books are The Strangest Plants in the World by S., D. & J. Talalaj, 
1991, (a easy book for the general public but it is not as technical or as 
accurate as the other references), and Poisonous and Hallucinogenic 
Mushrooms, by R. & K. Haard, 1980. For general Australian vegetation I used 
Flora of Australia (the 49 volume series) and Flora of N.S.W.

As a note for anthropologists and ethnobotanists, the Australian Aborigine 
did not take any of the plant species that produced hallucinations apart 
from the rare use of Corkwood which might be a delusinogen. They used 
nicotine (from native tobacco and Pituri) and alcohol (from natural 
fermentation of Eucalyptus gunii sugar rich sap or from honey ants and the 
flowers of Lysiphyllum carronii mixed together), so who knows how many 
native species are hallucinogenic (some authors claim that Pituri is a 
hallucinogen and it is possible that it might be a deliriant in large 
amounts due to the anti-cholinergics, then again it might not be).
Natives from PNG to the north used hallucinogens but the ethnobotanical 
literature on plants used for entertainment purposes in PNG (such as New 
Guinea Vegetation by K. Paijmams (Ed), 1976) are not as well compiled as 
books on Aboriginal plant usage (Wild Medicine in Australia). The CSIRO 
in the post war years did a phytochemical survey examining many of 
Australia's plants for alkaloid content and this has been compiled in a 
book Plants for Medicines by D.J. Collins, C.C.J. Culvenor, J.A. Lamberton,
J.W. Loder and J.R. Price, CSIRO, 1990.
If you know of any plants not on this list please post on alt.drugs and we 
will expand the list.


The information presented herein is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY and can
be found in ethnobotanical literature.  Most (if not all) of the substances
listed in this faq are illegal to ingest and/or possess.  The authors and
editors assume no responsibility should the information presented here be
used, misused, misunderstood, inaccurate or even read.  Reading this faq
constitutes an agreement to these terms.  If you are afraid you might be
tempted to use any of the substances mentioned here in illegal ways when
presented with the knowledge to do so, STOP READING NOW.

Many of the botanicals listed here are highly toxic and deadly.  Always
keep them away from children.

This faq may be reproduced verbatim, in whole or in part, by any means, and
distributed freely by whatever means available, provided no charge is made 
for the copy and this disclaimer is included.



Family:  Amanitaceae
Genus:   Amanita
Species: muscaria            (Fly Agaric)

The famous white warted red capped toadstool. The cap can be from 3 cm to 
30 cm across. A veil is present in young specimens which later on becomes 
a white collar. Fruits late autumn and winter. Habitat is in introduced 
pine, birch and beech forests in the ACT, southern NSW, SA, Tasmania and
Victoria. Internationally it is found from Europe north of Spain across
northern India to Japan and eastern Siberia. In North America it is found
from Alaska across Canada and the US to the eastern seaboard. It is occurs
in the highland areas of southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Usage: Fresh mushroom should be sliced vertically in 1 cm segments and 
heated in an oven at 75 - 80 Celsius (165 - 175F) until dried. Start by 
having 1/4 to 1/2 of a 10cm diameter sized mushroom until you know your 
Also in ancient societies which used the mushroom such as the Koryaks, 
the poorer people used to catch and drink the urine of the rich who ate 
the fly agarics. As the muscimol and muscazone are not metabolized by 
the body, this allowed the poor to enjoy the hallucinations.

Effects: Both Visual & Auditory hallucinations, OOBE's and being 
transformed into an animal are some of the interesting hallucinations.
Atropine exacerbates the toxic effects of muscimol and ibotenic acid and
should not be administered (it is used in cases of muscarine poisoning
which is the poison in other Amanita species).

History: About 3500 years ago, the Aryans invaded the Indus Valley of India
from the north, bringing with them the worship of soma. The Aryans composed
1028 hymns, the collection is known as the Rig Veda. About 120 of these 
hymns are dedicated to drinking soma and drinking urine enriched in soma. 
R. Gordon Wasson and Wendy O'Flaherty were able to interpret the references 
in the hymns to indicate that soma was A.muscaria.
Fly Agaric has been used for centuries from northern Europe across to 
Siberia as a shamanistic inebriant by both the Ostyak and Vogul (western
Siberian Finno-Ugrian peoples), the Chukchi, Koryak and Kamchadal of 
northeastern Siberia. It is also possible that the berserkers of Scandinavia
used Fly Agaric as an intoxicant to produce the berserker state of mind.

In North America it has been used by the Dogrib Athabascan who live in the
Mackenzie Mountains of nw Canada and it is also used by Ojibway Indians who 
live around Lake Superior in Michigan as a hallucinogen.

Active Constituents: These mushrooms contain muscimol and muscazone (in 
smaller amounts and less active than muscimol) both are CNS hallucinogens. 
Ibotenic acid which is the principle agent of toggle-switch intoxication 
(which cause muscle spasms, flushing of the skin and drowsiness), and 
muscarine, a highly toxic alkaloid (muscarine content is extremely low, 
0.0002% in fresh tissue - too low for phyisiological activity). The low 
heat in cooking the mushroom decarboxylates and dehydrates the ibotenic 
acid into muscimol and muscazone.



Family:  Apocynaceae 
Genus:   Ervatamia
Species: orientalis

A shrub that grows from 2 to 6 meters tall with smooth leaves occuring
opposite to each other on the stem. The leaves are 10 to 22 cm long and
from 4 to 7 cm wide. The flowers are white with twisted petals and it 
flowers from October to May. The fruits occur in pairs, are smooth, curved
3 sided banana like with an orange colour, with fruiting from February to 
August. Its habitat is in coastal monsoon vine thickets, at the edge of 
tropical rainforests, or on stabilised dunes in monsoon regions. It is 
found across the top end from northern W.A. through to Cape York in 
Queensland. It is also found in various parts of South East Asia.

Effects: Ibogaine is a hallucinogen. It is also used to treat heroin
and morphine addiction as it eliminates withdrawal symptons and in most
users it also eliminates further craving for heroin or morphine (High
Times, March 1992).

History: E. orientalis was originally described as Tabernanthe orientalis,
even after its reclassification it is still closely related to T. iboga,
a shrub native to Africa. There is no history of usage by the Australian 
Aborigine but the related T. iboga plant in Africa is used as a 
hallucinogen and is used to meet the plant god Bwiti and to communicate
with their ancestors. T. iboga also has stimulant properties and is used 
to keep hunters awake.

Active Constituents: The leaves contain ibogaine and the related alkaloids
iboxygaine, voacristine, vobasine, dregamine, ervatamine and 

Knox, J.R. and Slobbe, J., 1975. Indole Alkaloides from Ervatamia 
  orientalis I-III. Aust. J. Chem., 28, 1813-1856. 



Family:  Araceae
Genus:   Acorus              (Sweet Flag)   
Species: calamus

A perennial herb that has a horizontal rootstock up to 1.5 meters long. The 
leaves grow from 1/2 to 2 meters tall, are sword like and have a crimped 
edge. The flowers are minute greenish-yellow on a cylindrical spike. The 
herb grows in marshes and along the borders of creeks. It was originally 
from India and South East Asia but has been introduced to Europe, North 
America and also Australia. 

Usage: Either eat the raw root when dry which is like ginger in both 
texture and taste. Or it can also be made into a drink by boiling 1 ounce
of calamus root in 600 ml of water.

Effects: It acts as a stimulant when a 4 cm segment of root is eaten and it 
alleviates fatigue. When more than a 24 cm root segment is eaten it is a 

History: The Moso sorcerers of Yunnan, China have used calamus as a healing 
herb for asthma and fevers. It is used in Papua New Guinea in various 
rituals as a stimulant and it is extremely important in ritual medicine. It 
is also used in PNG for initiation rituals to make young men grow tall and 
strong. The Cree Indians over 40 years old use small amounts of it as an 
anti fatigue herb while larger amounts are used as a mind altering 
sacrament for the initiating of boys to become warriors.

Active Constituents: Asarone and B-asarone are in the essential oil of 
calamus. These are the non-amine precursors to TMA-2.


From Shava Nerad Averett
Subject: Calamus 

I was taught long ago in Vermont by a lady who was into herbs there, that
Sweet Flag (calamus) was chewed by local folks on long walking trips.  It
was useful for three reasons (all of which I can attest to subjectively):

   (1)  It staves off fatigue
           I suspect some of this has to do with:

   (2)  It staves off boredom
           I've found it to be a mild euphoric.  Does this have to
           do with it being a stimulant?  Maybe.  Hallucinogen?  Well,
           I've never hallucinated on it.  But it is a euphoric.  It
           makes an entertaining tea in combination with passion
           flower and damiana.

   (3)  It keeps your mouth stimulated and moist
           The fresh root, or fresh-dried, has a tingly effect on 
           the mouth that lingers, staves off thirst, and is pleasant
           only with habit, from what I understand.  I've always liked
           it but some folks really despise it.

A piece of root the size of a medium kidney bean will last you quite a while
walking.  I wait until the tingle in the mouth has completely disappeared
before I take another bite.  I used to walk 23-25 miles at 4-5 miles/hr in
a summer evening sometimes (with or without the calamus).  I suspect with
the calamus, I might have been able to cover twice that distance with no
strain at all with the calamus in the course of a day.  Given sufficient 
need, I would be willing to believe that I could make 70-75 miles, but I'd
hate to think what shape I'd be in the next day.

Calamus was associated with spirit-walking, I remember hearing, when people
would cover completely improbable distances in the course of very short 
times.  However, I remember hearing this as "indian traditional stuff" which
in Vermont could mean Algonquin, Iraquoi, or someone reading it in a book..;)
I also couldn't swear that that wasn't a simple reference to shamanic
journeying which might or might not refer to physical distances...

Shava Nerad Averett                             
/*  all materials (c)1992, Shava Nerad Averett, and have nothing significant
    to do with the University of North Carolina, a mostly owned subsidiary 
    of the NC Legislature, a mostly owned subsidiary of the DOT.      */



Family:  Coprinaceae
Genus:   Copelandia
Species: cyanescens          (Blue Meanies)

A whitish grey to pale brown 4 cm diameter cap with a dark centre on a 
slender, hollow, up to 11 cm tall stem. Bruising causes the cap and stem to 
stain blue. Grows on dung and in rich pastures in NT, Queensland and NSW.

History: It is cultivated in Bali for use in native festivals and for 
selling to tourists.

Active Constituents: Contains both psilocybin and psilocin. A speciman was
analysed in France and was found to contain 1.2% psilocin and 0.6% 


Family:  Coprinaceae
Genus:   Panaeolina
Species: foenisecii          (Haymakers toadstool)

A cap that is dark brown when wet to a clay colour when dry and is up to 
2 cm in diameter but usually smaller. The stem is slender, hollow and up to 
5 cm tall. It grows singly or in groups in grassy places in the ACT, NSW,
SA, Victoria and WA.

Mentioned in Mushrooms and Toadstools of Australia as being poisonous and 

Active Constituents: Both psilocybin and psilocin.


Family:  Coprinaceae
Genus:   Panaeolus
Species: campanulatus

A reddish brown to sooty brown 4 cm diameter cap that is smooth to slightly 
sticky when wet. Stem is up to 14 cm, slender and concolorous with the cap. 
Grows on dung and in rich pastures in the ACT, NSW and Victoria.

Effects: From Victorian Toadstools and Mushrooms by J. Willis, 1950, 
"rumour has it that they will cause an intoxication, under which the victim 
suffers a strange sensation of growing taller and taller and over-topping 
the objects round about him."

Active Constituents: Both psilocybin and psilocin.



Conocybe and Gymnopilus do occur in Australia but there is no record of 
them being hallucinogenic.

Boletus luridus and B. erythropus of the Family Boletaceae, are some of the 
porous fungi that are poorly studied. They stain blue when bruised. They 
are regarded as poisonous and contain muscarine. This toadstool is possibly 
hallucinogenic but as I don't know, anybody who has tested it please put 
your results up on alt.drugs so we can confirm or deny this.



Family:  Erythroxylaceae
Genus:   Erythroxylum
Species: australe

A shrub that grows up to 4.5 meters tall with leaves from 1 cm to 3.5 cm
long. The ripe fruit is up to 1 cm long, red and contains one seed. The 
flowers are solitary or paired with white petals. Its habitat ranges from
stony/rocky hillside slopes to open sclerophyll forest, from NT through
Queensland to northern NSW. 

History: E.australe doesn't have much history of usage but E.coca is used 
in Peru. It is used to combat fatigue and cocaine is made from the leaves. 
All Erythroxylaceae species are declared prohibited plants in NSW.

Active Constituents: The leaves contain 0.8% meteloidine, a cocaine-like 

Johns, S.R., and Lamberton, J.A., 1967. Meteloidine from Erythroxylum 
  australe. Aust. J. Chem., 20, 1301.



Family:  Himantandraceae
Genus:   Galbulimima
Species: belgraveana

A large rainforest tree that grows up to 35 meters tall with leaves which 
are glossy, metallic green above and brown beneath. The bark is scaly, 
highly aromatic and is 1 cm in thichness. Flowers have two calyx lobes, no 
petals and a large number of flattened stamens. It has red fleshy fruit 
with a resinous scent. Found in Queensland and New Guinea, it is most 
commonly found growing from 1200 to 2700 meters but can be found as low as 
5 meters above sea level. It is only used by New Guineans who use it as a 
pre battle hallucinogen, it was not used by the Australian Aborigine at all.

Usage: The bark was chewed and rubbed on the legs of tribal warriors.

Effects: Intoxication and hallucinations followed by extreme drowsiness.

Active Constituents: Twelve different alkaloids including himandrine, 
himbacine, himgravine, himbosine and himbadine have been reported.



Family:  Leguminosae
Genus:   Acacia
Species: maidenii            (Maiden's Wattle) 
         phlebophylla        (Buffalo Sallow Wattle)

A.maidenii grows up to 15 meters tall. Its phyllodes (acacias don't have 
leaves they have phyllodes instead) grow to 20 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide. 
The seed pod is long and narrow, almost cylindrical and usually very coiled 
and twisted. Its habitat is on the border of rain forests and in wet 
sclerophyll forests. It is found in Queensland south of Proserpine, along 
the NSW coastal regions especially in the Heathcote National Park and in 
the Illawarra coast region south of Sydney to Ulladulla. It is also found 
in Victoria at Newmerrella and at Lake Coringle near Orbost.

A.phlebophylla grows up to 4 meters tall. Its phyllodes are broad, short 
and range from 6 to 14 cm long and 3 to 9 cm wide. The seed pods are broad, 
straight, thick walled, leathery and not constricted between the seeds. It 
is found only in a narrow range of altitude in the granitic declivities on 
Mt. Buffalo in Victoria. For a list of non Australian acacias that contain
DMT check the Tryptamines FAQ.

Usage: Smoking the phyllodes of A.phlebophyll or the bark of A.maidenii
gives a mild hallucinogenic effect. The DMT can be extracted in methanol.
DMT is only active when smoked or as a snuff. To be active orally harmine, 
a monoamineoxidase inhibitor needs to be ingested as well as the DMT.

Effects: Visual and tactile hallucinations. (see below for more details).

Active Constituents: The bark of A.maidenii contains 0.36% DMT. The 
phyllodes (leaf like) of A.phlebophylla contain 0.3% DMT. The 0.24% 
N-methyl tryptamine in the bark of A.maidenii is probably not active at 
the these doses.

Fitzgerald, J.S. & Sioumis, A.A., 1965. Alkaloids of Australian
  Leguminosae V, The Occurence of Methylated Tyrptamines in Acacia 
  maidenii.  Aust. J. Chem. 18, 433.
Rovelli, B. & Vaughan, G.N., 1967. Alkaloids of Acacia I. 
  Dimethyltryptamines in Acacia phlebophylla.  Aust. J. Chem. 20, 1299.


From J Ukn Mar  9 17:07:04 1993 

Subject: Obtaining DMT from Acacia maidenii

The following events are as far divorced from reality as the experience of 
the drug itself :-)

I discovered that a local plant, Acacia maidenii, was reported to contain
0.6% alkaloids in the bark, of which 1/3 was N-methyl tryptamine, and 2/3 
was Dimethyl Tryptamine (DMT). 

Some research of old botany books suggested a nearby location, and to my 
surprise I found many hundred of the trees growing along creek gullys in a 
nearby park. I took about half a kilo of vertical strips from a number of 
trees, trying to cause as little as possible permanent damage. The bark was 
thick, red, fibrous and resinous.

Smoking the bark directly gave a mild hallucinogenic effect, on the limits 
of the detectable. That evening, I shredded the bark by hand. This was 
difficult and incomplete; mechanical milling would be far preferable. I 
placed the shreds in about 3.5 litres of analytical grade methanol from 
Monday night until Friday afternoon. The methanol quickly took up colour 
from the bark and turned a deep red colour. As much as possible of the 
methanol was removed by filtering. I evaporated off the methanol using a 
fractionating column, a condenser, and a saucepan of boiling water as 
heating, for some hours, and recovered much of the methanol. I placed this 
methanol back with the bark and reextracted for some hours while 
evaporating the rest, then filtered the bark again and combined the 
extracts, and stripped as much as possible of the methanol, to leave a 
thick resinous brown liquid. A portion of the extract was evaporated using 
a hair-drier to give a thick brown resin. Attempts at smoking this using 
pipe and hot knife proved unpleasant and gave minimal effect.

It was decided to perform further extraction.
To the extract was added dilute hydrochloric acid (about 20 ml 10M, but 
well diluted). Immediately, a large amount of tar congealed and was removed, 
leaving a watery brown aqueous mixture. This was basified with NaOH, 
although on reflection, I would use NH3 next time as it is less likely to 
overbasify and react with any of the compounds present. White precipitations
were seen on basification, which redissolved on stirring. The aqueous phase 
was extracted twice into CH2Cl2, and the solvent evaporated as before. The 
last stage of evaporation was accomplished with a hair drier, to leave about 
a gram or so of pale yellow liquid. On standing 24 hours, this liquid 
crystallised as circular arrangements of needles.

On a second occasion, I took 1.7 kg of bark, and pulverised it as best I 
could using a circular saw. The result was mostly a fibrous powder. Some 
pieces had to be shredded by hand. Methanol extraction was performed as 
before. Since the amount was larger on this occasion, the quantities were 
somewhat unwieldy. Stripping the five litres of solvent (aprox) took 
approximately 14 hours. On attempting to acidify, filter, and basify, 
considerable difficulty was experienced; the acidified residue seemed 
unfilterable, and when basified with NH3, a thick pink gel was formed which 
was impossible to extract. By a painful process of trial and error, I found 
that at very low pH, most of the resins became dissolved or suspended. At 
slightly low pH, the residue separated nicely into a tar and an aqueous 
phase. At slightly high pH, the mixture became a thick gelatinous solid. 
At very high pH, this solid redissolved. The result of this seems to be 
that much of the tar can be separated by successive extraction at 
moderately low pH (dilute HCl), and then that the addition of strong 
hydroxide will leave the amphoteric resins in solution, but make the 
alkaloids insoluble. These are then extracted into dichloromethane as 
before, and the organic layer is back washed with salty NaOH solution to 
remove impurities. The dichloromethane is then stripped as before, to leave 
the alkaloids which crystallise in 24 hours or more. 


Myself and a friend experimented with repeated doses of DMT at close 
intervals. A base pipe was used for smoking the alkaloids. This pipe allows 
minimum combustion and maximum vaporisation, and thus is the most 
economical way to smoke DMT. Because there is little combustion, the smoke 
does not taste quite as bad, and also the base pipe allows more accurate 
metering of the dose. After the initial physical rush, it was found that 
taking small tokes at intervals of a few minutes was sufficient to maintain 
an extremely pleasant trip, not unlike that of psilocin. There was minimum 
physical discomfort associated with the cruise. However, while in this mild 
state, I took two large tokes of the substance, and a few seconds later, 
without warning, I was blown apart. I was walking, but staggered and choked, 
gasping for air. The effects were totally overwhelming, like being thrown 
out of the universe, and I watched my visual sphere being pixelated at 
successively lower resolutions, until I could see merely individual elements
of colour. The intensity was such as to make it very unpleasant.

Following the smoking of a moderate amount of marijuana, I smoked a large 
quantity of DMT. I was in a living room/kitchen, and there were various 
fittings, e.g. my computer, the fridge, the stereo, the oven, etc. Each of 
six fittings changed before my eyes into robots. Each had sex, age, faces,
personalities. Each were wandering into the room, shooting out limbs, moving 
like multifaceted machines and rapidly mutating. They were not malevolent, 
simply astounding, and I was severely freaked out. I watched the oven wander
into the middle of the kitchen snapping its door and peering around with its 
six knob eyes. Minutes later, when I turned around, I screamed "they are 
still there!" as I again looked at the robots. 
My references tell me that N-methyl tryptamine is most likely inactive at 
these doses. Does anyone have any information regarding the physical and 
psychological effects of this compound? Also any information regarding the 
hazards of DMT use would be appreciated. I am interested in other people's 
experiences, and especially on detailed information concerning the 
harmaline/DMT combination.



Family:  Nymphaeaceae
Genus:   Nymphaea
Species: ampla

The water lily has thick dentate leaves, purple on the underside and from
14 to 25 cm across. The showy flowers are white and are up to 12 cm across,
with a yellow centre from the many yellow stamens.

Effects: Nymphaea may have been used as a narcotic and possibly as a 
hallucinogen in both the Old and the New Worlds. N.ampla is reported to be
used in Mexico as a recreational drug with powerfull hallucinatory effects.

History: The water lily has had a prominent place in Egyptian, Minoan, 
Indian and Chinese mythology.

Active Constituents: The rhizome contains apomorphine, nuciferine and 



Family:  Palmaceau
Genus:   Aveca
Species: catechu

A slender tree up to 25 meters high that grows in hot but shady habitats.
The leaf blades grow to 1 meter across with many pinnae. Betel palms produce 
250 nuts per year and they grow from India across to the South Pacific.

Usage: Mix 1/2 gm of burnt lime (hydrated calcium oxide) with one Betel Nut, 
preferably in a semi powdered form. It is then placed in the side of the 
mouth for a two hour period, and the saliva is spat out occasionally. It is 
also brewed like coffee, made into cigarettes, or it can be mixed with 
acacia gum, some burnt lime and a dash of nutmeg and used as a sweet as 
done in Malaysia.
The leaf is also used as a paper for rolling tobacco and herbs.

Effects: Arecoline is a mild CNS stimulant. It increases respiration and 
decreases the workload of the heart. It allows a journey to become more 
vivid by allowing time to be perceived differently.

History: By 1930 there were about 20 million Betel nut chewers in India. 
Regular usage does stain the mouth, gums and teeth a deep red. Excessive 
use can cause innebriation and dizziness. Long term users cause damage to 
the teeth and soft tissue of the mouth

Active Constituents: Arecoline is a volatile oil released from the nut by
saliva and lime. Other constituents in the nut include arecaidin, arecaine 
ans choline. Betel leaf contains chavicol, allylpyrocathechol, chavibetol 
and cadinene.



Family:  Pandanaceae
Genus:   Pandanus
Species: pedunculatus?

A tall tree growing up to ? meters with buttress or stilt-like roots.

History: The nuts of P.? are used by the natives of Papua New Guinea as a

Active Constituents: DMT has been found in P.? nuts.



Family:  Peganaceae
Genus:   Peganum
Species: harmala

This is a perennial herb that grows up to 80 cm tall and has a woody 
rootstock. The leaves are alternate and are divided several times into
narrow, linear segments. It flowers in summer and autumn with creamy white
solitary flowers up to 1.5 cm long. The globose, deeply lobed fruit 
contains many flat, angled, brown seeds with a bitter taste. It grows from
the Middle East across to east Asia. It has been introduced to Australia 
and is found from SA across Victoria to NSW. In Australian botany books 
P.harmala is known as African Rue while in international references such
as Plants of the Gods and The Tryptamine FAQ it is known as Syrian Rue.

Usage: Eating 1 gram of seeds inhibits MAO enough to make DMT orally 
active. It is also possible to experiance hallucinations from the seeds.

Effects: Harmine and harmaline produce strong visual hallucinations 
starting from about 300 mg (about 10 grams of seeds).

History: The seeds yield the dye 'Turkish Red' and are also used as a 
spice. The seeds have been used as a hallucinogen in magic and in native 
religions in some of its original range.

Active Constituents: The seeds contain about 3% by weight of the 
Mono-Amine-Oxidase Inhibitors harmine and harmaline. The seeds also contain
minor amounts of other beta-carboline alkaloids such as tetrahydroharmine. 
See the section on MAO Inhibitors in the Tyrptamine FAQ or the Natural 
Highs FAQ as to what foods and drinks should be avoided while using a MAO 
Inhibitor (unless you like a hypertensive crisis).



Family:  Piperceae
Genus:   Piper
Species: methysticum

A shrub up to 4 meters tall with heart shaped leaves up to 16 cm long and 
short spikes rising from the base of the leaf stem. The spikes are densely 
covered with flowers. The plant grows in cool, moist highlands or wet 
forests up to 300 meters above sea level. It grows best where summer 
temperatures are between 26 - 32 Celsius. Its range is across the South 

Usage: The upper rhyzome is used, traditionally in a tea (yaqona). For 
maximum effects mix 1 ounce Kava with 10 ounces of water (preferably 
coconut milk), two tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil, and 1 tablespoon 
lecithin. Blend until the liquid takes on a milky appearance. Serves 1 - 2 
The resins can also be extracted with isopropyl alcohol in a heat bath. 
The solvent is removed by evaporation. Redissolve in just enough warmed 
brandy, rum, vodka, or honey. Also the resins can be extracted by repeated 
soaking in cold acetone and boiling off the solvent. The upper rhyzome is 
starchy with a faint pleasant odor and a pungent bitter taste.

Effects: Small amounts produce euphoria, large amounts produce extreme
relaxation, lethargy and eventually sleep. Often visual and auditory 
hallucinatory like effects lasting 2 - 3 hours (Kava kava is not classed as
a hallucinogen but rather as a hypnotic narcotic). Effects are not noticed 
when used for the first few times (like marijuana). It also produces 
numbing of the mouth. 
Continual chewing eventually destroys the tooth enamel. Also constant and 
excessive use with alcohol can become habit forming and after several 
months cause yellowing of the skin, bloodshot and weak eyes, as well as 
other side effects. The symptoms disappear within two weeks after the 
drinking has stopped.

History: Kava is used by the Samoans as part of their religious ceremonies 
and by the Fijians for guests as part of their ceremonies welcoming special 
guests and friends. Five varieties are cultivated in Fiji, three white and 
two black. The faster maturing black varieties are preferred for the 
commercial crop while the slightly slower growing white varieties are 
considered the best for personal use. The white varieties are Kasa Leka 
(white), Kasa Balavu (white) and Qolobi. The faster growing black varieties
are Kasa Leka (black), and Kasa Balavu (black).

Active Constituents: Kava has six resinous alpha pyrones; kawain, 
dihydrokawain, methystician, dihydromethystician, yangonin and 
dihydroyangonin. None of these are water soluble except when emulsified.
They are soluble in alcohol, oil and gastric juices.


From:       J
Subject:    Kava extraction

Account of the effects of a Kava extract

Kava (Piper methysicum) is a traditional Fijian intoxicant, which is legal 
in many countries. The roots contain various active substances, e.g. 
methysticin, tetrahydromethysticin, any of which require quite large 
amounts (>1g) for narcotic activity. It has become popular in Australia, 
particularly among the Aborigines of the Nothern Territory, and is sold in 
Fijian shops, and some corner stores in Sydney.

I bought 450g of powdered "Lewana" grade Kava for A$13 (around US$10). 
"Waka" grade may be more effective, and the whole root better still, 
although the preparation is more difficult. The whole powder was soaked in 
aprx. 800 ml freshly distilled acetone for a few hours with occasional
stirring. The excess yellow acetone extract (around 300 ml) was decanted 
and filtered, and the solvent distilled off, to leave a golden brown oil 
which solidified somewhat on standing. This process was repeated with fresh 
acetone (around 300 ml) aprx. six times, with the slurry being heated to 
boiling on the final time, and all of the residues were combined, to give a 
layer of oil aprx. 3mm thick on a standard petri dish. This amount was 
divided between three people.

At 6:30 pm, we ate a teaspoon of the oil, washing it down with plenty of 
water. There was a momentary mild queasiness as it hit the stomach, which 
passed quickly. Seven minutes later, the first effects began, with a mild 
wave through the body of relaxation, and mild euphoria. Further teaspoon
doses were taken at 6:45 and 7:00. The pleasant effects continued to 
increase in intensity, and were not unlike a large dose of codeine, 
although with some numbness and tingling in the extremities. There were 
some mild visual effects, with the world taking on a kind of sheen or glow.

By about 7:30 pm, a change began to take place. The initial lightness 
started to give way to a more heavy intoxication, with some heaviness in 
the limbs. It was decided to smoke a moderately large quantity of marijuana 
(heads, leaf and a little hash). At this point, the effects intensified 
significantly. The combination was similar in some ways to a modest dose of 
LSD, although with a strong stoning effect as well. It could perhaps be 
compared with a mixture of LSD and a lot of alcohol. The audio 
hallucinations were most pronounced, and stronger than those of LSD, with 
changes in the perception of distance and direction of sounds, as well as a 
kind of phased/flanged effect. 

In summary, an acetone extract of Kava seems to be a most effective way of 
concentrating the active ingredients and making ingestion easy. The effect 
is initially one of a pleasant euphoric narcosis, followed by a heavier and 
less pleasant drunken feeling, particularly in the body. There is little 
desire at the end to repeat the experiment immediately, despite its having 
been enjoyable. It enhances the hallucinogenic characteristics of 
marijuana, particularly with regard to audio hallucinations.



Family:  Solanaceae
Genus:   Brugmansia
Species: aurea

The Angel's Trumpet is shrub up to 9 meters tall. The leaves are oblong to
elliptic, from 10 to 40 cm long and 5 to 15 cm wide. The flowers are either
white or yellow, usually from 15 to 23 cm long and the trumpet shaped 
corolla flares broadly at the mouth. The fruits are green, smooth, have a
elongate-ovoid shape and they are fleshy. The seeds are angular, blackish
or brownish and measure about 12 by 9 mm. This species is relativly comman
in the gardens of Melbourne but its native habitat is in Andes of South 
America. Brugmansia is closely related to Datura and to Methysticodendron
and has a similar chemistry to them.

Usage: The South American Indians added powdered seeds to fermented drinks
or they made a tea of the leaves.

Effects: Delusional effects similar to Datura. Brugmansia intoxication is
produces convulsions often so violent that physical restraint can necessary 
before the onset of a deep stupor, during which visions are experienced.

History: Used extensivly in the Andes and in the western Amazon. The 
Indians of Sibundoy use Brugmansia for magico-medicinal purposes. Indians
in Peru use a species of Brugmansia to communicate with ancestors and to 
reveal treasures in graves. The Chibcha of Colombia used to give a 
fermented drink with seeds from Brugmansia to wives and slaves of dead
cheiftans to induce a stupor before they were buried alive with the dead

Active Constituents: Contains tropane alkaloids with hyoscine (scopolamine)
being the main component.



Family:  Solanaceae
Genus:   Duboisia
Species: hopwoodii

A small tree or shrub about 3 meters high with narrow linear leaves up to 
15 cm long. Its flowers have a broad bell shaped white corolla with a 
purple striped tube and five lobes. The fruit is a black 6 mm long berry 
that contains two seeds in a dark pulp.  It grows in the arid regions of
central Australia from WA, across NT and SA to Qld and NSW. According to
Aborigines the best leaves came from a region around sw Queensland to the
nw of SA.

Usage: The dried and powdered leaves and twigs, often mixed with the ash of 
Acacia species, was then placed in the side of the mouth like a plug of 
tobacco and chewed. After Europeans introduced smoking it was also 
sometimes smoked by both Aboriginies and Europeans. 

Effects: It is both a stimulant and a narcotic. It is possibly also a 
deliriant (due to the anti-cholinergics) in large quantities.

History: Used and prized by the Aborigines and traded across Australia. 
When the first white men tried it they described it as having the kick of 
a slug of gin. The sole survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition, King
chewed pituri to survive while the others died of starvation, refusing
aboriginal hospitality.

Active Constituents: Nicotine and nor-nicotine, minor amounts of hyoscine.



Family:  Solanaceae
Genus:   Dubosia
Species: leichhardtii

Corkwood trees are moderatly tall with D.leichhardtii growing up to 12 
meters and D.myoporides growing up to 24 meters. They have thich corky bark
with the leaves from 4 to 15 cm long and 1 to 4 cm wide. D.leichhardtii is
found in the softwood scrubs of south-eastern and south-central Queensland.
D.myoporoides habitat is in high rainfall areas on the margins of 
rainforests up to an altitude of 1000m. It is found from the NT across
Queensland and into northern NSW, possibly as far south as Sydney.

Usage: The Aboriginies who lived near the corkwood tree would make a hole 
in the trunk, water would be poured into the hole and the hole plugged. A 
strong liquor would be ready the next day for drinking from the hole.

Effects: Drinking the liquid from the hole would produce a 'stupor' in 
the natives. The alkaloids in the tree are delusinogens.

History: The usage of drinking corkwood liquor seemed to stop fairly 
quickly after the introduction of spirits to Aboriginies. The leaves of a 
hybrid of the two species are harvested and exported to Europe for 
medicinal purposes.

Active Constituents: The leaves contain about 7% dry weight of tropane
alkaloids with hyoscine (scopolamine) and hyoscyamine being nearly all of
that. Also minor amounts of the alkaloid tigloidine is present.



Family:  Strophariaceae
Genus:   Psilocybe           (Gold Tops)
Species: group 1

         group 2

The group 1 Psilocybes have a cap from 2 to 7 cm in diameter, viscid in 
wet weather but shiny when dry. Colour of the caps range from whitish with
a pale yellow centre at first, becoming entirely honey browm to redish 
brown. Often stains blue-green when old or injured. The stem is grows up to
11 cm tall, it is hollow, slender and slightly thickened downwards, smooth.
The group 2 Psilocybes have caps ranging from 1 to 5 cm in diameter with 
the colour ranging from pale brown to tawny orange, redish brown, brownish
yellow or dark brown when older. Brusing causes blue-green staining. The
stems vary from 4 to 12 cm tall, slender and a silky fibrous texture. 
P.semilanceata has a hollow stem with its texture being smooth or slightly 
fibrous. The stem of P.subaeruginosa may become hollow.

In the psilocbyes the group 1 species fruit in the late spring and summer 
while the group 2 species fruit in the late autumn and winter. Group 1 
species habitat is in dung and rich pastures, they are found as far south
as Sydney (Windsor) to at least mid costal Queensland and possibly further 
north. The group 2 species habitat is in native and occasionally in 
introduced forests, they are found in southern NSW to as far north as Sydney 
(Mt. Wilson), Canberra (Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve), Victoria (Eltham, 
Ballarat, Mt Dandenong, Daylesford), South Australia (Mt. Lofty) and 
Tasmania (Hobart, Mt. Field Nat. Park). P. semilanceata also grows in dung 
rich pastures as well as in forests. 
Read the Natural Highs FAQ for additional information on mushrooms.

Usage: Most people take from 6 to 12 mushrooms, but start off with a small 
amount (like about 3 mushrooms) until you know your limits. For mushrooms 
from an unknown source, 0.5 grams of dried mushroom is probably a 
reasonable place to start. Other ways of taking mushrooms include drinking 
a tea made by boiling dried mushroom fragments in water. Also there is a 
recipe around for the making of Blue Mead using P.cubensis spores.

Effects: Visual and auditory hallucinations, kaleidoscopic variations in 
the depth of vision, muscular relaxation, distortion of tactile sensations, 
lack of concentration ability, perception of time and space alters and mood 
alters as well, usually elevated but depression can occur. 

Active Constituents: Contains both psilocybin (anywhere from 0.2% to 0.5%) 
and psilocin (small amounts only). 



Family:  Zingiberaceae
Genus:   Kaempferia
Species: galanga

A smooth stemless or short stemmed herb that grows to about 1.5 meters, its 
round leaves grow to about 12 cm long and up to 12 cm wide. The leaves are 
flat spreading. The flowers form a terminal spike and are white with deep 
red veining. It grows in open grassy areas and is found from tropical 
Africa through India to northern Queensland. The rhizome is rich in 
essential oils and is highly aromatic.

Usage: Eat approx. 6 cm of the raw rhizome. Or take a tablespoon of 
rhizome, cut small and add to a cup of boiling water. Then drink cold.
It is also used in Thai recipes such as Green Curry and Tom Yum.

Effects: Pleasant dreams and mild hallucinations.

History: Used by the natives of New Guinea in the Morobe & Fore regions as a
hallucinogen, as described in the movie The Valley, obscured by clouds (the 
one with the Pink Floyd soundtrack). Used in the Philippines as a folk 
medicine. Also used by Aleister Crowley as an incense in the Liber Samekh, a
ritual for 'communicating' with your 'holy guardian angel'.



This section deals with how to chemically alter readily avalable natural
recources into more chemically unusuall compounds.



Family:  Myrtaceae
Genus:   Eucalyptus
Species: diversicolour       (Karri)    
         obliqua             (Messmate Stringybark)
         regnans             (Mountain Ash)

Mountain Ash is the tallest tree in Australia and grows up to 100m. It is 
found in Tasmania in the Huon Valley and in Victoria in the Otways, 
Dandenongs and Gippsland. E.obliqua grows up to 90m and is found across
southern Australia. Karri grows up to 90m and is found in the sw of WA.


From: anonymous
Subject: Mescaline from Gum Trees
Hi folks,

Whilst browsing chem abstracts yesterday I came across an intriguing 
reference, especially for ozlanders. The Australian Dept of Defence 
developed a technique for producing mescaline from eucalypt sawdust in 
fairly high yield back in '64.
Here it is:

CA 61,8515
The preparation of mescaline from eucalypt lignin.
D. Amos, Dept. Supply, Defence Std Lab, Melbourne.
Australasian J. Pharm., 45, 529 (1964)

Dried Eucalyptus Regnans sawdust oxidised with nitrobenzene and alkali @ 
150C yielded 4% of syringaldehyde. Methylation @ 0-5C for 1hr with Me2SO4,
then heated at 70C for 1 hr gave 56% 3,4,5, trimethoxybenzaldehyde.
Converted to the cyanohydrin (ie +KCN+weak acid - jm) then reduced with 
Pd black to mescaline. Overall yield 1% from dried sawdust. E. obliqua and 
E. diversicolour both gave 0.7% yields.

So there you have it. Our army, or maybe ASIO, wanted a way to make vast
quantities of mescaline (we have lots and lots of E. regnans, and 1 kg 
sawdust ~20 doses), very cheaply (all the ingredients are chemicals of 
commerce, except Pd black, which is a recyclable catalyst), from local 
precursors. Which is funny, since there would have been no difficulty 
importing precursors or mescaline itself in experimental quantities. Maybe 
they didn't want to be reliant on foreign suppliers, or maybe they didn't 
want another country to be aware they were importing mescaline by the kilo.
It sounds like we might have had our very own MK-Ultra project running at 
the height of the Cold War. It would be very interesting to follow this up.
Anyone out there know if we had some monkey business going on?

Maybe they were even extracting DMT from wattles and turning it into 
psilocin, eh, J?

John Morgan
Physical Chemistry
University of Sydney



Family:  Bufonidae
Genus:   Bufo
Species: marinus

Introduced from Hawaii to Queensland in 1935 this toad has spread across
Queensland westwards into N.T. and southwards into northern N.S.W. It is 
up to 20 cm long, has very warty skin and has a grey to brown, olive brown
or reddish brown colour. The underside is a whitish to yellowish colour.
The cane toad has a pair of large, highly visable poison glands located at
the back of the head. It eats anything smaller than itself and is poisonous
to anything larger that might eat it.
The bufotenin in the poison, while classed as a hallucinogen is not 
particularlly healthy or a nice thing to do to your body. So below is 
J's recipe for the conversion of bufotenin into something more 

A close relative of the Cane Toad is the Sonoran Desert or Colorado River
Toad (B.alvarius) which contains 6 to 16% 5-MeO-DMT (50-160 mg 5-MeO-DMT), 
a more useful and safer hallucinogen than bufotenin. For more information
on the Sonoran Desert Toad checkout the Tryptamines FAQ.

Here is J's recipe for Cane Toads
(see also Psychedelic Chemistry, p.45)

Mix blended toad secretion with excess methanol and allow to stand a few
days. Filter. Evaporate methanol. Extract residue with dilute HCl.

Basify with NaOH or NH3. 
Extract into organic solvent (eg dichloromethane). 
Evaporate to leave crude bufotenine.

Dissolve 4.1g bufotenin in 20 ml 1M NaOH and evaporate to dryness under N2.
Dry in vacuum at 90C and dissolve in 50 ml dimethoxyethane. Add to 1.9 g
acetyl-Cl in 50 ml in 50 ml dimethoxyethane and stir four hours at room
temperature. Add to dilute NaHCO3 and CHCl3; shake and dry, evaporate in
vacuum the CHCl3 layer to get 5-Acetoxy-dimethyltryptamine. This should be
active at maybe 15 mg smoked, possibly orally as well. I can't remember
off hand.

Hope someone tries this one day.

J's quote on smoking bufotenin, "I'ld rather smoke paint stripper".


Other plants growing in Australia include Morning Glory, Wild Lettice, 
Datura, Mescaline bearing Cacti and Nutmeg. These are covered in the 
Natural High FAQ. Other plants growing in the wild include Cannabis sativa 
(Indian hemp) and Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy).  

There are also plants used in PNG for entertainment purposes such as the
leaves of Pueraria phaseoloides (Fabaceae) used in New Britian and the 
seeds of Lactuca indica (Asteraceae) by the Kukukuku. As neither species 
grows in Australia, there is little information on them and I have not 
included them in the FAQ. Also growing in PNG are several species of 
Psilocybe such as P.brunneocystidiata, P.inconspicua, P.papuana and