(Rivea corymbosa), the revered ololiuqui of the Aztecs, was one of the most important hallucinogens of ancient Mexico at the time of the conquest. The seeds, which contain alkaloids closely related to LSD (Wasson, Hofmann & Ruck), were used to induce a ritually divinatory trance (Norbeck). Another New World hallucinogen is COHOBA, growing in the northern part of South America, particularly in the Orinoco basin. A snuff, known as yopy, or parica, is made from the powdered seeds, and is one of the most famous New World hallucinogens. The original inhabitants of Haiti made this narcotic snuff, which they took through a bifurcated tube (Youngken), and in fact it was much used in religious ceremonies over most of the area (Hostos). Lewin described the use among one of the Brazilian tribes: "... begin to take Parica snuff . they assemble in pairs, everyone with a (bamboo) tube containing Parica in his hand, and ... everyone blows the contents of his tube with all his strength into the nostrils of his partner. The effects produced in these generally dull and silent people are extraordinary. They become very garrulous and sing, scream and jump about in wild excitement." Banisteriopsis caapi is another South American narcotic, inseparably submerged in the total culture of the people who take it. Ayahuasca, a Quechua word meaning 'vine of the dead', or; 'vine of the souls', is its Peruvian name. Partakers often experience a kind of "death", and the separation of body and soul. Those who "die" are reborn in a state of greater wisdom. It serves, too, for prophecy, divination, etc., But it may be taken at funeral ceremonies, and., in other contexts, by a shaman (or ayahuasquero) to diagnose an illness or divine its cure, especially for those who believe themseleves bewitched, or to establish the identity of an enemy (Reichel-Dolmatoff), when evil magic would be "returned to its perpetrator" (Dobkin de Rios. 1970). The effects may be violent and with unpleasant after-effects, especially when the bark is boiled, and certainly when other toxic plants are mixed in. Nausea and vomiting are almost always early characteristics; this is followed by pleasant euphoria and visual hallucinations, but few have ever admitted that they find it a pleasant experience, for they drink it to learn about things, persons or events which could affect the society as a whole, or its individuals (Kensinger).
Hamamelis virginica > WITCH HAZEL
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