Hallucinogens permeate nearly every aspect of life in primitive societies. They play roles in health and sickness, peace and war, home life and travel,
hunting and agriculture; they affect relations among individuals, villages, and tribes. They are believed to influence life before birth and after death. Others ingesting the mushrooms from this paddock also suffered various forms of muscle weakness e.g. lazy eyelid,
which is extremely unlikely to have a psychological origin, extending in all cases for many hours beyond the end of the
change in consciousness. In several cases, strong and robust men with extensive experience of psychedelic drugs collapsed while crossing the road due to severe
muscle weakness - a potentially life-threatening situation.
www.owa.bot.go.tz/owa Infobiturunaprgovbrlocnl Several early explorers described the process. In 1801 Alexander von Humboldt, the German naturalist
and explorer, detailed the preparation of yopo by the Maipures of the Orinoco. In 1851, Richard Spruce,
an English explorer, visited the Guahibos, another tribe of the Orinoco, and wrote: " in preparing the
snuff, the roasted seeds of niopo are placed in a shallow wooden platter that is held on the knee by
means of a broad handle grasped firmly with the left hand; then crushed by a small pestle of the hard
wood of pao d'arco . . . which is held between the fingers and thumb of the right hand."
The resulting grayish-green powder is almost always mixed with about equal amounts of some alkaline
substance, which may be lime from snail shells or the ashes of plant material. Apparently, the ashes are
made from a great variety of plant materials: the burned fruit of the monkey pot, the bark of many
different vines and trees, and even the roots of sedges. The addition of the ashes probably serves a
merely mechanical purpose: to keep the snuff from caking in the humid climate.
The addition of lime or ashes to narcotic or stimulant preparations is a very widespread custom in both
hemispheres. They are often added to betel chew, pituri, tobacco, epena snuff, coca, etc. In the case of
yopo snuff, the alkaline admixture seems not to be essential. Some Indians, such as the Guahibos, may
occasionally take the powder alone. The explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who encountered the use of
yopo in the Orinoco 175 years ago, mistakenly stated that ". . . it is not to be believed that the niopo
acacia pods are the chief cause of the stimulating effects of the snuff . . . The effects are due to freshly
confined lime.' in his time, of course, the presence of active tryptamines in the beans was unknown.
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An attack usually lasted no more than four
hours. The first attack occurred when the child was not more than two years eight months old.
Specimens of the fungus were then obtained and
photographed, both before and after drying. Dr.
Ronald Southcott photographed the fungi in situ
among the grass. In l974, Dr. Roy Watling of the
Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh, Scotland,
visited Adelaide and identified the fungal specimens
as being species of Panaeolus foenisecii. Hallucinogenic Mushrooms