Morning Glory Halucinogenic Use by the Aztecs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jeffrey
Posted on: June 30, 2001

I was wondering if you had a different email or if this is the one to ask questions for? I was wondering how the Aztec indians used morning glory as a hallucinogen?

Several species of morning glories are thought to have been used by the Aztecs as hallucinogens for divination and as an aid for medical diagnosis. Ipomoea violacea and likely the more common I. tricolor were used, as well as ololiuqui, Turbina (Rivea) corymbosa, another type of morning glory. The Aztec name for morning glory was tlitliltzin.

The seeds are the part of the plant that was used. The seeds contain lysergic acid amide, a near cousin to the hallucinogenic drug, LSD. LSA is reportedly about one tenth as "potent" as LSD.

Experimenting with morning glory can be dangerous. The typical route of ingestion is by chewing the seeds or by drinking a tea made from the ground seeds. Unpleasant side effects include vomiting, dizziness, nausea, chills, vertigo, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. There is at least one report of death from injecting morning glory tea made from the seeds.

For more information see the book, "Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers" (available from Richters).

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