Peyote, Lophophora williamsii

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. Is is commonly known as the Grandfather Peyote.

The name ‘Peyote’ means to glisten in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. Peyote is native to Southern North America and Mexico, and is said to has been used by the Native Americans for spiritual purposes such as healing and deep introspection for at least 5,500 years. Its uses was thought of by the Catholic church as witchcraft, and its ingestion was equated with the potential for witchcraft. The fact that the use of Peyote survived the prosecution of the church is an indicator of how important a healer it is thought to be by its users.
The Peyote cactus contains quite a few alkaloids, one of them being mescaline, producing around fifty chemically related compounds. Unfortunately, most of these alkaloids have never been studied in depth, so their properties are not well-known.
The Peyote is either eaten, or boiled for hours to be ingested as a tea. The effects last for about ten to twelve hours and reportedly they range from a feeling of physical energy and well-being to an actual visionary experience, leading people to connect with the spirit world, thus gaining a better understanding of the physical world. Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort or nausea, though this is not always the case.

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