San Pedro, Trichocereus pachanoi

San Pedro cactus, also known by its original name ‘Huachuma’, or Grandfather, is a cactus native to the Andes Mountains, and is usually found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Paintings found in the Chavin temple in Peru suggest that  indigenous people have been using the San Pedro cactus for healing and spiritual divination for over 3000 years.  More specifically, the Andean tribes worked with Grandfather Huachuma when dealing with decision-making, healing, spiritual guidance and to travel to other dimensions, as well as for maintaining balance in the physical world.

The use of Huachuma was heavily suppressed by the catholic church, and the indigenous people therefore named it San Pedro, which is Spanish for Saint Peter. Peter is the saint that hold the keys to the gate of heaven, and healing with the San Pedro cactus feels much like being able to enter heavenly realms with pure bliss and love, thereby being able to heal.

The San Pedro cactus contains the alkaloid mescaline, along with at least 30 other alkaloids, and at least one of these alkaloids is an effective antibiotic and others may possess psychoactive and/or medicinal properties.
San Pedro is often cooked into a tea or a brew. It can also be eaten or pulverized.
Usually the cactus is cooked for a minimum of 12 hours before ingested in a ceremonial context.
The effects of San Pedro is usually noticeable after one hour to forty five minutes, and they can last from twelve to seventeen hours.
People wishing to attend a San Pedro ceremony often wish to do so to attain guidance and wisdom about a specific matter or situation, for healing of an illness or condition, or for achieving higher consciousness.

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