What hallucinogenic drugs did the Olmecs use?
certain amounts, could help them reach altered states of consciousness or explore the spirit world. Many of these psychoactive plants were woven into early healing practices, cultural and religious rituals, and daily routines to bring temporary but necessary bursts of peace or joy.
Olmec, Zapotec, Maya and Aztec used peyote, hallucinogenic mushrooms (teonanacatl: Psilocybe spp) and the seeds of ololiuhqui (Turbina corymbosa), that contain mescaline, psilocybin and lysergic acid amide, respectively.
The Maya drank balché (a mixture of honey and extracts of Lonchocarpus) in group ceremonies to achieve intoxication. Ritual enemas and other psychoactive substances were also used to induce states of trance. Olmec, Zapotec, Maya and Aztec used peyote, hallucinogenic mushrooms (teonanacatl: Psilocybe spp.)
In 1958, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann and co-workers isolated psilocybin and smaller amounts of psilocin from the mushroom P. mexicana. (More than 20 years earlier, Hofmann began to study LSD, including ingesting it himself.
opium, nymphea, coca and tobacco.
Alcohol is possibly the oldest psychoactive substance used by mankind (McGovern, 2009).
Ancient Mayans DID enjoy a smoke of tobacco so strong it was virtually hallucinogenic. ‘This was very strong tobacco, much stronger than it is today,’ Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman, an archaeologist at the University of Albany in New York, told MSNBC. ‘Nicotiana rustica was nearly hallucinogenic.
The Aztecs would drink chocolate and eat the mushrooms with honey. Those partaking in the mushroom ceremonies would fast before ingesting the sacrament. The act of taking mushrooms is known as monanacahuia, meaning to “mushroom oneself”.
Most Maya today observe a religion composed of ancient Maya ideas, animism and Catholicism. Some Maya still believe, for example, that their village is the ceremonial centre of a world supported at its four corners by gods.
While magic mushrooms are often sought out for a peaceful high, shrooms have been reported to induce anxiety, frightening hallucinations, paranoia, and confusion in some.
The fruiting bodies of the fungi then grow from the animal feces. It is essential that the spores of the species then reach new plant material; spores remaining in the feces will produce nothing. The spores are so hardy that samples of dried dung can later be rehydrated, allowing the fungus to fruit weeks later.