The main psychoactive constituent of the seeds of Rivea corymbosa is ergine or d-lysergic acid amide. Minor alkaloids present are the related d-isolysergic acid amide (isoergine), chanoclavine, elymoclavine and lysergol.
The seeds of Ipomoea violacea have a similar composition, but instead of lysergol, they have ergometrine (ergonovine). Later, very minor amounts of two alkaloids ergometrinine and penniclavine - were found in I. violacea by chromatography. the total alkaloid content of the seeds of Ipomoea viloacea is approximately five times as great as that of the seeds of Rivea corymbosa: 0.06% in the former; 0.012% in the latter.
This difference in the alkaloid content explains why Indians employ smaller doses of seeds of the Rivea corymbosa than of the Ipomoea. Rivea seeds are employed in a similar fashion as Hawaiian Baby Woodrose are and in similar quantities.
Seeds of various Morning Glories contain Ergolines: ergine, isoergine,ergonovine Glucosides: turbicoryn [apparently in Rivea corymbosa only] called Tlitlitzen (Aztec word for The Divine Black One) to the Aztecs, Black is a hot color, a property of psychotropics associated with light.
I. violacea, often referred to by it's synonyms I. rubro-caerulea and I. tricolor, is represented in horticulture by a number of varieties, such as: Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, Flying Saucers, Wedding Bells, Summer Skies, and Blue Stars - all of which contain the hallucinogenic ergot alkaloids.
From The Road to Eleusius by Hoffman, Wasson, and Ruck.
A secret religion existed for 2,000 years in Greece (until the christians displaced it around 400 AD). The initiation was open to anyone who spoke Greek and hadn't committed murder, once in their life. After 6 month long preporatory rituals, members walked to Eleusius whereupon they underwent secret rituals. The rituals remained secret until the 1970's.
Wasson, an ethnomycological scholar and former banker (and the first white to trip on shrooms with the mexican indians) proposed the following explanation of the Eleusian mysteries to Hoffman, an ergot-alkaloid expert chemist, and Ruck, a greek scholar.
The Secret of the ritual involved the personal visions induced by drinking the grain decoction administered to the inititiates. The domestication of grains permitted the development of greek civilization; it also brought ergot fungus (of St. Anthony's fire infamy).
The thin book contains their argument for the use of the ergot fungus in Eleusian rites, Wasson providing some backround on the use of mushrooms and grains and their role in the culture; Hoffman on the psychoactivity of ergot strains; and Ruck on the mythological and cultural backround of the sect.
Evidence includes: Hoffman dosed himself with large (ergot-derived) doses of obstestric compounds to assay their hallucinogenic potential, and found them to possess such activity. The Eleusian temple site still remains, but there is no room to view theatric performances, just rows of tripping initiates, further supporting their argument.
An interesting read, and its neat to think that the culture that more or less lead to the western industrial one had psychedelic rites. (Various greek prominant figures attended the rituals, including Plato).
Charles Savage, Willis W. Harman and James Fadiman
From Altered States of Consciousness, A Book of Readings edited by Charles Tart
Of the naturally occurring plant alkaloids used in ancient and modern religious rites and divination one of the least studied is ololiuqui.
The earliest known description of its use is by Hernandez, the King of Spain's personal physician, who spent a number of years in Mexico studying the medicinal plants of the Indians and accurately illustrated ololiuqui as a morning glory in his work which was not published until 1651 (Schultes, 1960).
In his words, When a person takes ololiuqui, in a short time he loses clear reasoning because of the strength of the seed, and he believes he is in communion with the devil (Alacon, 1945).
Schultes (1941) and Wasson (1961) have reported in detail on the religious and divinatory use of two kinds of morning-glory seeds, Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea, among the Mazatec and Zapotec indians. The first of these is assumed to be the ololiuqui of the ancient Aztecs.
In 1955 Osmond described personal experiments with Rivea corymbosa seeds and reported that the effects were similar to those of d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25).
He suggeted (1957) that the word psychedelic (meaning mind-manifesting) be used as a generic term for this class of substances to refer to their consciousness-expanding and psychotherapeutic function as contrasted with the hallucinogenic aspect.
In 1960 Hoffman reported that he had isolated d-lysergic acid amide (LA) and d-isolysergic acid amide from the seed of both Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea.
LA is very similar to LSD in its psychological and physiological manifestations but is reported to have about one twentieth the psychological effectiveness of LSD (Cerletti & Doepfner, 1958).
The work of these investigators led us to a preliminary study of the psychedelic properties of species of Ipomoea which are commonly found within the continental United States.
The seeds of Ipomoea purpurea, the common climbing morning glory, resemble the seeds of Ipomoea violacea and have been found to have similar psychedelic properties. Recent analysis by Taber et al. (1963) has verified that LA is present in the varieties used and is probably the primary active agent.
The effects of the seeds of Ipomoea purpurea (varieties Heavenly Blue and Pearly Gates) in a total of 45 cases are summarized below.
The subjects are all normally functioning adults and the majority had previous experience with LSD. The onset of effects is about half an hour after the seeds have been chewed and swallowed and they last from five to eight hours.
Low Dose, 20-50 Seeds (11 Subjects)
This dosage rarely produces any visual distortions, although with eyes closed there may be beginning imagery. Restlessness, evidenced by alternating periods of pacing about and lying down, may be present.
There tends to be a heightened awareness of objects and of nature, and enhanced rapport with other persons. A feeling of emotional clarity and of relaxation is likely to persist for several hours after other effects are no longer noticable.
Medium Dose, 100-150 Seeds (22 Subjects)
In this range the effects resemble those reported for medium-dose (75-150 micrograms) LSD experiences, including spatial distortions, visual and auditory hallucinations, intense imagery with eyes closed, synaesthesia and mood elevation.
These effects, which occur mainly during the period of 1 to 4 hours after ingestion, are typically followed by a period of alert calmness which may last until the subject goes to sleep.
High Dose, 200-500 Seeds (12 Subjects)
In this range the first few hours may resemble the medium-dose effects described above. However, there is usually a period during which the subjective states are of a sort not describable in terms of images or distortions, states characterized by loss of ego boundaries coupled with feelings of euphoria and philosophical insight.
These seem to parallel the published descriptions of experiences with high doses (200-500 micrograms) of LSD given in a supportive, therapeutic setting as reported by Sherwood et al. (1962).
All the subjects who had previous experience with LSD claimed the effects of the seeds were similar to those of LSD. Transient nausea was the most commonly reported side effect, beginning about one half hour after ingestion and lasting a few minutes to several hours.
Other reported side effects not commonly found with LSD were a drowsiness or torpor (possibly due to a glucoside also present in the seeds) and a coldness in the extremities suggesting that the ergine content of the seeds may be causing some vascular constriction.
If this is the case, there may be some danger of ergot poisoning resulting from excessive dosages of the seeds.
The only untoward psychic effect was a prolonged (eight hours) disassociative reaction which was terminate with cholorpromazine [Thorazine].
The possibility of prolonged adverse reactions to the psychological effects of the seeds is essentially the same as with LSD, and the same precautions should be observed (Cohen And Ditman, 1963).
Ipomoea 7 MAY 1990
Ipomoea purpurea is sold as the Heavenly Blue variety of morning glory. Ipomoea tricolor is the trade name used for that variety. It is identical with the species of morning glory described above.
The seeds must be chewed or ground in order to be effective. Soaking the ground seeds in water for several hours, filtering out the grounds, and then drinking only the water portion of the mixture can reduce some of the stomach-upset symptoms if such occur.
Unpleasant LSD and morning glory trips can be smoothed out or even stopped by taking niacin (in the form of nicotinic acid, vitamin B-3 or niacin). Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the incidence of paranoia and prevent depletion of the vitamin from the adrenal glands during LSD trips.
There have been reports that commercially available packets of morning glory seeds from some distributors are coated with fungicides or other chemicals to increase shelf life or discourage the practice of eating them. Seeds from plants grown in one's own garden will be safe as long as you do not spray them with insecticides.
The last few notes about Niacin and Vitamin C are based on a paperback edition of Hoffer & Osmonds The Psychedelics.
It's pretty clear that the latin names of this plant are somewhat confused (which is typical). Ipomoea purpurea, Ipomoea tricolor, Ipomoea violacea and Ipomoea rubro-caerulea are all the same plant.
The other variety of morning glory, Ololiuhqui has at least two Latin names as well: Rivea corymbosa, and Turbina corymbosa.
William E. Shawcross
Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol. 15(4) Oct-Dec 1983
Chemistry And Effect Of The Seeds
The Hawaiian baby woodrose entered the drug scene in 1965 with the publication of a paper in Science entitled Ergoline Alkaloids in Tropical Wood Roses by Hylin and Watson.
The wide circulation of this journal assured thorough dissemination of the information they presented. They wrote, The possible health and legal problems associated with the presence of similar compounds in commerically cultivated plants led us to examine the ornamental wood roses, Ipomoea tuberosa and Argyreia nervosa, both common Hawaiian crops that have assumed commerical importance as components of [the] dried tropical flower industry.
Comparing the seeds of these two plants with those of the morning glory varieties Pearly Gates and Heavenly Blue, they found the following yield of alkaloids (mg of alkaloid/g of seed material):
Heavenly Blue 0.813 Pearly Gates 0.423 I. tuberosa [None] A. nervosa 3.050
The seed of A. nervosa is the best plant source of ergoline alkaloids discovered; it contains approximately 3 mg of alkaloidal material per gram of seed. Approximately one-eighth of this is lysergamide.
Hylin and Watson found the major alkaloidal constituents in A. nervosa seeds to be ergine (780 mcg/g of fresh seed) and isoergine and penniclavine (555 mcg).
This is an excerpt from the article cited. There's no record of Argyreia being used as an hallucinogen in India, but it was used externally as some kind of skin medicine, and other uses in the Ayurvedic system of medicine.
There's been speculation that Argyreia might have been a component of Soma, but there's no evidence for that, apparently. Because there's not a long history of human usage of Argyreia, it may be that there are glycosides not mentioned here that take effect at higher doses or might cause stomach upset, tachycardia etc. The article mentioned intestinal complaints in one or two cases at higher experimental doses.
Excerpt from "Indole Alkaloids In Plant Hallucinogens" Richard Evans Schultes, PhD. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol.8(No.1) Jan-Mar 1976
Ethnopharmacology and Taxonomy of Mexican Psychodysleptic Plants Jose Luis Diaz M.D. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol. 11(1-2) Jan-Jun 1979
The Botanical and Chemical Distribution of Hallucinogens Richard Evans Schultes, PhD. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol.9(No.3) Jul-Sep 1977