O. sanctum is cultivated for medical and religious purposes and for its essential oil. In particular, it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for various types of healing. O. sanctum is considered an adaptogen, balancing the processes of the body and allowing it to adapt to stressful situations. It is regarded as an elixir of life and is believed to promote longevity. The seeds are also sometimes worn on the body as charms in order to help balance the body.
The cola nut comes from west Africa, and was said to originally only be owned by the gods. However, one of the gods left a piece behind when he visited the earth, and a man found it. He started to eat it, but the god returned and forced the man to give it back by pressing his finger in to the man’s throat. This is said to be the origin of the adam’s apple. Cola nuts were used for magic and as aphrodisiacs and amulets. They are still central to the religious and social worlds of many African cultures.
The Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile was found scattered over Tutankhamen’s body when the Pharaoh’s tomb was opened in 1922. Many historians thought it was a purely symbolic flower, but there is mounting evidence that suggests that ancient Egyptians used the plant to induce ecstatic states, stimulation, and visions, as well as as a medicine.
In Papua New Guinea, the bark and leaves of Galbulimima belgraveana are boiled along with the leaves of Homalomena belgraveana and the root of Zingiber zerumbet to produce strong visions and powerful dreams. Psilocybe mushrooms are sometimes also consumed along with this mixture. The leaves and bark are also consumed by warriors to give them strength before battle. The Nopoko tribe uses its leaf to hold mine when painting the face of male infants for their first initiations. The Gimi tribe chew the bark to enter a trance state to gain information regarding confusing situations or future events. Interestingly, the effects of Homalomena belgraveana and G. belgraveana are said to be the same.
Nicotiana rustica remains have been found in graves in the Andes dating back to the Tiahuanaco culture. It was originally known as Peruvian henbane in Europe, and its psychoactive properties were recognized, though it never received significant recreational popularity there.
Yopo or Parica (Anadenanthera peregrina or Piptadenia peregrina) is a South American tree of the bean family, Leguminosae. A potent hallucinogenic snuff is prepared from the seeds of this tree. The snuff, now used mainly in the Orinoco basin, was first reported from Hispaniola in 1496, where the Taino Indians called it cohoba. Its use, which has died out in the West Indies, was undoubtedly introduced to the Caribbean area by Indian invaders from South America.
The root is useful in diseases of the nervous system, such as facial paralysis, hemiplegia, and so forth. A strong infusion of the root sweetened with honey is given in cases of cholera morbus. The root is also useful for delirium in fevers and when powdered and made into a paste it is applied for dropsy, a piece of the root also being applied to the wrist and ankle. The root is also made into an ointment which is used for elephantiasis. The seed is said to absorb scorpion poison when applied to the site of the sting.
Silene capensis is used by the Xhosa people of South Africa to induce vivid and prophetic lucid dreams, particularly during the initiation processes of shamans. The Xhosa believe that their ancestors can be best contacted through dreams, and so they use S. capensis to receive assistance and advice from those ancestors.
Remnants of the plant were said to be found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Throughout the Middle Ages, A. calamus was well known and widely used in Europe as a medicinal plant of extraordinary reputation. In addition, it has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, and is still used for amorous purposes in modern-day Egypt.
Salvia divinorum is a perennial labiate used for curing and divination by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. The psychotropic effects that the plant produces have been compared to those of the other hallucinogens employed by the Mazatecs; morning glory, Rivea corymbosa, and psilocybin mushrooms.
The epicenter of Kratom’s traditional use is in Thailand, where it is also called ithang, kakuam, and in the south, thom. There may have also been some Kratom use on the Malaysian Peninsula.Traditionally, Kratom leaves have been chewed as a substitute for opium when it was unavailable, and also to mitigate a moderate opium addiction. Kratom is most often chewed by day laborers because of its stimulant effect, and a perceived ability to generate work ethic.
In Chile, C. parqui is used in shamanic healing practices. The plant is said to contain a power known as Contra, which can resist black magic attacks. Therefore, if an illness has been caused by an attack from another shaman, it can be healed using C. parqui. The stems are made in to wooden crosses which are placed on the walls of houses to ward off dark forces. A tea made from C. parqui is also consumed during purification ceremonies to ward off the evil eye and to protect one from fear.