History of Drugs-5
People living in the depths of nature seem to have an extraordinary sensitivity. One thinks about the reports of people back at camp whooping and shouting at the precise moment the hunting party, many miles away, makes a kill. How did they know? These are mysteries of communication we can only guess at but, on top of this degree of 'extrasensory' perception, native people seek to go further. With a little help from nature, they project themselves into the very form of animals , they see the future, they communicate with dead relatives, they speak to nature spirits, they get outside their conscious selves and into another, equally real dimension.
In our culture, such concepts are difficult to grasp, but we too experiment with consciousness-raising-drugs, seeking our own understanding of the universe. Over the past three decades, LSD, mescaline and psilocybin have been widely used in this way and, interestingly, all these drugs resemble human brain chemicals in their chemical structure. The alkaloid mescaline comes from the Peyote cactus and is closely related to noradrenaline (norepinephrine) have the same basic chemical structure and both are derived from phenylethylamine, another derivative of which is phenylalanine, an essential amino acid found extensively in humans.
Psilocybin and psilocine are active principles of the Mexican mushroom, Teonanancatl, and like the brain hormone serotonin, are derived from tryptamine 0 as the hallucinogenic properties of Morniong Glory.Ololuiqui, the insperation of the semi-synthetic LSD. Chemically. LSD is extremely close to lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethy-lamide, the hallucinogenic principles of Ololuiqui. In the very excellent "plants of the Gods" by Richard Schutes MD and Albert Hoffman MD ( the man who discovered LSD,), explains the psychotropic potency of these hallucinogenics:
Having the same basic structure, these hallucinogens may act at the same sites in the nervous system as the above-mentioned brain hormones, like similar keys fitting the same lock. As a result, the psychophysiological functions associated with those brain brain sites are altered, supressed, stimulated , or other wise modified.
But it isn't just about chemistry. According to Schultes and Hofmann:
The ability of hallucinogens to provide change in the brain function is due not only to their having a particular chemical composition, but also to the peculiar special arrangement of the atoms in their molecules.
LSD is a case in point. The semi-synthetic hallucinogen LSD differs from the semi-synthetic compound iso-LSD only in the special arrangement of the diethylamide group, but the iso-LSD has practically no hallucinogenic effect.
Life teaches us that the mind is a very strange thing. Speed alters in an emergency. It goes in slow motion as we helplessly watch our car smash into t another. For one friend, time stood still when, walking in the wilderness, she inadvertently steeped into a mud pool - like quicksand - in which she could quite easily have disappeared without trace. With the mud more liquid below her feet, and her companions walking on ahead, she knew she was on the fence between life and death. Time stood still, she tells me, and to this day she doesn't know whether she was there for five minutes, five hours or five centuries!
The mind is clearly capable of playing tricks on us, and there is probably some self-preservation reason at root. The point, however, is that this Pandora's box of perceptual tricks can be stimulated by outside means- life experiences which provoke exceptional chemical phenomena, synthetic hallucinogenics, and natural plant and animal materials.
There are essential oils that have narcotic or mind-altering principles, but I shall not list them here, you wont find them in other aromatherapy books, and they are not discussed ion aromatherapy schools. Indeed, it is a matter of professional responsibility to ensure that no potential harmful substances are used.
In Aroma Profiles we promote the use of subtle and gentle substances which allow you to seek your own visions or understandings - a vision quest in which you have the control. Essential oils are the non-toxic and harmless way to allow your mind free will to explore its untapped potential.
Reference: Fragrant Mind/V.Worwood
- History of Drugs-4
- History of Drugs
- History of Drugs-3
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