Hawaiian baby woodrose
|Hawaiian Baby Woodrose|
|Argyreia nervosa flowers (enlarge)|
Argyreia nervosa flowers (enlarge)
Argyreia speciosa (L.f.)Sweet
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa), not to be confused with the Hawaiian woodrose (Merremia tuberosa), is a perennial climbing vine, also known as Elephant Creeper and Woolly Morning Glory. Native to the Indian subcontinent and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. The seeds of the plant contain the alkaloid LSA (ergine), which is a chemical analog of LSD. As such, they are sometimes used as a legally obtainable psychedelic, though the legality of consuming the seeds is ambiguous in some jurisdictions.
The plant is a rare example of a plant whose hallucinogenic properties have only recently been discovered by non Hawaiians. While its cousins in the Convolvulaceae family, such as the Rivea corymbosa (Ololiuhqui) and Ipomoea tricolor (Tlitliltzin), were used in shamanic rituals of Latin America for centuries, the Hawaiian baby woodrose was not traditionally recognized as a hallucinogen. Its properties were first brought to attention in the 1960s, despite the fact that the chemical composition of its seeds is nearly identical to those of the two species mentioned above, and the seeds contain the highest concentration of psychoactive compounds in the entire family.
The psychedelic properties of the seeds became known mainly through their use in Hawaii, Haiti and Puerto Rico, where impoverished members of the population would consume the seeds, seeking a "cheap buzz" as an alternative to alcohol. A sample made its way to Albert Hofmann, the creator of LSD, who confirmed the effects and analyzed its chemical composition. It is still used by the poorer Hawaiians for a high.
The effects of oral ingestion of the seeds has been compared to LSD, although significantly less potent. The experience is usually reported as psychedelic, depending on the dosage. Visually, some open-eye disturbances and closed-eye patterns occur. The most notable changes induced are cognitive, although auditory hallucinations are also often reported. Perception of time and space can be seriously altered. At a low to medium dose of the seeds, produces a light euphoria and a mood lift are also frequently reported.
The original Indian strain, as well as the Ghana strain have lower LSA levels but higher concentrations of the other ergot alkaloids. These strains are reportedly less potent, in terms of visual hallucinations. Many users of the Ghana and Indian strains report a narcotic-like state not present upon ingestion of the Hawaiian strain, many times reporting no visual hallucinations at all. Furthermore, a hallucinogenic dose of the Hawaiian variety is in the order of 1g versus the 2g and 3g doses needed for the Indian strain and the Ghana strain respectively. The Hawaiian and Indian strains are typically characterized by a fuzzy coating similar to a coconut, with the Hawaiian strain typically being a darker brown color. The Ghana strain, although a similar shape, is smoother and lacks the fuzzy coating.
The effects of the seed can be noticed after ingesting 3 seeds. Four to 6 seeds is a standard dose, and there are reports of strong hallucinogenic side effects after ingestion of 12 to 16 seeds. This also depends on the age of the seeds, as some of the psychoactive compounds found in Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds can break down in as little to 6 to 9 months. The experience duration can range from 4 to 12 hours, with mild effects occasionally lasting about a day and is usually accompanied with gastric discomfort, including severe nausea and flatulence. Other after effects of these seeds include sensitivity to light, and impaired motor skills. The removal of the outer coating of the seeds is often recommended to reduce such effects, although there appears to be no consensus as to this practices efficacy and it has been suggested that it may not be true. Like LSD, LSA can cause uterine contractions, which may lead to miscarriage if the seeds are consumed while pregnant.
Baby Hawaiian woodrose is a member of the Convolvulaceae family which also includes the morning glory (Ipomoea). Argyreia Nervosa grows into a huge climbing vine of great beauty and ornamental value. These 30 foot vines have large, heart-shaped leaves and clusters of 2-3" mauve flowers, which turn into attractive pods that really have the appearance of a wood rose. It is native to Asia, and naturalized and cultivated in Hawaii. Pods dry to a smooth, dark brown, filbert-sized capsule containing one to four furry brown seeds. The capsule is surrounded by a dry calyx divided into five petal-like sections. The seeds are both hallucinogenic and toxic.
The seeds of the plant contain numerous lysergic acid amides, including ergine, ergonovine and isoergine, which are structurally similar to the well known psychedelic, LSD. Psychedelic effects experienced after consumption of the seeds are usually attributed to ergine (also known as d-Lysergic acid amide, or Lyserg Sauer Amide), although the validity of this claim is disputed.
The seeds also contain cyanogenic glycosides. When the seed is chewed, the action of saliva converts this into cyanide, which in high enough doses could potentially kill or permanently damage stomach or heart muscle. This is why eating the seeds induces nausea.
LSA has been seen as a natural substitute for LSD, which as chemical produces stronger and produces heavier hallucinations. LSD is the best known and most researched psychedelic. It is the standard against which all other psychedelics are compared. It is active at extremely low doses and is most commonly available on blotter or in liquid form.
LSD-like effects, but less intense, with less visuals. Effects are euphoria, extreme lassitude, changes in visual and auditory perception, emotional disturbances and synaesthesias (phenomenon in which the senses become transmuted). Time and space perception are seriously altered.
The trip lasts 4-8 hours; tranquil feelings may last additional 12 hours. Sleep is deep and refreshing after the trip, however some users may experience a hangover characterized by blurred vision, vertigo, and physical inertia.
Human Health Risks
LSA or LAA *ergine (Lysergic Acid Amides) should not be taken by people with a history of liver disorders or hepatitis. Should not be taken by pregnant women due to uterine contraction can lead to miscarriage. Individuals with a history of Cardiovascular problems (Heart attack, blood clot, and Stroke) or a family history of such problems, and the elderly should avoid consuming these seeds due to the vasoconstrictive effects. Individuals can respond differently to the same dosage. What is safe for one can be deadly for another. So please be careful, never overdose. Best is to have someone with experience with you who can act as a sitter and watch over you.
The plant should not be combined with MAO-inhibitors. People under the influence should not attempt to operate machinery or drive.
A slight nick should be made away from the germ eye. After this is complete it is recommended to soak the seeds in water for approximately 24 hours, or at least overnight. If nicked properly the seeds swell.
some people place approximately 1 to 2 inches (2 to 4 cm) in rich potting soil with a good drainage system. It is very important during the first stages of growth to keep the soil moist, though not completely wet, as saturation will cause root rot and possibly mold. It is important to keep the maximum sunlight possible during the initial stages. When the leaves have received too much light they will start gaining the appearance of wilting,this also seen with lack of watering.
Within the first 1 to 2 years of growth, this plant grows very bushy. After that, some of the leaves will fall off and it will grow into vines. The vines have been known to grow up to 31 feet (10 meters) in length. If constant watering is not maintained, these vines will die out before reaching that point and new ones will have to start. The vine will dry out to the closest node during this point.
A 5 gallon bucket is suitable for starting 2 healthy plants. The massive root system of this plant can cause the plant to become root bound within the first year or so. For example, a 5 year old plant in a 15 gallon pot (after only 6 months) will begin to show signs of becoming root bound. It is suggested to use a 55 gallon drum or a feeding trough (commonly used for livestock and horses).
The plant can start growing flowers as early as its life cycle's second year. For this to occur, there must be sufficient watering and adequate room for the roots to grow; it can take up to 5 years for the first signs of flowering to become visible.
The seeds will be found in the pods of the dried flowers. These cannot be harvested until completely dried.
While ergine is listed as a DEA Schedule III substance in the United States, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is not controlled. Thus, while possession of any part of the plant is legal, an ergine extraction is prosecutable by US law, however no such prosecutions have occurred. The plant is not monitored as a major controlled substance precursor, since a synthesis of LSD from ergine, while possible, is impractical.
- Society of Studies about Ethnobotany and the Modified States of Consciousness
- PLANTS database entry
- Erowid entry on H.B. Woodrose
- Growing Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Plot55.com)
- Erowid (01-08-07). "Extraction of LSA (Method #2) from Morning Glory Seeds or Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds (Author and document validity unknown)". Check date values in: