Andean Punks on Dope [or Antidepressants]

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Andean Punks on Dope [or Antidepressants]

Postby Access Denied » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:43 am

Proving the more things change, the more they stay the same…

Traces of hallucinogens found in mummy hair
Evidence shows ancient Andeans actually consumed mind-altering drugs
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27441890/

The drug paraphernalia…

Image
Analysis of the chemical composition of hairs from an adult Andean male and a one-year-old baby, both dating between 800 and 1200 A.D., revealed the presence of the hallucinogenic alkaloid harmine. Buried with an elaborate snuffing kit, shown here, the adult male appeared to have suffered sniffing lesions near the nose.

The Drug Empire…

Naturally mummified in the Acatama desert, the bodies belonged to the Tiwanaku, the ancestors of the Incas.

The little known Tiwanaku established a civilization around 1200 B.C. that prevailed for almost three millennia, becoming one of history's longest-running empires.

At the peak of their power, between 700 and 1100 A.D., they dominated the Andes, controlling large areas of Bolivia and Peru and parts of Argentina and Chile.

Their burials often contain elaborately decorated snuffing trays and panpipes.

The crack babies…

While it is unlikely that the infant, buried with a snuffing tablet and a four points Tiwanaku hat, was a drug addict (the hallucinogen might have been passed through breastfeeding), the Tiwanaku man was most probably a regular sniffer.

“I'd Walk A Mile for A Camel”…

"Our identification of harmine in the hair of these two Azapa Valley mummies is a very important finding. The only plant in South America that contain harmine is the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as ayahuasca. But this plant does not grow in the Azapa valley," Ogalde said.

The presence of harmine suggests the Tiwanaku traveled in search of exotic hallucinogens, and brought the Banisteriopsis vine from as far as the Amazon rainforest, some 300 miles away.

The expansion of drug territory…

Another study, also published this month in the Journal of Archaeological Science, confirmed South America's leading role in the history of mind-altering drugs.

Analysis on ceramic snuffing tubes and inhaling bowls found on the Caribbean island of Carriacou in the West Indies, showed that the drug kits were not made using local materials.

Scott Fitzpatrick, an archeologist from North Carolina State University, and colleagues dated them to prehistoric South American tribes, between 100 and 400 B.C.

According to Fitzpatrick, the bowls not only shed new light on how long humans have been taking drugs, but are "the first physical evidence" to show that the people who colonized the Caribbean from South America brought their heirloom drug paraphernalia with them.

Fast forward some 2,000 years or so…

Despite U.S. Aid, Coca Cultivation On Rise in Andes
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03273.html

Across the Andean region, the size of the coca crop has increased 18 percent in the past five years, a period during which the United States has spent $4 billion on anti-drug programs. With farmers turning to pesticides and modern irrigation to improve crop yields, the amount of cocaine produced in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia -- source countries for nearly all of the global supply -- hovers at 1,100 tons a year, according to a recent U.N. report.

I rest my case... :)


[apologies to The Tubes for the thread title]
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Jack'sDead » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:57 pm

I've always wondered if the "forbidden fruit" of Eden might have been the Magic Mushroom.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:07 am

Metaphorically speaking? Perhaps. :)
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Jack'sDead » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:42 pm

Perhaps quite literally actually. It could be difficult to understand for someone who doesn't "know" perhaps.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:51 am

:?

RU Experienced?

Ray may know something about OT era (early Hebrew) use of hallucinogens… maybe that explains some of the more bizarre biblical “visions”?
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Jack'sDead » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:15 pm

Access Denied wrote: :?

RU Experienced?

Ray may know something about OT era (early Hebrew) use of hallucinogens… maybe that explains some of the more bizarre biblical “visions”?


Wow, Devo, lol, huh huh.

Well, I think that many of the original biblical tales were handed down and adapted by the Hebrews. For instance, it is quite obvious that the epic of Gilgamesh was the inspiration for the tale of Noah and his Ark. But studying the practice of hallucinogen use might indeed render some intriguing interpretations of the beginnings of civilization as we know it.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:29 am

Jack'sDead wrote:Wow, Devo, lol, huh huh.

Well, nobody listens to Hendrix any more. Although some would say Devo was ahead of their time I think a more contemporary cover version is probably long overdue. :D

By the way, saw this the other day…

World's oldest marijuana stash totally busted
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28034925/

Nearly two pounds of still-green plant material found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert has just been identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany.

A barrage of tests proves the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope and other objects.

They apparently were getting high too.

[snip]

The scientists are unsure if the marijuana was grown for more spiritual or medical purposes, but it's evident that the blue-eyed man was buried with a lot of it.

I guess that sort of answers my previous question… at least the potential for abuse existed. :lol:

Interestingly this discovery was from the exact same time period (circa 2,700 BC) of Gilgamesh’s purported reign.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby lost_shaman » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:48 am

The truth is that Native Americans (both in North and South America) had a much larger selection when it came to Plants that have pharmaceutical properties than the inhabitants of other continents.

In fact all of the people living on Earth today would live shorter more painful lives without American Plants and their pharmaceutical properties! Plants that Native Americans have used widely for thousands of years.

The Idea that ancient Native Americans were "Crack Babies" is ludicrous! [-X

Harmine alone is simply an MAOI and NOT a 'Hallucinogen'! And MAOI's are very relevant in Modern Medicine. Many Drugs prescibed today only take effect if used in combination with an MAOI and many of those Drugs originate from Plants in the Americas. Without an MAOI these life saving drugs have no effect on the Human body! The truth is that Native Americans seem to have known this and used MAOI's for thousands of years.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:01 am

lost_shaman wrote:The Idea that ancient Native Americans were "Crack Babies" is ludicrous! [-X

You're right, my bad… seems Banisteriopsis caapi isn’t addictive.

I plead poetic license. :)

lost_shaman wrote:Harmine alone is simply an MAOI and NOT a 'Hallucinogen'!

Correct, however B. caapi IS psychoactive…

[from the above link]

The chemical components of Banisteriopsis caapi that cause the hallucinogenic effect are beta-carboline alkaloids found in the bark. More than nine alkaloids have been isolated in B. caapi. The three main active constituents, and most well known from this plant, are harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine. Other beta-carboline alkoloids include harmine-N-oxide, harmic acid methylester, harmalinic acid, harmic amide, and more (Kawanishi et al 1982).

And may be further enhanced…

B. caapi alone in ayahuasca has limited hallucinogenic affects, but it is sometimes fashioned this way. More likely though, the prepared drink is composed of more than just B. caapi. When these other plant species (listed above) are used in the preparation of the drink they bring along their own chemical compounds and enhance the psychoactive affects of the drink. The active chemical compound of these plants is N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). It is believed that this provides most of the hallucinogenic effects of the drink.

DMT is not orally active. This is why B. caapi is such an important component of the drink. The chemical compounds in B. caapi are believed to guard the DMT from being destroyed, and thus rendered inactive when taken orally. Since the DMT is not destroyed it can then elicit an effect (Schultes and von Reis 1995).

However the Discovery News article about the recently published paper by Ogalde in the Journal of Archaeological Science seems to indicate it was being used in a powder form… not sure if that’s a “dehydrated” version of the ayahuasca drink or what.

Anyway, the point being that although (at least) in more recent times as you suggest it’s perhaps limited to “medicinal” use…

The indigenous tribes of the Amazon do not imbibe in their drinks prepared from B. caapi and various other hallucinogenic plants because they are looking for the high that today's culture and society in the United States and other countries want. "The casual Western uses of hallucinogens for escape, relaxation, or experimentation are foreign to them" (Bennett 1992). Shamans, as the tribes medicine men are sometimes called, take the ayahuasca, natem, or pinde, which ever name their tribe uses, for religious and spiritual reasons and healing purposes. The shamans "drink hallucinogenic beverages to communicate with the spirit world, diagnose illnesses, determine guilt, and see the future" (Bennett 1992).

The evidence in this case seems to suggest that regardless of whatever it was being used for, this particular family (circa 800 to 1200 A.D.) was using a LOT of it.

I doubt that's a good thing considering it has some potentially serious negative effects...

Taking this drug has many effects on a human both mentally and physically. Ayahuasca causes profound alternations in consciousness, including changes in time and space perception, rapid mood change, synesthesia, de-personalization and increased suggestibility. Ayahuasca also brings on a state of immobility and incoordination of movement, as well as nausea, occasional heavy vomitting and frequent diarrhea, the latter symptons marking initial experiences for many" (de Rios 1970).
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby lost_shaman » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:03 am

Access Denied wrote:
lost_shaman wrote:The Idea that ancient Native Americans were "Crack Babies" is ludicrous! [-X

You're right, my bad… seems Banisteriopsis caapi isn’t addictive.

I plead poetic license. :)


Cute AD, but there isn't any need IMO for "poetic license" in a discussion of Archaeological issues, unless you have some lame desire to associate Modern day "Crack-heads" with an ancient culture you don't know much about or muchless fully understand.



Access Denied wrote:
lost_shaman wrote:Harmine alone is simply an MAOI and NOT a 'Hallucinogen'!

Correct, however B. caapi IS psychoactive…


Maybe the article you're quoting has confused you in that B. caapi being part of the cause of hallucinogenic effect in the Ayuhasca mixture and being psychoactive are not one and the same.

Well... Literally speaking, one might consider that almost all Alkaloids are psychoactive in a technical sense. Due to Brain chemistry it is Alkaloids that make us who we are and allow us to do what we do. However, a lot of Alkaloids will simply pass right through a persons system without much notice and not cause any psychoactive effects.

What I find interesting is that people either traveled or traded to acquire exotic plants for Medicinal/Shamanic uses. We already know the same is true when discussing lithic material. All we can say is that this seemed to be the norm for a very long time. All that tells us is that people were quick to exploit Alkaloids available to them via a system of travel or trade.


[Mod Edit: fixed and trimmed quote]
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:28 am

lost_shaman wrote:Maybe the article you're quoting has confused you in that B. caapi being part of the cause of hallucinogenic effect in the Ayuhasca mixture and being psychoactive are not one and the same.

No LS, I'm not confused. Perhaps you read the wiki entry for Harmine, a MAOI, which is what the article said was found in the hair sample and you drew your conclusion from that?

The bark of the B. caapi vine (which is the only natural source of harmine in the area) by itself is both hallucinogenic and psychotropic…

Species Information
http://sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xs ... ?taxon=149

Species Activity Information
http://sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xs ... ?taxon=149

One of the hallucinogens it contains is DMT, the other is Harmaline.

No mixture required… therefore finding harmine in hair samples from both of the mummy’s can be considered proof of hallucinogenic drug use.

Anyway, I find this interesting from anthropological perspective… OT for this forum perhaps.
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby lost_shaman » Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:52 am

Access Denied wrote:The bark of the B. caapi vine (which is the only natural source of harmine in the area) by itself is both hallucinogenic and psychotropic…

One of the hallucinogens it contains is DMT, the other is Harmaline.

No mixture required… therefore finding harmine in hair samples from both of the mummy’s can be considered proof of hallucinogenic drug use.



Let's clarify something about DMT. It's everywhere in small amounts, its found all throughout the plant and animal kingdoms including Humans. So technically there is nothing strange about B. Cappi having trivial trace amounts of DMT present just like everything else. That being said you're not going to get a DMT high from taking B. Cappi by itself because for all intents and purposes DMT is not found in B. Cappi other than the small trace amounts found in most living things.

As for Harmaline... Harmine and Harmaline are both MAOIs. There has been speculation over the years that Harmaline might have hallucinogenic effects on it's own because people reportedly use it to amplify the effects of hallucinogens other than DMT (which is orally inactive without the use of MAOIs) and it is chemically similar to tryptamines. However, Harmaline isn't really a hallucinogen and it certainly is not classified as a controlled substance unlike DMT. Harmaline is also known as a reversible inhibitor of MAO type A which is the same reason that certain other MAOIs have been developed as Antidepressant drugs and these plus other types of Antidepressants are also said to amplify the effects of other hallucinogens. Q.E.D. It's the Antidepressant qualities of MAOIs that amplify the effects of other hallucinogens not a specific hallucinogenic property of Harmaline itself.

Just so everyone is on the same page here I want to say that I have absolutely no problem with ancient South Americans taking hallucinogens on a regular basis. I believe they did and that doesn't bother me at all. What I have issue with is the idea that the presence of Harmine (and even Harmaline which should potentially also be present) alone shows proof of "hallucinogenic drug use". The fact that Harmine alone was found in the infant might just as easily suggest that B. Cappi was being used as an Antidepressant by the infants Mother!

IMO, an ancient Antidepressant use of B. Cappi is so much more interesting than the known use of B. Cappi as an ingredient in a hallucinogenic drink!
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Re: Andean Punks on Dope

Postby Access Denied » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:36 am

lost_shaman wrote:What I have issue with is the idea that the presence of Harmine (and even Harmaline which should potentially also be present) alone shows proof of "hallucinogenic drug use".

Hey LS, I sent you a reprint of Ogalde's paper from the Journal of Archaeological Science 36 (2009) 467–472. After reading it, it's not real clear to me either how he came to that conclusion...

Let me know what you think.

[edit to add]

lost_shaman wrote:
Access Denied wrote:One of the hallucinogens it contains is DMT, the other is Harmaline.

Let's clarify something about DMT. It's everywhere in small amounts, its found all throughout the plant and animal kingdoms including Humans. So technically there is nothing strange about B. Cappi having trivial trace amounts of DMT present just like everything else.

Actually I was wrong, one of the hallucinogens it contains is 5-METHOXY-N,N-DIMETHYLTRYPTAMINE not DMT…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-MeO-DMT

5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine) is a powerful psychedelic tryptamine. It is found in a wide variety of plant and psychoactive toad species, and like its close relatives DMT and bufotenin (5-HO-DMT), it has been used as an entheogen by South American shamans for thousands of years.

…and according to this…

http://sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xs ... TRYPTAMINE

…it’s found in three different plants.
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Andeans traded far and wide for Anti-depressants!

Postby lost_shaman » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:30 am

Access Denied wrote:Hey LS, I sent you a reprint of Ogalde's paper from the Journal of Archaeological Science 36 (2009) 467–472. After reading it, it's not real clear to me either how he came to that conclusion...

Let me know what you think.


Thanks for the paper AD. I think it confirms a lot of my suppositions made in this thread. Namely that the presence of Harmine and ingestion of B. Cappi alone do not prove psychotropic drug use in this specific population.

Access Denied wrote:Actually I was wrong, one of the hallucinogens it contains is 5-METHOXY-N,N-DIMETHYLTRYPTAMINE not DMT…


Both DMT and 5-MeO DMT are hallucinogens in high doses, 5-MeO DMT is an analogue for DMT. Both are found throughout the natural world. For example both are present in the mammalian brain and cerebrospinal fluid. I'd be really surprised if B. Cappi, like just about everything including you and me AD, didn't produce small amounts of both.

Access Denied wrote:…and according to this…

http://sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xs ... TRYPTAMINE

…it’s found in three different plants.


I don't know where you came across that website but sure enough it states that B. Cappi contains both DMT and 5-MeO DMT. However, as I stated before almost all living things produce trace amounts of either form of DMT. B. Cappi doesn't have anymore DMT of either form than anything else. There are several species that do contain hallucinogenic amounts of DMT and/or 5-MeO DMT, certainly more than just three but B. Cappi is not one of those.

Here is a list of known plants with high (and Hallucinogenic) levels of either DMT and/or 5-MeO DMT from the Erowid DMT vault, note that B. Cappi is not on that list...

Acacia spp. (Maiden's Wattle)
Anadenanthera spp. (Yopo)
Arundo donax (Giant River Reed)
Desmanthus illinoensis (Bundle Flower)
Diplopterys cabrerana (Chagro-panga)
Mimosa tenuiflora (=hostilis)(Jurema)
Phalaris Grass (Reed Canary Grass)
Psychotria viridis
Virola spp. (Epeña)

The bottom line is that B. Cappi is simply not Hallucinogenic on it's own, it's only associated with DMT use because it is the traditional source for the MAOI's that make other plants that have high levels of DMT such as those listed above orally active. That is why the paper concluded that the B. Cappi ingested by the two individuals that tested positive for Harmine were likely to have been ingesting B. Cappi for medicinal purposes rather than "as an admixture" in hallucinogenic drinks which are well known and still widely in use to this day. The reason the paper drew that conclusion was because none of the 32 individuals tested positive for 5-MeO DMT which would mean that none of these 32 people showed evidence of having used high doses of 5-MeO DMT before they died.

The results did show that two individuals ingested B. Cappi (Harmine) but had not ingested it with hallucinogenic doses of 5-MeO DMT. The findings show that people from that population traded over large areas to obtain B. Cappi and that in these two specific individuals the use was likely medicinal rather than hallucinogenic. The findings don't prove that this society did not use hallucinogenic drinks made with B. Cappi, because the paper shows these people had access to B. Cappi, it just shows that none of the 32 individuals examined tested positive for hallucinogenic levels of 5-MeO DMT.

The reason that the Authors of the paper felt their findings were controversial is because they didn't find any evidence that any of the 32 individuals they looked at showed evidence of 5-MeO DMT use even though some of these people were buried with snuffing tablets, and snuffing tablets similar to these have shown to retain residue of certain plant species that are known to have high levels of both forms of DMT.

Also, B. Cappi is not associated with the snuffing tablets. B. Cappi is not associated at all with snuffing. Plants with high levels of DMT are used for snuffing where unlike ingesting DMT snuffing allows high doses of DMT to directly enter the bloodstream bypassing the stomach and it's DMT smashing MAO enzymes. Some snuffs can be as rich with tryptamine alkaloids (DMT/5-MeO DMT/5-HO DMT) as 11% by weight!

Truth is according to the paper this thread should be renamed from "Andean Punks on Dope." to "Andeans traded far and wide for Anti-depressants!". Seriously AD, everyone knows from previous archaeological evidence that sometimes these people use hallucinogens like DMT, but no-one knew until now that B. Cappi was even more widely used medicinally by this ancient population! That is what is interesting and that should be the headline here.
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Re: Andeans traded far and wide for Anti-depressants!

Postby Access Denied » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:04 pm

Thank you LS for that scholarly analysis… well done!

lost_shaman wrote:The reason that the Authors of the paper felt their findings were controversial is because they didn't find any evidence that any of the 32 individuals they looked at showed evidence of 5-MeO DMT use even though some of these people were buried with snuffing tablets, and snuffing tablets similar to these have shown to retain residue of certain plant species that are known to have high levels of both forms of DMT.

Ah OK now I get it… do you think that means maybe it can’t be detected that far back?

Anyway, you’ve made some good points here and I’ve learned some new things… archaeology is a pretty cool science.

P.S. I changed the name of thread. :D
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