Tag Archives: Mexico

AZTEC DRUGS and Herbs

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Psychotropics , herbs and plants used in Prehispanic Rituales

The Indian tribes of Mexico had a Cornucopia of plants to choose from in their natural medicine chest. It was said that after the Conquest (1519 – 1521) that within a 3 or 4 year period the Apothecary shops of Europe tripled in size because of the newly discovered plants that were discovered.

For the most part because of the huge amount of herbs I will stick to the better known  ones that people are familiar with.

In Mexico City at the Museum of anthropology you can see a statue of Xochipilli, the goddess of flowers, dancing and love games. Around the base of the statue you can see different types of plants and flowers.  There are psylicibin mushrooms, tobacco, cacao flowers and white and blue morning glories.

Xochipilli goddess of flowers   sinicuichi   wildtobaccoinarizona

Also pictured is a plant called sinicuichi (sun opener) which causes auditory hallucinations. I would surmise that the priests would eat these to hear what the gods had to say to them

Another well known plant is Toloache or the devils herb as the Spanish called it. It was used to induce visions for hunters to help them catch prey, supposedly.  It’s from the Datura family and the Indians believed it would give them supernatural powers.  I have heard of women on the Gulf Coast (Yucatan) putting it in men’s coffee because they thought it would cause them to fall in love  with them. A very dangerous and potent drug if it’s given in too high a dosage.

the Devil's Herb  Toloache Datura plant

The Huichol Indians  in the USA and parts of Northern Mexico have a ritualistic pilgrimage every year to gather Peyote, an extremely hallucinogenic cactus that causes visions similar to LSD causing them to go into a trance of altered state.

Huichol Indians   peyote painting

Morning glory seeds were also given to natives being counseled by high priests are Shamans. Thirteen seeds would be ground and added to a drink then the patient would be taken to bed and the priests would listen to his “dream” to decide what needed to be done.

morning glories

And of course magic mushrooms , Psylicibins, which are common around the Oaxacan area were used in Aztec times and even now Shamans there perform a ritualist Velada or Wake.

magic mushrooms  images (1) Maria_Sabina tim leary

waltcri-cri/ francisco soler dylan

dancing hippos burning aztec books

An article appeared in Life magazine  in 1957 about the mushroom rituals and many famous people went to try them. It’s chemical composition is very similar to LSD. Amongst home were people like, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Timothy O’LearyKeith Richards, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Writer Aldous Huxley and surprisingly… Walt Disney visited well known  Shamaness Maria Sabinas on six different occasions . It was said he would go to Oaxaca and stay a couple of months each year at a hotel near the village.  Much of this is hearsay and hard to confirm but it makes us wonder about Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland Now. Disney did an animated cartoon for Mexican songwriter Francisco Javier Soler. Francisco was known Internationally as Cri-Cri and he wrote childrens songs. Disney said he was a Genius who understood the minds of children.
Many plants were used for their curative powers but the knowledge of many of them were lost when the Spaniards deemed the Codex Books of the Aztecs were demon possessed and ordered thousands of them to be burned.

The Revolution (Part #2)

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 Once the initial volley was over Porfirio Diaz saw he no longer had control & took a steamer to Europe. There were many factions fighting for control, Pancho Villa in the North, Zapata in the South , Carranza & Obregon wound up controlling most of Mexico.

Madero was assassinated by Huerta, Obregon turned against Carranza, Huerta became interim President while conspiring with U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. Wilson & Huerta were both alcoholics, bottle brothers fraternity.  The Carranza Government crashed & He & his cohorts grabbed all the gold they could & hightailed it towards Veracruz. To no avail, Carranza was assassinated in Tlaxcalantongo, Puebla.

 Obregon became President and a restless peace followed.

Fransisco Madero

An interesting sidenote: Madero was the first head of state to fly in an airplane.  November 30th, 1911.It was a French plane called a Deperdussin.

Gen. Huerta

General Obregon

General Obregon lost his right arm in the Revolution. One of the great minds, he started educational reform , hired Vasconcelos as Secretary of Education, Mexican Muralism saw its greatest thrust during the 20’s. Obregon was assassinated in 1928 by a fanatical catholic who didnt like the way Catholics were treated. (Seperation of Church & State).

An interesting note: The worlds first aerial bombardment took place off the coast of Sinaloa when a warship of Obregons was being attacked by 2 warships of Huerta. A Mexican pilot in a biplane drove them off by bombing them.

Pancho Villa...easy rider

Here’s Pancho on an “Indian” motorcycle.

Pancho was assassinated

 Machine gunned in an ambush… Pancho was driving a Dodge.. No Japanese riceburners for him. His last words were… Dont let me go this way…tell them I said something…

To see more go to this link to read Historian Jim Tucks account of the Revolution..

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/294-the-mexican-revolution-a-nation-in-flux-part-2