Peyote is a small cactus that is native to Texas and Mexico. Peyote is cut into slices and dried. Peyote is not used traditionally in medicine. Its effects are similar to a hallucinogen, mainly due to the mescaline content.
The medicinal parts are the pincushion-like, aerial, transversely cut and dried, tough-corky shoot, and the fresh plant.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers grow from the center of the cactus head. They are 1 to 2.5 cm long and 1 to 2.2 cm across. The outer petals are green with a darker middle stripe and have green-pink or white margins. The filaments are white with yellow anthers. The ovary is glabrous. The fruit is a 15 to 20 mm long berry, which is 2 to 3.5 mm across, sturdy, clavate, initially fleshy, glabrous, and red. It turns brown-white and dries out when ripe. The seeds are black, rough, 1 to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant is a succulent, spineless, globular or top-shaped, bluish-green cactus with up to 13 distinct vertical ribs. It grows to 20 cm. From one rhizome side shoots are produced to create a cactus formation of 1.5 m across. The roots are tuberous and 8 to 11 cm long. The aerial part has a diameter of 4 to 12 cm, and the concave top is filled with gray, woolly bushels of hair. The head is divided into irregular flat warts by horizontal grooves. Roundish aueroles of paintbrush-like yellowish or whitish tufts of hair grow from the tip of the warts.
The plant grows in northern Mexico and bordering southern Texas.
Peyote is the cactus Lophophora willamsii, cut into slices and dried. The root and hair tuft of the Peyote plant are cut off. Particularly mescaline and chlorophyll-rich center is dried as a slice. This slice is referred to as the Mescal Button.
Devil's Root, Diabolic Root, Dumpling Cactus, Mescal Buttons, Pellote, Sacred Mushroom
Actions & Pharmacology
Alkaloids phenylethylamine type: chief among them mescaline (up to 7%), hordenine; tetrahydroisoquinoline type: including among others pellotin, anhalonidine, anhalamine
Peyote has a hallucinogenic effect. The psychotropic effects of Peyote consumption are mainly due to the mescaline content. Controlled pharmacological studies on the Peyote cactus are unknown. Mescal beans cause visual, auditory, taste, and kinesthetic hallucinations.
Indications & Usage
Peyote is rarely used as a medicinal preparation. In folk medicine, Peyote is one of the oldest hallucinogens.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Due to its mescaline content, the drug causes chiefly visual, but also aural, kinesthetic, and synesthetic hallucinations when taken in dosages of between 4 and 12 dried slices of the sprout (so-called Mescal Buttons: diameter 3 to 4.5 cm, thickness 0.5 cm).
Mode of Administration
Peyote is obsolete as a drug; it is often ingested illegally for its hallucinogenic effect.