Peyote Cactus

Peyote Cactus

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    Peyote Cactus

Peyote Cactus: The peyote is a small, spineless cactus which contains psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Nahuatl peyōtl, meaning “caterpillar cocoon”, from a root peyōni, “to glisten”. Peyote is native to Mexico and southwestern Texas. It is found primarily in the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Chihuahuan Desert and in the states of Nayarit, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosí among scrub. It flowers from March to May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers.


Psychoactive and medicinal

When used for its psychoactive properties, common doses for pure mescaline range from roughly 200 to 400 mg. This translates to a dose of roughly 10 to 20 g of dried peyote buttons of average potency; however, potency varies considerably between samples, making it difficult to measure doses accurately without first extracting the mescaline. The effects last about 10 to 12 hours. Peyote is reported to trigger rich visual or auditory effects (see synesthesia) and spiritual or philosophical insights.

In addition to psychoactive use, some Native American tribes use the plant in the belief it may have curative properties. They employ peyote for such varied ailments as toothache, pain in childbirth, fever, breast pain, skin diseases, rheumatismdiabetes, colds, and blindness. Although uncommon, use of peyote and mescaline has been associated with clinically significant effects requiring treatment.

The US Dispensary lists peyote under the name Anhalonium, and states it can be used in various preparations for neurasthenia, hysteria, and asthma.

Chemical structure of hordenine (peyocactin), an antimicrobial compound contained in the peyote cactus

Peyote also contains the alkaloid called hordenine (also called peyocactin)

Additional Information


3 – 4 cm, 5 – 6 cm, 7 – 9 cm


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