Mexican cactus

Anhalonium lewinii

The Mexican cactus was once  worshiped by local tribes because of its hallucinogenic effect.

The famous professor and researcher of poison Louis Lewin first got acquainted with the sacred plant of the Aztecs, the ancient inhabitants of Mexico, in 1886 during his travels through Central and South America. The cactus had been worshiped by the local tribes because of its hallucinogenic effect. Its gathering was accompanied by special religious ceremonies.

The Mexican cactus was thoroughly examined at the Botanical Institute of Berlin. The research worker Henings extracted the alkaloid mescaline. The psychotherapist Walter Frederking conducted 40 experiments with it upon himself. He described its hallucinogenic effects in detail: he got into an imaginary world of variegated skies, a thousand suns and dizzy drift. None of the narcotics at that time could have stimulated the brain so strongly. Frederking also found out that doses exceeding 0.5 mg are poisonous.