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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
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Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule
    #27615939 - 01/12/22 10:18 AM (6 days, 20 hours ago)

Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule
January 11, 2022 - CNN

Beer laced with hallucinogenic drugs derived from plant seeds may have helped leaders of a South American culture maintain their political control for hundreds of years, according to new research.

The Wari, who built an empire and ruled the highlands of what is now Peru from 600 to 1,000 AD, preceded the Incas.

Archaeological excavations at the Quilcapampa site in southern Peru, which took place between 2013 and 2017, have found that the Wari used seeds from the vilca tree and combined the hallucinogenic drug with chicha, or beer made from the molle tree. This beer was then served to guests at communal feasts, reinforcing relationships while maintaining Wari political control.

The research, published Tuesday in the journal Antiquity, has shown the first evidence of vilca seeds at a Wari site.

The discovery of vilca at Quilcapampa fills a gap in the understanding of how different civilizations used substances.

"This was a turning point in the Andes in terms of politics and use of hallucinogens," said study author Matthew Biwer, a visiting assistant professor of archaeology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

"We see this kind of use of hallucinogens as different use context than in prior civilizations, who seem to have closely guarded the use of hallucinogens to a select few, or the latter Inca Empire who emphasized the mass-consumption of beer but did not use psychotropic substances such as vilca at feasts."

The power of the feast

Researchers have yet to uncover the reason behind the collapse of the Wari Empire, but studying Wari sites is revealing more about its people.

"The Wari Empire stretched from northern Peru to the far south near the Chilean border, and from the coast to the mountainous areas of the Andes," Biwer said. "It is the first example of an empire in South America, having collapsed around 400 years prior to the rise of the Inca Empire."

It has long been known that the Wari used beer and feasting as part of their political control, but the research proved their access to vilca and its use as a hallucinogen.

Additionally, the scientists discovered evidence that the Wari were brewing chicha in large quantities. Alongside the well-preserved botanical remains were ceramics from the center of the site, which indicate that this is where the feasts were held, the study authors said.

"The Wari added the vilca to the chicha beer in order to impress guests to their feasts who could not return the experience," Biwer said. "This created an indebted relationship between Wari hosts and guests, likely from the surrounding region.

"We argue that the feasting, beer, and vilca thus served to create and cement social connections between Wari affiliated peoples and locals as the Empire expanded. It also was a way for Wari leaders to demonstrate and maintain social, economic, and political power."

The guests of these feasts would have felt compelled to acknowledge the power of their hosts or feel the need to owe them a favor in the future, he said.

"In the Andes, this is typically known to have occurred by the consumption of beer (chicha), llama meat, various plants such as corn and potatoes, and other foods and drink," Biwer said.

The use of vilca, typically inhaled like snuff or through a pipe, dates back at least 4,000 years, indicated by an ancient pipe from that time found at the Inca Cueva site in Argentina. The drug was also used by those in Tiwanaku, a neighboring site in Bolivia, during the time of Wari rule.

A ritual for empire-building

Earlier findings also showed that vilca was only provided exclusively to some, like priests, and not available to all.

The Wari, however, were likely dropping the drug in their alcohol and providing it to others, effectively enhancing the psychoactive effects of both substances. This inclusive behavior by the Wari elites not only showed off their hospitality, but offered an experience that wasn't widely available elsewhere and couldn't be easily replicated by anyone who may want to oppose Wari control.

"They may have experienced euphoric or spiritual sensations," Biwer said. "This type of food would have been a very powerful experience for guests who were led on a journey by Wari hosts."

It would have been too dry in the region surrounding Quilcapampa to grow vilca, he said.

"Wari established a system of roads, which the later Inca used, that move people and resources," Biwer said. "I would say that it would not have been accessible to everyone, as it was in the interest of Wari leaders to control the use and access to vilca, but it would not have been extremely difficult to get vilca to Quilcapampa."

Vilca grows in the Ayacucho region, where the capital of the Wari Empire once stood, as well as parts of the Cusco region 249 miles (400 kilometers) from Quilcapampa, he said.

Previous research has shown that the Wari were also capable of accessing other distant resources, like seashells, obsidian and Amazonian feathers.

Next, Biwer and his team are eager to search for Wari sites in a coastal valley in Peru. Discovering new sites could help researchers determine how climate change and drought could have impacted the Wari before their reign ended.


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: veggie] * 1
    #27616040 - 01/12/22 12:47 PM (6 days, 17 hours ago)

REPORTAJE DE LA CHICHA DE MOLLE

CC -> gear symbol (settings) -> your language

They're still using the pink peppercorns of Schinus molle. A common street tree in US xeriscaping since the time of the Spanish missions.

I remember it's berries and leaf litter, filling the drinking fountains at my elementary school, and leaving a sweet, herbal taste.


Edited by durian_2008 (01/13/22 11:13 AM)


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27616311 - 01/12/22 05:03 PM (6 days, 13 hours ago)

In some herbalism, (unrelated) black pepper is supposed to potentiate other herbs. I wonder whether it stresses the organs of elimination, whether there is enough alcohol to act as a solvent, and whether there is synergism between the vilca and chicha de molle, say, in the form of a drug interaction.


--------------------
Spacebusters said, "You remember school, don't you? That place, where we learned about Pavlov's dogs, in class. Then, the bell rang, and we went to lunch."


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27616323 - 01/12/22 05:11 PM (6 days, 13 hours ago)

Quote:


Antidepressant-like effect of the extract from leaves of Schinus molle L. in mice: Evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system

https://www.medicinenet.com/maois_vs_ssris_antidepressant_medications/article.htm

It may be concluded that the hexanic extract of S. molle produces an antidepressant-like effect that seems to be dependent on its interaction with the serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems. These results provide evidence that the extract from S. molle shares with established antidepressants some pharmacological effects, at least at a preclinical level.




:strokebeard: If the laced beer was actually an ayahuasca analog, there would be an MAOI and source of DMT.


--------------------
Spacebusters said, "You remember school, don't you? That place, where we learned about Pavlov's dogs, in class. Then, the bell rang, and we went to lunch."


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27616427 - 01/12/22 06:47 PM (6 days, 11 hours ago)

Durian - That was a fascinating video watching the woman making the chicha de molle (beer). I was hoping see her use the vilca tree seeds in the brew, but I suppose that practice has been lost over the millennium.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the research published in the journal Antiquity:

Quote:

The seeds, bark and other parts of Anadenanthera spp. trees contain tryptamine alkaloids that include the psychedelic substance DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine), but only bufotenine (5-hydroxy-DMT) is regularly found at pharmacologically significant levels. Since bufotenine is deaminated in the gut by monoamine oxidase enzymes (MAO), its effects are neutralised if taken orally. In contemporary Indigenous South America, vilca is therefore typically ingested as a snuff, used as an enema, or smoked. Psychotropic effects when taken orally are nonetheless possible if ingested alongside substances that inhibit MAO.



The seeds are not active orally, but having them brewed with the chicha de molle retains their psychoactive effect.


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: veggie]
    #27617098 - 01/13/22 11:12 AM (5 days, 19 hours ago)

Just a theory of mine.

A couple scientific of hairs to split:
-- The research paper was upon leafy material, rather than drupes.
-- SSRI's and MAOI's affect the neurological system at slightly different points, on initial reading.


--------------------
Spacebusters said, "You remember school, don't you? That place, where we learned about Pavlov's dogs, in class. Then, the bell rang, and we went to lunch."


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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27617147 - 01/13/22 11:52 AM (5 days, 18 hours ago)

If you follow what the lady is saying, there is a seven-seed version of the beer, in which all kinds of legumes and grains have been fermented, pre-colonially.

The foreign introduction of booze was supposed to cause social decay, but, instead, is a rallying point upon which ancient empires were built.

Actually, prohibition would have targeted the different subcultures for extinction.

:shrug:


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InvisibleCreonAntigone
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27617755 - 01/13/22 08:46 PM (5 days, 9 hours ago)

Study of the exact constituents show bufotenin is far and away the principal active, in much higher quantities than the DMT.

Quote:

0.04% 5-MeO-DMT and 0.16% DMT; 12.4% bufotenine in A. colubrina var. Cebil




Quote:

Since bufotenine is deaminated in the gut by monoamine oxidase enzymes (MAO), its effects are neutralised if taken orally.




I never knew that the same applied to bufotenine, but it makes sense. I do see some sources suggest it doesn't require an MAOI to the same extent as regular DMT, perhaps high doses are orally active.

This article claims:
Quote:

As inhaled free-base vapor it is roughly equipotent with 5-MeO-DMT, and some four- or five-fold more potent than DMT; as errhine or sublingually it is roughly equipotent with DMT and some several-fold weaker than 5-MeO-DMT. This generally holds for oral ingestion as well, with the provision that orally, DMT (at least up to a 1.0 g dose) requires activation by MAOI, whereas in sufficient dosage, both bufotenine and 5-MeO-DMT (Ott In press) are impressively active orally by themselves




Edited by CreonAntigone (01/13/22 09:14 PM)


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: CreonAntigone]
    #27618994 - 01/14/22 08:34 PM (4 days, 9 hours ago)

I wonder how the experience of drinking vilca, in a mildly-alcoholic, sweet, herbal tincture compares with insufflation.

Though, I am reading that other plants are taken via two routes, simultaneously.


--------------------
Spacebusters said, "You remember school, don't you? That place, where we learned about Pavlov's dogs, in class. Then, the bell rang, and we went to lunch."


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,298
Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: durian_2008]
    #27619096 - 01/14/22 09:48 PM (4 days, 8 hours ago)

Quote:

durian_2008 said:
I wonder how the experience of drinking vilca, in a mildly-alcoholic, sweet, herbal tincture compares with insufflation.



Taken from the journal Antiquity:

Quote:

Ethnohistoric accounts note that religious specialists used vilca to engage with oracles, whereby a “juice” (likely a tea) from the seeds was added to chicha. These psychotropic effects are possible because the beta-carbolines typically produced during fermentation can suppress the MAO enzymes. The result of the hallucinogenic substances is nonetheless different with oral intake, producing a more delayed, long-lasting and perhaps weaker effect. Collective consumption of vilca-infused beverages is also documented ethnographically, with the more sustained experiences recounted contrasting with the overwhelming hallucinogenic rush produced when consumed in other manners




I've seen videos of indigenous peoples using the snuff, and it looks very intense. Using the vilca with the chicha must have been still psychoactive but a gentler experience.

So if someone was concerned the vilca seeds might be too potent, they didn't have anything to Wari about.


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Invisibledurian_2008S
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Re: Psychedelic-laced beer may have helped this ancient South American empire rule [Re: veggie]
    #27621611 - 01/16/22 10:13 PM (2 days, 8 hours ago)

Quote:

veggie said:
I've seen videos of indigenous peoples using the snuff, and it looks very intense.





Quote:

Wikipedia said:
The beans of A. colubrina are used to make a snuff called vilca (sometimes called cebil). The bean pods are roasted to facilitate removal of the husk, followed by grinding with a mortar and pestle into a powder and mixed with a natural form of calcium hydroxide (lime) or calcium oxide.





Quote:

OSHA said:
* Calcium Hydroxide can affect you when breathed in.
* Contact  can  severely  irritate  and  burn  the  skin  and  eyes  with possible eye damage.
* Breathing Calcium Hydroxide can irritate the nose, throat and lungs causing coughing, wheezing and/or shortness of breath...

The  legal  airborne  permissible  exposure  limit  (PEL)  is  15mg/m3  for  total  dust  and  5mg/m3for respirable  dust  averaged  over  an  8-hour  workshift.




 
(WA state recently used the chemical to decompose a beached whale.)

As the traditional method of insufflation involves having someone blow the caustic chemical up your nose through a tube at high speeds, some of their children were filmed, preparing for adulthood, by snorting the ashes from a bbq pit.


--------------------
Spacebusters said, "You remember school, don't you? That place, where we learned about Pavlov's dogs, in class. Then, the bell rang, and we went to lunch."


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