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Argyreia Nervosa

Argyreia nervosa(Hawaiian Baby Woodrose )not to be confused with the Hawaiian woodrose (Merremia tuberosa), is a perennial climbing vine, also known as Elephant Creeper and Woolly Morning Glory. Native to the Indian subcontinent and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. The seeds of the plant contain the alkaloid LSA (ergine), which is a chemical analog of LSD. As such, they are sometimes used as a legally obtainable psychedelic, though the legality of consuming the seeds is ambiguous in some jurisdictions.

Use

The effects of oral ingestion of the seeds has been compared to LSD, although significantly less potent. The experience is usually reported as psychedelic, depending on the dosage. Visually, some open-eye disturbances and closed-eye patterns occur. The most notable changes induced are cognitive, although auditory hallucinations are also often reported. Perception of time and space can be seriously altered. At a low to medium dose of the seeds, produces a light euphoria and a mood lift are also frequently reported.

The original Indian strain, as well as the Ghana strain have lower LSA levels but higher concentrations of the other ergot alkaloids. These strains are reportedly less potent, in terms of visual hallucinations. Many users of the Ghana and Indian strains report a narcotic-like state not present upon ingestion of the Hawaiian strain, many times reporting no visual hallucinations at all. Furthermore, a hallucinogenic dose of the Hawaiian variety is in the order of 1g versus the 2g and 3g doses needed for the Indian strain and the Ghana strain respectively. The Hawaiian and Indian strains are typically characterized by a fuzzy coating similar to a coconut, with the Hawaiian strain typically being a darker brown color. The Ghana strain, although a similar shape, is smoother and lacks the fuzzy coating.

The effects of the seed can be noticed after ingesting 3 seeds. Four to 6 seeds is a standard dose, and there are reports of strong hallucinogenic side effects after ingestion of 12 to 16 seeds. This also depends on the age of the seeds, as some of the psychoactive compounds found in Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds can break down in as little to 6 to 9 months. The experience duration can range from 4 to 12 hours, with mild effects occasionally lasting about a day and is usually accompanied with gastric discomfort, including severe nausea and flatulence. Other after effects of these seeds include sensitivity to light, and impaired motor skills. The removal of the outer coating of the seeds is often recommended to reduce such effects, although there appears to be no consensus as to this practices efficacy and it has been suggested that it may not be true. Like LSD, LSA can cause uterine contractions, which may lead to miscarriage if the seeds are consumed while pregnant.

Baby Hawaiian woodrose is a member of the Convolvulaceae family which also includes the morning glory (Ipomoea). Argyreia Nervosa grows into a huge climbing vine of great beauty and ornamental value. These 30 foot vines have large, heart-shaped leaves and clusters of 2-3" mauve flowers, which turn into attractive pods that really have the appearance of a wood rose. It is native to Asia, and naturalized and cultivated in Hawaii. Pods dry to a smooth, dark brown, filbert-sized capsule containing one to four furry brown seeds. The capsule is surrounded by a dry calyx divided into five petal-like sections. The seeds are both hallucinogenic and toxic.

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