The comparison of these structures reveals an interesting relationship with the structures of important neurohumoral substances.
Self-experiment and comparative systematic clinical investigations with Iysergic acid amide laboratory code name: LA revealed psychotomimetic effects significantly different from those of Iysergic acid diethylamide LSD
That was the story of the second magic Mexican drug of teonanacatl. Lysergic acid is the characteristic nucleus of the alkaloids of ergot and can be obtained by alkaline hydrolysis of these alkaloids. Furthermore, psilocin and psilocybin were the first indole alkaloids with a free or phosphorylated hydroxyl group at the position 4 of the indole ring system, all the other numerous indole alkaloids bearing hydroxyl groups at the positions 5, 6 or 7. As I am a chemist, I have mainly discussed the chemical, phytochemical and historical aspects of the discovery of LSD and the investigation of naturally occurring hallucinogens. But there was still the riddle of ololiuqui, the third magic Mexican drug.
The main active component was named psilocybin, and an accompanying alkaloid, usually present only in small amounts, named psilocin. This means that psilocybin and psilocin are about times more active than mescaline and about times less active than LSD. In order to get to the root of the matter, I decided to conduct some experiments on myself with the substance in question. The development of cross-tolerance between LSD and psilocybin lends support to the view that these two drugs cause psychic disturbances by acting on some common mechanism, or on mechanisms acting through a common final pathway. The Spanish chroniclers and naturalists who came to the country soon after the conquest of Mexico by Cortes mentioned in their writings a great number of plants with psychic effects. In its pharmacological properties Methergine proved to be superior to the natural alkaloid, and today it is used throughout the world in obstetrics for the arrest of hemorrhage.
The symptoms after oral ingestion of 1 mg to 2 mg of LA were: indifference, decrease of psychomotor activity, tiredness, feeling of sinking into nothingness, and desire to sleep. Occasionally I felt as if I were out of my body. Our preoccupation with LSD was the reason why the second magic drug of Mexico, teonanacatl, which means "sacred mushroom," was submitted to our laboratory for a chemical analysis. Through the help of R. Psilocybin is the first and only hitherto known natural indole compound that contains a phosphoric acid radical.
My colleagues who participated in these investigations were: Dr. After most of the very rare and valuable mushroom material had been used for animal testing without definite results, there was some doubt whether the mushrooms cultivated and dried in Paris were still active at all. In , the Canadian psychiatrist Osmond conducted a series of experiments on himself.
Ololiuqui is still used in our day by such tribes as the Zapotecs, Chinantecs, Mazatecs, and Mixtecs, who live in the remote mountains of southern Mexico in comparative isolation, little influenced by Christianity. Ipomoea tricolor CA V. In its pharmacological properties Methergine proved to be superior to the natural alkaloid, and today it is used throughout the world in obstetrics for the arrest of hemorrhage. History[ edit ] The pharmacological properties of ergot were known and had been utilised by midwives for centuries, but were not thoroughly researched and publicised until the early 20th century.
As I was perfectly well aware that my knowledge of the Mexican origin of the mushroom would lead me to imagine only Mexican scenery, I tried deliberately to look on my environment as I knew it normally. The following account will show that LSD was not the fruit of a chance discovery, but the outcome of a more complex process that had its beginnings in a definite concept, and was followed up by appropriate experiments, during the course of which a chance observation served to trigger off a planned investigation, which then led to the actual discovery. The first English edition appeared in In , the Canadian psychiatrist Osmond conducted a series of experiments on himself. For example, it lent support to the hypothesis that certain mental illnesses that were supposed until then to be of purely psychic nature had a biochemical cause because it now seemed feasible that undetectable traces of a psychoactive substance produced by the body itself might produce psychic disturbances.
Because of this structural relationship between the hallucinogens and norepinephrine and serotonin, it is probable that the psychotomimetic activity is due to an interaction between these substances in the metabolism of the central nervous system.
As already mentioned, it produces qualitatively the same psychic effects as mescaline, a hallucinogen known long before LSD, mescaline being the active principle of one of the ancient magic plants of Mexico. Although interest centered mainly on oxytocic and hemostatic activity in these investigations, the new method of synthesis was also employed to prepare amides of Iysergic acid, which, on the basis of their chemical structure, might be expected to possess different pharmacological properties.
It is a very significant one with regard to the psychotomimetic activity. At this point the laboratory notes are discontinued: The last words were written only with great difficulty.
Furthermore, the following minor alkaloids were isolated: isolysergic acid amide and isolysergic acid 1-hydroxyethylamide, chanoclavine, elymoclavine and lysergol. One sample consisted of brown seeds, which proved on botanical classification to stem from Rivea corymbosa. But all voluntary efforts to look at things in their customary forms and colors Proved ineffective.