Ololiuhqui (Rivea corymbosa)
Usage / Preparation
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Round Thing, Green Snake, Turbina corymbosa
The main component in the seeds is ergine (also called d-lysergic acid amide or LSA), an alkaloid structurally similar to LSD, also present in Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian Baby Woodrose) and Ipomoea tricolor (Morning Glory). Rivea corymbosa seeds also contain the alkaloids: d-Isolysergic acid amide (isoergine), Chanoclavine, Elymoclavine, Lysergol. (4)
The seeds of Turbina corymbosa, better known as Rivea corymbosa, are valued as one of the major entheogens of numerous Indian groups in southern Mexico. Their use goes back to early periods. Known as Ololiúqui (also spelled Ololiuhqui or Ololiuqui), they were important in Aztec ceremonies. (1)
The natives of Mexico were well aware of the powers possessed by the Rivea corymbosa seeds. Their Christian conquerors believed that the healing power of the seeds came from the devil, and sought to deliver the Indians from the perceived devil worship. While some of the Aztecs were converted to the Christian faith, in private many continued to make use of Ololiuhqui, believing that it was indeed holy. In fact the seeds of the Rivea corymbosa are still being openly used by the tribes that managed to keep away from Christians and live in isolation throughout the more remote parts of Mexico. Research shows the plant was commonly used by the Aztecs as an important ingredient in magic potions and ointments. (2)
The seeds are also used by Native curers in order to gain knowledge in curing practices and ritual, as well as the causes for the illness. The Nahuatl word Ololiuhqui means "round thing", and refers to the small, brown, oval seeds of the Morning Glory, not the plant itself, which is called "Coaxihuitl", "snake-plant", in Nahuatl, and "Hiedra" or "Bejuco" in the Spanish language. The seeds, in Spanish, are sometimes called "Semilla de la Virgen" (seeds of the Virgin Mary).
In 1941, Richard Evans Schultes first identified Ololiuhqui as Rivea corymbosa and the chemical composition was first described on August 18, 1960, in a paper by Dr. Albert Hofmann. (3)
Rivea corymbosa (common synonym: Turbina corymbosa), is a species of Morning Glory, native throughout Latin America from Mexico in the North to Peru in the South and widely naturalised elsewhere. This plant also occurs in Cuba, where it usually blooms from early December to February. Its flowers secrete copious amount of nectar, and the honey the bees make from it is very clear and aromatic. It is considered one of the main honey plants from the island. (3)
Turbina corymbosa is a large woody vine with heart-shaped leaves 2—3½ in. (5—9cm) long and 1-1¾ in. (2.5—4.5cm) wide. The cymes are many-flowered. The bell-shaped corollas, ¾ -1½ in. (2—4cm) long, are white with greenish stripes. The fruit is dry, indehiscent, ellipsoidal with persistent, enlarged sepals, and bears a single hard, roundish, brown, minutely hairy seed about 1/8 in. (3 mm) in diameter. (1)
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(1) Plants of the Gods, by Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann
(2) Ololiuqui (Rivea corymbosa) Information, a1b2c3.com
(3) Rivea corymbosa, Wikipedia
(4) Teonanácatl and Ololiuqui, two ancient magic drugs of Mexico, Albert Hofmann, Bulletin on Narcotics (Issue 1, 1971; 3-14)
Any information provided about products on this website, including any links to external websites, is purely intended for historical, scientific and educational purposes and should never be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific use of the products.
Ololiuhqui in Nahuatl is the name of the seeds, not of the plant that yields the seeds. The word means "round thing", and the seeds are small, brown, and oval. The plant itself is a climber, called appropriately
"Coaxihuitl", meaning "Snake-plant". It is a Morning Glory, and it grows easily and abundantly in the mountains of southern Mexico. Ololiuhqui has a long history of use as an entheogen.