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Ayahuasca: alkaloids, plants & analogs
assembled by Keeper of the Trout
Section 3 : Part 2 :
Desmanthus

Desmanthus species have been proven to be effective both in Ayahuasca and as sources of pure alkaloid. Only the rootbark appears to be useful.

There are presently two species that are well established as effective DMT sources in human bioassays:

Desmanthus illinoensis is a widespread and abundant weed; common throughout the Great Plains of the US. It is an important component of nature's land reclaimation process.

It is known by the common names: Illinois Bundle-flower, Prairie Mimosa, False sensitive plant or Illinois Desmanthus.

Photo by Trout


Alkaloid content is highly variable; the rootbark ranging from apparently alkaloid devoid to DMTless, but gramine containing, through a range of variable DMT/MMT/gramine concentrations (Appleseed), up to a reported 0.34% DMT by dry weight (Thompson et al.).


Desmanthus illinoensis

Collected in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.

Root bark (dried)Root wood (dried)
MMT-0.11%MMT-0.0016%
DMT-0.34%DMT-0.01%
Gramine - low concentration.


Also present in root: N-Hydroxy-N-methyl-1H-indole-3-ethanamine, Tryptophol, Indole-3-acetic acid and 2-Hydroxy-N-methyltryptamine. It was the first and only report of the first and last of these.
- Thompson et al. 1987

Ott 1994 found commercial material that yielded 0.18%; most other have been far less (Appleseed found high variability even within very localized areas. For example: One stand of Desmanthus illinoensis provided good tlc results and recoveries, while another, directly across a road from it showed no DMT at all.)


Desmanthus leptolobus occurs only in the south and central Great Plains. It is scattered but locally abundant from Kansas and Oklahoma, to deep into the heart of Texas. Occurrences in eastern Missouri appear to follow the railroad and are thought to be naturalized introductions.

Although quite abundant and common where it occurs, it is rarely noticed due to its inconspicuous low growing nature.

Commonly called: Prairie Bundleflower, Prairie Mimosa or Slenderlobed Bundleflower [Has been called Dragon's root by central Texas drug users].

While its only reported quantitative analysis was 0.14% (Appleseed), all instances of co-occurrence with D. illinoensis showed it to be noticeably stronger than D. illinoensis; based on co-TLC of measured amounts of root bark.

It was first successfully bioassayed on 28 November, 1992 by Mr. Johnny Appleseed, who had just discovered it to contain DMT.

Johnny had been struck by Thompson's article and, armed with Luckow's monograph on the genus, digging tools and some gunny sacks, he went on a collection expedition to determine if the presence of DMT was more widespread in the genus. He also found DMT to sometimes be present, in lower amounts, in both D. cooleyi and D. velutinus.

[It is urged that those in a position to do so, analyze the Baja endemic D. oligosperma for potential tryptamine content. For that matter any of the other "5-merous" Desmanthus species in Mexico.]

Since that time both effective bioassays and alkaloid isolations have been unofficially reported by at leasta handful of others.

While the research, and its independent duplication, presently lacks proper publication or even formal analysis, these results have been additionally confirmed by a minimum of several dozen people.

This may not be adequate proof for the presence of DMT, in the eyes of science, but for any of us who have bioassayed an effective dose it is proven beyond any doubt.


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