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Alexander Shulgin -- Memorial Gathering
August 2nd, 1pm-6pm, Berkeley CA
San Pedro Preparation 3
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
From: abostick@netcom.com (Alan L. Bostick)
Subject: Re: San Pedro
Message-ID:
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 18:33:32 GMT

Yes, San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi) does contain mescaline. It can be found at many nurseries that specialize in cacti and succulents, and you can raise it at home. It is a not-uncommon ornamental cactus. (There is a house between my home and the Ashby BART station in Berkeley that has a whole row of them, six feet tall, in the front yard. I wonder if the owner has any clue . . . ?)

Here is a way to prepare the stuff that I have found effective:

  1. Take a length of cactus, six inches per person, and carefully cut away the spine areoles.
  2. Freeze the de-spined cactus. This helps break down cell walls to make extraction of the good stuff easier.
  3. Thaw it in a bowl or watertight container. Don't lose the goo that drips out!
  4. Using a carrot peeler or a small knife, peel the green skin off. Try to remove as little of the flesh as possible. [Erowid Note: The alkaloids present in columnar cacti have been shown to be concentrated toward the outermost part of the plant with the lowest concentration of alkaloids in the core. There is a waxy skin over the green layer in the cactus which is often removed in these procedures, but the "green skin" is not normally peeled off because this results in lost alkaloids. -- Jan 22, 2010]
  5. Cut the peeled cactus into small chunks
  6. Using a blender or a food processor, chop the chunks into mush
  7. Squeeze the mush through cheesecloth, to get the liquid out, and discard the contents of the cheesecloth.
  8. Mix the goo from step 3 with the liquid from step 7.
  9. Add milk (about a pint per person) to the mixture (for taste only). Blend. [erowid note: many traditional san pedro preparers say milk is not a good idea here.]
  10. Serve.
  11. Fasten your seatbelts, extinguish all smoking materials, put your seat backs and tray tables in their full upright and locked position, and enjoy your flight.
San Pedro cactus tastes like the bitterest cucumber on God's good green earth. It's difficult to get down -- but once it's down, it stays down. One helpful variation is to use storebought eggnog rather than straight milk. Another variation is to add a scoop or two of icecream per person to the milk to make a mescaline milkshake.