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TMA-2 from Sweet Flag Root (Acorus Calamus)

By Randolph Carter - The Perennial Dream Questor


Sweet flag grows throughout most of north amerika east of the rockies in the wild state in wet areas where wild rice and reeds would feel at home. I found immense stands in Tennessee and northern Mississippi.Therefore my granola-head sensibilities were not offended by the copious gathering, for extraction and transplanting of this aquatic plant to the wilds of extreme north Georgia. It's most prevalent constituents are asarone, eugenol and esters of acetic and heptic acids. Even though this treatise includes my full dreams from the plant roots, I would be remiss if I did not point out that calamus oil is readily available from most of the usual suspects who deal in essential oils. I have found that this is a MUCH more attractive from scratch type of synthesis than sassafras / safrole ever dreamt of being. That is my impetus for doing this research, to wit what can I use that is VERY prevalent in my area to produce a most dreamy not-drug. My experiences with the results of this procedure have been VERY favorable received in most tests (which have been VERY extensive). Field testing indicates that dosages in the 25 to 50 mg range result in some VERY fine psychedelic dreams that are quite facilitative to sexually enjoyment with single or multiple sexual partners unlike many heavy psychedelics.

Anyways here is the rest of the story as paul harvey sez...

Steam Extraction Technique

The extractor is about 2' in height and about 16" in diameter made of stainless steel and has tight fitting "connections".Imagine a large pot with a drain spigot on the bottom, on top of the pot is an approx 1 1/2 gal "steamer" with sealing lid and a bottom of preforated holes. (i lined the bottom of this with fine gauge stainless steel screen finer than pipe screens..from industrial sources to minimize grit and small pieces of root fibers...) To operate i dreamed that i charged the "basket" with all the ground roots (ground by a small hammer mill used on the farm for other herbs we sell...chopped root would work equally well we feel...)the top was sealed on with silicone stopcock/joint grease and it was heated to boiling and maintained there for about 6 hours per load (7 loads required for 10 kg...). After cooling down the top is removed and the water with an oil layer was drained into a nalgene carboy with spigot which allowed for a "crude" seperation of the oil and a small amount of water. Then it was shook in the carboy with the applicable washes mentioned below before being put in a "real" 2l sep funnel for final seperation.

Calamus Essential Oil

Approximately 10 kg of dried calamus root were steam distilled with the help of the above mentioned stainless steel juicer/extractor obtained through cumberland general store. (This item is commonly found in seed catalogs from several companies as well). This yielded 330 g of viscid light yellow oil with a bitter taste, which was only slightly soluble in water. After separating the oil, the oil was washed with first a water solution of sodium carbonate then water then it was seperated from the water layer then dried over drierite overnight before further usage.

Yield = about 320 g clean calamus oil.


Next this oil was fractionally distilled to yield a fraction at 185 to 200C which was chiefly asarone.

Yield = about 210g


100g asarone in 1 l ether was placed in a 3 l rb flask with a saturated solution of 500g sodium nitrite in water and setup on a mag stirrer. A pressure equalized addition funnel which was filled with 800ml of 25% sulfuric acid was then affixed to the flask and dripped into the solution over a period of 5 hours with magnetic stirring. After the 5 hours it was allowed to sit over night (about 14 hours...). In the morning the solution was filtered then the filter cake was washed with water then ethanol then ether. The resulting cake of crystals was dissolved in 500 ml ethanol with 50 g sodium carbonate in it with mag stirring and gentle heat (below 30 c). Once it was completely dissolved it was allowed to cool 1 hour then 1.5kg of ice was added then adding 1l dilute hydrochloric acid acidified it. It was allowed to sit about 1 hour at 0C then filtered and washed with water and then let dry. This yielded 1/2 cm yellow needle crystals of the 2,4,5 substituted nitropropene with a mp of 100C.

Yield = about 78 g


75 g of this nitropropene were placed in a rb flask rigged for reflux and addition funnel via claisen adapter with 60g iron filings and 1.2g ferric chloride in 100ml toluene. This solution was brought to reflux then 110g concentrated hydrochloric acid were dripped in over the course of 4 hours. Continue reflux for an additional hour after addition is complete then let cool to room temperature. Solution was then flushed with 2l water and subsequently extracted four times with 200ml ether. The ether extract was dried overnight over drierite filtered then the majority of the ether was distilled off before vacuum drying the ketone.

Yield = about 40g

2,4,5-Trimethoxyphenyl-2-aminopropane Hydrochloride (TMA-2 HCl)

40g ketone was placed in a rb flask setup for simple distillation with 35 ml formamide 4ml 90% formic acid (adjust as necessary to achieve 4.5 ph) and slowly brought up to about 140 c over 4 hours. (This is interactive at this point. what you are looking for is a few small streams of bubbles, kind of like a coke fizzing when about half flat...). Keep the temperature as low as the reaction will allow and raise the temperature only when necessary to keep reaction going. Check the ph about every 4 hours and add formic as necessary to keep ph about 4.5 after 28 hours the reaction temperature had reached the ceiling temperature of 180 c (about 25 ml water had distilled over by this point...). The solution was allowed to cool for 2 hours then extracted four times with 100ml benzene or toluene, then the benzene/toluene was distilled off and the solution is put in a rb rigged for reflux 35 ml concentrated hydrochloric acid is added and it is refluxed for 8 hours. The solution is then cooled for 1 hour and then chilled to 15c basified with 10% sodium hydroxide and extracted four times with 100ml ether. This extract was dried overnight over drierite and filtered in the morning before vacuum evaporating the amine oil. The oil was gassed in the normal manner to yield fine white crystals with an mp of 189C.

Yield = 36.5g of high energy FUN! [ TMA-2 Hydrochloride ]


Take it from someone who knows: Randolph Carter has been around here since day 1 but it appears his writing skills (when you can actually read what he wrote) are far advanced compared to his proficiency in organic synthesis. There is no way he produced the ultra-high yields of TMA-2 via Leukart reaction as claimed in the writeup at Rhs. Phenylacetones simply do not work as well as other ketones with this rxn. If the rxn. is run as Randolph described, you will be lucky to isolate anything greater than a 30% yield of primary amine.