Citation: Glossolalia. "Confessions of an English Sinicuichi Smoker: An Experience with Heimia salicifolia (sinicuichi) (exp8521)". Erowid.org. Mar 26, 2002. erowid.org/exp/8521
Confessions of an English Sinicuichi Smoker
Sinicuichi is one of the lesser known entheogens, and there is a worrying lack of recorded experience about the plant. Of the two experience reports currently on Erowid, neither deals with Sinicuichi alone. Elsewhere on the internet there is scattered and unauthenticated information. All is not gloom, however, Rev. MeO's Sinicuichi FAQ
is both informative and useful, dealing with the generalities of the herb and its alkaloids. This document will not attempt to supplant the FAQ, but will attempt to add information on specific methods of preparation and share this individual's experiences.
Before I began to smoke sinicuichi I tried to find any information on this method. I was worried that smoking might be dangerous in some way I hadn't anticipated, beyond the regular combustion carcinogens that smoking always exposes you to. I couldn't find anyone who had done this before. Another worry was that the smoke from the leaves was unreasonably harsh and for a non-smoker like me, impossible to inhale without choking. This, I found, was easily solved by rolling a sinicuichi cigarette and using a filter tip. The filter also stops tiny bits of leaf from flying into your mouth and throat.
Since I'm no good at rolling cigarettes, especially with little dry bits of leaves, I use a rolling machine. This results in a tight cigarette that burns steadily, in comparison to my unassisted efforts which burn rather too much. The smoke tastes and looks pleasant and looks quite like tobacco cigarette smoke, although since the sinicuichi cigarette burns faster, it produces more smoke. Liquorice-flavoured papers make the smoke taste even nicer.
When I smoke, I generally use two to four cigarettes, depending on how deep an effect I want. It's a good idea to start off with one to see what effect it'll have on you.
I made and drank sinicuichi tea twice before I decided that there had to be a better way. In truth, I have yet to find a liquid that is more difficult to drink. The liquid doesn't taste bad, as such, just incredibly bitter. This was a problem for me the first time I drank the tea, because I could only manage to drink half of it before it began to bounce up into my mouth again. The second time, I boiled it down to 50ml, so that I only needed to take one gulp. In my opinion, tea is the least effective method of consumption. As a note of interest, boiling doesn't seem to affect the potency of the resulting liquid in any way. Unless you have reasons to folllow the traditional method, I suggest the following:
Put 10g of crushed, dried sinicuichi in a pyrex dish with around half a pint of water. Boil this for half an hour until the water turns the color of tea. Strain the leaves from the water and discard them (boiling again in fresh water and combining the two extractions will probably lead to a more potent liquid.) Now, boil the liquid down until you have a shot-glass worth's. Gulp this down and have orange juice or similar to wash the taste away. A piece of chocolate or candy will also help.
Not being a chemist, I can only perform a very crude extraction of the alkaloids from Sinicuichi. This is, in my opinion, enough for spectacular effect.
Follow the directions as per tea, but continue to boil away the water. A yellow film should appear on the sides of the bowl as the water level decreases. Eventually there will be a gummy brown residue boiling in the bottom of the bowl. Turn the heat off and allow to cool. The residue will harden. Scrape everything off the bowl using some form of blade (a flat headed x-acto knife is very useful for this) and collect. It will glitter, because there are many tiny crystals in the residue. You should be left with a nice, slightly sticky, burnt-sugar colored powder. I found that 1/16th of this was an enjoyable dose, but be sensible and test the smallest amount of your extraction that you can before putting yourself in danger using larger amounts of unknown potency.
Effects vary for every person, the following is merely the things that have happened to me. Be responsible and don't assume that the same will happen to you. Effects also vary slightly between methods of ingestion. In spite of the claims that sinicuichi causes audio hallucinations, they have never happened to me. Another thing to consider is that there's no traditional use of extract (I'm the first and only person that I've known to use sinicuichi in its extract form) so the dangers aren't known.
In general, regardless of method of ingestion, a moderate dose of sinicuichi causes the following effects: A feeling of wellbeing and contentment, heaviness of the limbs, drowsiness, hot/cold flushes, disinterest in sex, slight visual distortion, flowing thoughts, reduced pain, loss of the ability to do anything that requires much effort. After effects have included aching muscles and diarrhea, particularly with tea. Smoked sinicuichi is quite like marijuana; personally, I prefer sinicuichi.
Extraction is notable in that it has led me to full-blown psychedelic effects. Closed-eye visuals started with pulsing colors only ten minutes after ingestion and were noticeable with eyes open twenty minutes later. There was also swirling of textures and glimpses of objects 'in' walls. Things looked disconnected. Thought-patterns were also affected.
Sinicuichi generally lasts between one and two hours, regardless of ingestion method. I experience a slight tolerance effect after heavy use, but it doesn't appear at all addictive.
In my research I came across this document... www.csp.org/chrestomathy/in_xochitl.html
which, in addition to being an interesting read, seems to hint at the origin of the deceptive notion that sinicuichi is an aural hallucinogen. Given the importance of set in any psychedelic experience, it doesn't seem inconceivable that portraying sinicuichi in this way could prime people to experience audio effects, to the exclusion of visual elements. If sinicuichi is as powerful as other psychedelics (and in my opinion it is) it seems sad to abandon it to the niche it currently occupies.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.