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Visionary Cactus Guide

The internets most comprehensive and up to date guide to the Medicinal, Visionary, and Sacred Cacti. Bringing to you the cutting edge of the current knowledge about our spiny allies and teachers. Updated regularly.

"Follow the medicine path with an open mind and a clear heart, and you will surely find inner peace and enlightenment."

Last full update - Version 4.5, February, 1997

There are literally hundreds of types of Cacti that contain detectable quantities of medicinal and/or psychoactive compounds, many of which have yet to be analyzed or tested. The Cacti have a very long history of traditional native uses including being utilized as healers and teachers. The botany of our spiny allies is quite interesting, and a glossary of terms is available. Since the Cactus are listed by Genus, a cross reference to common names is provided.

Many of these Cacti contain only traces of mescaline or other useful alkaloids, making these amounts much too small to be of practical value. Since only small amounts of any particular alkaloid are usually available, the Cacti must be processed by some method of extraction to concentrate the chemical constituents to useful levels. Alkaloid content can also be increased within the plant itself by a variety of methods. Mescaline and other compounds can also be potentiated ( have the effects be increased ) by combining with other substances.

There are many different methods of ingesting the Sacred Cacti for spiritual and medicinal purposes. The mental and physical effects of ingesting these teachers plants is quite variable, and depends largely on the dosage, although set and setting is always important. How the Cactus are processed or prepared prior to consumption is also very important, and warrants careful consideration. There are very few serious side effects or dangers involved when one chooses this path for exploration, but better to know of any possible problems before setting out. Of course of major importance, always consider the legalities of your actions.

Many of these Cactus are also endangered in the wild, and it is an act of selfish stupidity to harvest a rare one. Also it is illegal in many states to do so, as well it should be. It is much better for everyone involved if you buy one from a local nursery or mail-order merchant, give it a good home, nurture it and watch it grow.

For those of you curious about the experiences of several students of the great Cactus, here are a few of my favorite trip accounts.

This index is broken down into five seperate sections, each of which contain several related chapters. All parts of this guide are regularly updated as new information becomes available. Several chapters are broken down into individual pages for easier access.

Botany section -

Descriptions, habitat, cultivation, alkaloids contained, listed by Genus.

Glossary of botanical terms and definitions.

Complete Cactus growing guide. Everything you need to know in one place.

Cross reference of common names to Genus and species.

Chemistry section -

Potentiating and/or combining mescaline with other substances

Concentrating and increasing the alkaloid content in Cacti.

Mescaline and THIQ chemistry. A brief guide.

Alkaloid extraction techniques for psychoactive Cactus.

Making mescaline from eucalypt sawdust. A report.

Sacred usage section -

Native, Traditional and Medicinal uses of the Sacred Cacti.

History of the Psychoactive Cacti, primarily about Peyote.

Native American Church and related religious organizations.

Trip accounts

Traditional uses section -

Ingestion methods to use with the Sacred Cacti.

Different Preparation methods for consuming the Sacred Cacti.

Dosage information for certain Sacred Cacti.

The effects of ingesting the Sacred Cacti.

Possible side effects and dangers associated with use.

The legal questions, legalities discussed.

Sources & references section -

Mail order sources for ornamental, medicinal and Visionary Cacti.


Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, Klaus Trenary

all rights reserved

Special Thanks to Dr. Alexander ( Sasha ) Shulgin for his support and his help, to Fabrizio Accadia for his most valued input, and to the myriad Cactus experts and psychic explorers whose comments and ideas helped shape this document.

This document may be freely copied and distributed so long as no charge is made for the information. Copyright must accompany any portion of this document.