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Herbal "Ecstasy"

A few weeks ago I was phoned by an American who told me had a terrific new
product, a herbal extract that had the same effect as MDMA called e-line
Ecstasy, "Better, actually, it's great for sex". He told me how it was
becoming really popular in the States because it was safe and nontoxic,
100% vegetarian - vegan, in fact - without chemicals, additives,
preservatives, sugars or anything artificial. He said its effects last 4-8
hours without causing disorientation, and he would send me some samples.
They arrived complete with a leaflet telling of all the good things they
contained such as Gurana and Ginseng. The instructions said that you should
"open your heart and allow yourself to become overwhelmed, because then and
only then can you feel the true force of this experience". . . "All six
senses may become intensified. Things may seem crisper and clearer. Sounds
may sound louder and feel more intense. Touch becomes more enhanced, things
just simply feel better to touch, tastes, see, smell, and feel. Imagination
will flow more rapidly, thoughts may become clearer and new ideas may
appear at a more rapid pace."

Personally, I prefer a synthetic drug providing it's pure MDMA, and so I
passed on the e-line Ecstasy samples to friends who are more into natural
products. All of them reported some effect, but it varied. When the
American phoned again I said I wasn't too sure I could recommend e-line
Ecstasy, but if he sent some more samples I would hand them out at
Glastonbury. A hundred people volunteered to try it, and I gave each a
questionnaire, instructions and an envelope containing two pills. But I
gave only half of them e-line Ecstasy, the rest got herbal vitamin pills.
Although giving out 'placebos' is an accepted procedure I'll never do it
again: I not only had to mislead people and use them as unwitting guinea
pigs, but when they questioned me, to lie. And when a group called the
Rainbow Tribe all decided to take it together, they of course noticed that
some pills were different and quickly sussed the truth. I was then lectured
by self righteous tribe members who made me feel a right jerk, while trying
to avoid a riot by lying through my teeth that both types were as real as
each other.

It was hardly surprising that these people reported that the white pills
were duds and had no effect at all. But other people reported all kinds of
effects from giving a bad hangover to providing the best E experience
they'd ever had! The e-line Ecstasy also produced a variety of responses,
although people generally reported a more speedy effect. As an easy way to
compare the overall value, I asked "How much would you have paid?", and the
result was much the same: those who put more than #0 valued e-line Ecstasy
at an average of #3.98 compared to vitamin pills at #4.12.

If you were one of those who reported a good response from the white pills,
you probably think I was making a fool of you and feel abused. I apologize,
but I also thank you, and I hope that you appreciate the value of your part
in the trial. Because my conclusions are not that you are stupid, but that
everybody's response to drugs depends very much on what they expect; how
good they feel and how supportive are their surroundings. But, when you
experience some definite change in mood it can hard to believe that it was
caused by anything else than the chemical in the pill you've just taken.
It may well be that the same mechanism occurs inside the brain in any case.
Ecstasy puts the mind into a particular state by releasing
'neurotransmitters' called serotonin and dopamine, resulting in a
particular mood. But when moods occur naturally, for instance when falling
in love, it is through these neurotransmitters being released. So the
expectation and situation may cause this release, resulting in a mood
change even without the need for a drug. It's like the thought of eating
making your mouth water, ie releasing saliva in your mouth. The same
explanation is thought to apply to 'contact high' - being surrounded by
people who are in a particular state triggers the release of a
neurotransmitter in the brain to match the mood of those around. It's
similar to the excitement that spreads through large crowds. Maybe, way
back in evolution, our tribe would have to be in the same mood to survive -
like when under attack - and developed ways to match one another by
releasing the right neurotransmitter. It may also explain how the mood at a
rave can be so universally luvvy when the majority of people 'on E' have
been sold other drugs such as mixtures of speed and LSD.

The lesson to know and accept is that the E you take is just one factor
effecting your experience. Realise that MDMA is not a 'happy pill' but one
that allows you to let go, but not in any particular direction. When you
feel good in yourself, comfortable with the people around and expecting to
have a great time, then a good E can let you take off. Ravers often get
into the rhythm which helps to launch them in a fairly predictable
direction, but in quieter situations the direction you take is more
dependant on surroundings and expectations.

There is another lesson to be learned from this, and one that I suspect
many dealers and the makers of e-line Ecstasy already know: that if you can
convince someone that a particular pill will produce a particular mood,
then it will. And people will pay good money for it.

===========================================================

Nicholas Saunders
From: Nicholas Saunders 
Date: 3 Apr 1995 18:52:34 GMT
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Active ingredients in herbal substitutes for Ecstasy

I have recently explored various products being sold as herbal
substitutes for Ecstasy, and have sent a list of the following
ingredients (taken from various packages) to a specialist in psychotropic
plants:

Tibetan Ma Huang, Wild Brazilian Guarana, Chinese Black Ginseng, Wild
Ginkgo, Biloba, African raw cola nut, Gotu-Kola, Fo-Ti-Tieng, Green tea
extract, Rou Gui (rare form of Chinese nutmeg), yohimbara (relative of
yohimbe), Calamus, Kava kava tincture, raw ephedra, tincture of ephedra,
broom and lettuce opium (Lactuca virosa), also in resin form for smoking.
The expert's verdict is that all have mild stimulant effects comparable
to caffeine except for Ma Huang and Ephedra, which are the different
names for the same herb (whose Latin name is herbae ephedrae).
Herbae ephedrae has a "shivering skin and muscle effect", but too high a
dosage is unpleasant. As other drugs, the effect varies with the
individual and situation, but "You feel shivers up and down your spine,
especially in the roots of your hair. It makes you sweat and you feel
your muscles and skin more intensely. It is an aphrodisiac for women more
than men."

Dosage varies according to the individual, so try with a low dose first.
Start with one teaspoon of dried herb. Boil in a cup of water for 3
minutes; pour through a strainer and drink the whole cup. It is
astringent and bitter, but is more palatable with a little milk. Try the
effect and vary the next dose accordingly.

A major difference is that this herb helps you to concentrate your mind
on a task, so that some people find it a good drug to use for mental work.
from Nicholas Saunders
--------------------------------------------------
The entire book E for Ecstasy (plus details on availability); tests on
Ecstasy tablets (illustrated); articles: Herbal Ecstasy; E for Art
(illustrated) and E for Enlightenment can be found on
http://www.cityscape.co.uk/users/bt22/
[Erowid Note: The full text of "E for Ecstasy" can now be found on Erowid as well as on the author's site, Ecstasy.org.] =========================================================== From: klarer@spdcc.com (Steve Klarer) Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 05:10:07 GMT Newsgroups: alt.sex,talk.politics.drugs,alt.drugs,alt.sex.erotica.marketplace Subject: Re: Herbal Ecstacy - A Natural Aphrodisiac In article <3pgpp1$qpi@ixnews2.ix.netcom.com>, web-link@ix.netcom.com (Richard M, Greenwood) wrote: >Herbal Ecstacy was formulated from 100% natural ingrediants to simulate >the euphoria experience of the popular designer drug Ecstasy (also know >as "E" or MDMA). Herbal Ecstacy is also 100% legal (unlike "E"). >For more info, visit the Herbal Ecstacy world wide web-link at: > > > http://www.web-link.com/hx.htm The formula contains the following ingredients Ma Huang ----- Ephedra Gurana Chinese Black Ginseng Wild Ginkgo Bilboa Cola Nut Gotu-Kola Fo ti tieng Green Tea Extract Rou Gui Without checking references I can't say much about the either Guarana or German Ginkgo. I think -- but am not sure that a main ingredient of Gurarana is caffine. Certainly Cola nut, Gotu-Kola, and Green-tea extract are all potent sources of caffine. Ma-huang is a major source of ephedrine and taken over time can do serious harm. It's the first herb listed in most Chinese herbals and from earliest times warnings about its damage over time have been explicit. Although it's fairly safe all good herbalists use it with caution. As for Fo ti-tieng.....this herb is not found in any Chinese herbal manuals at all. I don't know what it's supposed to be but often the herb sold under this name is a form of Angelica. It's quite harmless and is used in many gynecological formulae. I've been pretty deeply involved in Chinese culture off and on for about thirty years now and not once have I ever heard of 'black ginseng'. I assume that it's an imaginative translation of what's usuallly called 'red ginseng.' Red and white ginsengs are the same part of the same plant but they are processed differently. Red ginseng, if I remember rightly, is steamed with sugar and then goes through some sort of curing process. (So called American ginseng is another plant altogether and is used quite differently from real Ginseng in Chinese medicine.) As for Rou Gui, the Web page calls it a rare form of Chinese nutmeg. It's really just a form of cinnamon bark...not quite the same as the one you'll get in a grocery store but close. So, all in all, I expect you' get a very similar result with some really good strong coffee, perhaps flavored with a bit of cinammon. If you really wanted the effect of the ephedrine (and I don't think you REALLY do, even though you may _think_ you do) it's not hard to come by . Just because a product is "natural" doesn't mean that it's good, or even safe. Belladonna and hemlock are natural. In any case....the posting was an ad and didn't even BELONG in a newsgroup.