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Drug info - Hallucinogenic/Narcotic Moss: "Fogg" - Heather Mead

Discussion in 'Ethnobotanicals' started by Shanty, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Shanty

    Shanty Titanium Member

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    There is supposedly a moss (known as, "Fogg") which grows on the woody stems of heather in Scotland (and possibly other locations). Bruce Williams, a beer brewer (interested in brewing heather beer) sent a sample of this heather to Keith Thomas (in England) who was a botanist. When harvesting heather the fogg would leave a white residue/powder on the harvester. After analysis, Keith concluded that the moss possessed narcotic and mild hallucinogenic properties. Keith advised a vigorouse washing of any heather used in brewing....

    The rumor is that some harvesters, upon discovering this, would often indulge in some "late night" heather tea.

    The ancient Picts (the people that lived in Scotland before the Scots) would brew Heather Beer with unwashed heather. "The Heather Mead, it was said, gave the Pictish people amazing powers of vision, and enhanced their eyesight so well, that they could even spend hours in the darkest of caves drawing on the walls without so much as the light from a candle." The Picts were known for living underground and also for their swirling "trippy" pre-celtic art. JRR Tolkien would later change the Picts from history to legend by creating "Dwarves" in his stories, that drank beer, were short and lived incaves - like the Picts.

    So this mead (honey beer/wine) was made with this laced heather, the beverage was a coveted brew and wars were waged over its production. Because of these battles over it, the brewing tek has been lost to history.

    Does anyone have any information on this moss/mead or have tried unwashed heather beer? Or heather moss tea?
     
  2. V3TR

    V3TR Silver Member

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    Sounds interesting I've been wondering for a while if any ferns or mosses had any qualities of interest. Hmm this has me wondering what other mosses may pocess similar properties
    -----in addition------
    After a quick search I picked this up
    Many Lycopodium species (club-mosses) are considered to be toxic. Christian Rätsch (1998) has recently examined a number of species which may have psychoactive properties. Many species of club-moss are used by healers as drugs, plants amulets and as an additive to San Pedro potions (Trichocereus pachanoi) as part of the practice of curanderos in Northern Peru. Lycopodium species may also enhance the psychoactivity of San Pedro potions. A plant-gatherer and trader at the 'witches' market' of Chiclayo stated in june 1997 that condoro, which Rätsch identified as L. magellanicum, possessed psychoactive effects, especially in association with Trichocereus pachanoi. It is possible that club-moss is used for its psychoactive properties in Chile, or had been at one time (Rätsch 1998).
    L. clavatum L. and other spontaneous club-mosses in Europe have various vernacular names which suggest ancient uses in pagan rituals.

    These names alude to witchcraft: 'spirit' or 'witch herb', flour or powder; 'snake moss'; 'devil's claw'; 'devil ash'; 'worry'. The spores are known as 'witch four', 'spirit flour' or 'lightning', straw or moss powder (Rätsch 1998). Since antiquity, L. clavatum plantules have been used in Europe as stomachic and diuretic remedies, as well as against rheumatism and liver and bladder complaints. The diuretic effect would appear to be owing to the presence of alkaloids (this explains the considerable toxicity of the infusion), its action is analogous to that of coniine (Negri 1979). In the East Indies, L. phlegmaria L. and L. hygrometricum L. are considered to be aphrodisiacs. In the West Indies, L. cernuum is used as a diuretic and is considered to be specific for the treatment of certain forms of dysentery. Various Lycopodium species produce a wide range of alkaloids, among which are annotine, lycopodine and clavatoxine (Willaman & Li 1970).
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  3. Shanty

    Shanty Titanium Member

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    There is little good information on the topic, but it seems that it is not a moss at all.

    From Wikipedia:
    From what I could find, the name of the fungus may be Erysiphe polygoni:
    On a number of Beer Brewing forums people talk about this "ergot-like" fungus and the potential risks of ergot ingestion. However, I have not found anything along the lines of sickness or intoxication from consuming an unwashed heather home brew.

    If I could find a record of the information exchanged between Keith Thomas and Bruce Williams I might know more about what this fungus is.

    The only way to truly solve this mystery, is if someone who lives in Scotland go and makes themselves some heather tea or beer that hasn't been treated.
     
  4. V3TR

    V3TR Silver Member

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    Tranger thinks you should investigate further into what else this fungi grows on if there is anything local to him that may have it he will try to lOok for it when he is out