Pyschedelic Caterpillars?!?!?

Discussion in 'Ethnobotanicals' started by uqlfy, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. uqlfy

    uqlfy Newbie

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    So I was watching animal planet yesterday and there was a about
    monarch butterflies. The caterpillars only eat milkweed. The weed
    contains alkaloids which are stored in caterpillar and make predators
    ill if they eat caterpillar.

    Now the word alkaloids really got my attention, so I
    looked around and all I could find was a one line reference to
    pyschedelic caterpillars on erowid.

    The questions I have is does anybody know what alkaloids are in
    milkweed? Or has anybody ever actually eaten a monarch caterpillar?

    Im still researching this but I firgured maybe someone here could save me some time.
     
  2. Eirias

    Eirias Gold Member

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    .
    The reference to psychedelic caterpillars is based on
    an old and obscure note by one of those European explorers, like
    Richard Spruce, who went into the Amazon and took various notes in the
    mid to late 19th century. The explorer reportedly observed
    certain indigenous groups using a grub/larva of some sort of butterfly
    or moth and eating (I believe) the stomach tube (larva often have a
    long tube that serves as a stomach, GI tract, and anus all in one) of
    the creature to obtain psychoactive, reportedly hallucinogenic
    effects. Also I think that it was one of those things like the
    puffer fish, aka "fugu" which are poisonous except in certain amounts
    or parts of the animal (fugu is prepared as sushi in Japan and has some
    psychoactive qualities). So it is not known if the whole larvae
    would in fact be toxic. There was some speculation about the
    species, and if it was naturally pschyoactive or if (like the monach
    larvae) it has to do with a plant it ate, and I think they were able to
    narrow it down to a family of insect (possibly down to a genus).
    But with all the biodiversity in the Amazon, coupled with all the
    deforestation rapidly destroying habitats, it's quite possible that we
    may never know what this reported "psychedelic caterpillar" was, or how
    it was used. Caveat Emptor.





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  3. uqlfy

    uqlfy Newbie

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    Thanks Eirias now I have a lead of some kind on this.



    To anyone else who may have thought they could get high on
    monarch caterpillars.DONT EAT ONE!!!!!! The alakloids they contain are
    cardiac glycosides. Bad bad bad stuff.



    However milkweed itself does have a history of use
    similiar to syrian rue. I dont know that the compounds are
    pyschoactive, but it has been used as an emetic, abortifacant, for food
    ,clothing and to remove parasites from the GI tract. Also hindu myth
    holds that milkweed is the King of Plants and that the creator was
    intoxicated on milkweed juice when he made the world. So I dont think
    Im too far off when I say this plant and still possibly(though
    doubtfull) the monarch caterpillar holds some promise as an entheogen.
     
  4. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    Ehh... Stick to lickin frogs.
     
  5. panchovilla

    panchovilla Newbie

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    Well, this is interesting. I have lots of milkweeds, and have raised lots of monarch caterpillars, but have never thought about eating one. I have always heard that milkweeds are poisonous, but alcohol is a poison too.
     
  6. uqlfy

    uqlfy Newbie

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    Well Im waiting for a reply to an e-mail sent to a professer at cornell university. Apparently he has researched extensively and lived with two native amazon tribes (Hotis+Picorous). There are a few indications these tribes used insects as intoxicants. Hope hereplys.


    Also still looking for any recipes for milkweed, be it medicinal use or otherwise. Anyone?
     
  7. RemyLeBeau

    RemyLeBeau Newbie

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    what is this fear factor? now were eating caterpillar anuses to get high!!!! the world gone mad i tell ya!!!!!! Someone should right my goverment (US) with this factoid and tell them that their children are eating caterpillars and they should just legalize bud, i live in a backasswards country when it comes to drugs