Other Native Drugs

Students interested in ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY and cultural practices associated with drug use will find many fascinating accounts in Asian history. One modern example involves the consumption of a drink called KAVA, which is prepared from the roots of Piper methysticum. In Polynesia, Mi cronesia, and Melanesia this drink is taken for recreational purposes, to calm and sedate the user.

There are ancient drug-taking practices connected to FLY AGARIC, a sometimes deadly mushroom (Amanita mascaria) found in several countries. One way to reduce the toxicity of this mushroom is to feed it to a reindeer and drink the reindeer urine, which contains intoxicating metabolites of the chemicals found in the mushroom.

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