of the valley
The famous professor
and researcher of poison Louis Lewin first got acquainted with the sacred
plant of the Aztecs, the ancient inhabitants of Mexico, in 1886 during
his travels through Central and South America. The cactus had been worshiped
by the local tribes because of its hallucinogenic effect. Its gathering
was accompanied by special religious ceremonies.
The Mexican cactus was thoroughly
examined at the Botanical Institute of Berlin. The research worker Henings
extracted the alkaloid mescaline. The psychotherapist Walter Frederking
conducted 40 experiments with it upon himself. He described its hallucinogenic
effects in detail: he got into an imaginary world of variegated skies,
a thousand suns and dizzy drift. None of the narcotics at that time could
have stimulated the brain so strongly. Frederking also found out that doses
exceeding 0.5 mg are poisonous.