|Argyreia nervosa - Hawaiian Baby Woodrose
- Convovulaceae - India, Southeast Asia, Hawaii
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds are perhaps one of the least understood of modern-day entheogens and exotic botanicals. There is much controversy in regards to its true place in Shamanic and traditional history outside of its native culture and home; India. Beautiful woody, flowering vine that grows well in full sun on a trellis. The leaves are large, downy and have velvety white hairs. The flowers are purple on the inside fading lighter at the ends. The seed pods dry into woody "roses" which hold one to four seeds.
Part of the controversy stems from its contemporary name, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose. It’s been theorized that it was introduced in Hawaii very early on and thrived in the tropical climate, thus leading to Hawaii becoming known as its latter day “home” and popular namesake. It is less popularly known as the Silver Morning Glory (stemming from its origin in the Convolvulaccae Morning Glory family), bastantri (Sanskrit), samandar-ka-pat (Hindi), and the Monkey Rose, among other folk names. The plant is also part of the indigenous flora of Australia and has been known to grow wild in Africa. Now planted in all tropical regions throughout the world, it is popular as an ornamental plant, as well as an enthogenic intoxicant and legal inebriant, although the ingestion of this plant in many parts of the world is now illegal, including the United States.
The beautiful, woody, flowering trellis vine that is Hawaiian Baby Woodrose flourishes in direct sunlight, in areas that promote hot, humid climates. Known to reach over thirty feet (or ten meters), in length, its leaves are large and downy with velvety white hairs, and its purple flowers gradate from a deep shade inside to a lighter shade of lavender toward the outer petals. The seed pods dry into woody "rosebuds," each one containing four to six seeds. The seeds are known to be rich in psychoactive ergot alkaloids and contain a naturally occurring tryptamine called LSA (Lysergic Acid Amide).
Unfortunately, one cannot simply plant a Woodrose plant and expect to get seeds within a few months or even a year. In most parts of the world, it can take a 2nd flowering, or 2 years to get your first batch of seeds from this exotic plant. In India, growing seasons are often accelerated, so one can often get seeds within 18 months, but to many, that's still an extraordinarily long time to wait. But, once this beautiful climber is growing in your garden, all the effort is worth it once you get your first harvest of seeds.
TRADITIONAL USES: The Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is a popular candidate for the mythological Soma plant, of which the definitive botanical identity is unknown today. “Soma” is the liquid potion derived from the Soma plant, and the earthly counterpart of Ambrosia, the ancient, mythical drink of immortality reserved for the gods. The name soma was bestowed upon a deity (the moon; the god of plants), the plant itself and the sacrificial drink that was prepared from the plant.
In the Hindu tradition, the moon (originally called soma), was believed to be the ambrosia-filled drinking vessel of the gods. When the moon was full, the vessel was full; by the time the new moon appeared, the drinking vessel had been emptied. It filled up again as the moon waxed.
To prepare this mystical concoction, the stems of the soma plant were pressed to release the sap. The resulting juice, which was believed to “dissolve all sins,” was then mixed with water and offered to Indra, the Hindu God of Thunder. This soma ritual is thought to have served as the prototype for the kava ceremony of the South Pacific. It has also been widely speculated that the identity of the Soma plant is actually Amanita muscaria, and written about extensively at The Amanita Shop.
It has been noted in various oral histories that the Huna religion, the healing and spiritual shamanism of ancient Hawaii, employed the seeds of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose for their Shamanic rituals, using the seeds’ enthogenic and magical properties to connect with the spirit world. The Huna Shaman prepared the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds by grinding them into a powder and mixing the powder directly with water, resulting in a supernatural libation that was then drunk by the Huna Shaman. This magical tonic was used as a means for the Shaman to pass from this worldly plane into the realm of the spirits.
Documented modern applications of the seeds vary – they are known to be used as an inebriant by lower income Hawaiians in lieu of paying exorbitant prices for Hawaiian marijuana. They are also widely regarded as hallucinogens in today’s Australian drug scene. The seeds and preparations made from them are utilized and celebrated in Sex Magick rituals in certain underground subcultures such as those associated with Aleister Crowley, the British occultist.
The seeds are also used in a preparation known as Utopian bliss balls, which consist of five Argyreia seeds, damiana herbage, ginseng root, fo-ti-teng and bee pollen, and were very popular in the sixties among the hippies and artists in California.
Suffice it to say that despite any controversy, there is enough documented and anecdotal evidence to support the enthogenic properties of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds. Also, the following information is offered strictly for edcational and informational purposes only, since the ingestion of HBWR Seeds is illegal in many parts of the world, although the seeds themselves are completely legal to possess in most parts of the world.
TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: It is important that the seeds are removed from the pods before use, but most seeds already come this way. You’ll notice a fungus-like coating on them, which should be scraped or burnt off before further preparation. It is recommended to scrape off as much as possible and then gently burn off the rest, as the seed’s hull can be thick and it would be easy to end up charring the whole seed into a solid chunk of carbon if you hold it to the flame too long.
The seeds sold commercially are generally already removed from the pods, but unless they are purchased from trusted online venders, typically ethnobotanical and/or entheogen dealers, they are often coated with dangerous posions to deter any ingestion of the seeds, just like commercially available Morning Glory Seeds are. The seeds themselves resemble small chocolate chips, but are hard as rocks and have the coating mentioned above. Four to eight seeds are chewed on an empty stomach (to minimize nausea). Please note: NOT all users experience nausea.
The seeds may also be ground into a powder that is swallowed, followed by plenty of water. You can also grind and soak the seeds in water overnight, then strain them out and drink the water. If ground seeds are used, always make sure they are freshly ground.
If you want to stem off the possibility of the nausea, this side effect can be lessened by ingesting one or two Dramamine thirty minutes to one hour before consuming the seeds. More Dramamine can be taken after the nausea sets in, if it sets in. However, you must remember that Dramamine can be a DANGEROUS drug when taken in high doses and its effects when mixed with ergot alkaloids and LSA are unknown. Exceeding the recommended dosage given on the Dramamine package is NEVER recommended under any circumstances.
If Dramamine is not used, and you do experience nausea, inducing vomiting when the nausea starts will provide relief, but the LSD-like effects of the seeds will continue. Some users have recounted that they experienced a hangover characterized by blurred vision, vertigo and physical inertia.
TRADITIONAL EFFECTS: Generally, reportedly four to eight seeds (approximately 2 grams), are considered sufficient to produce an LSD-like experience, with psychonauts reporting colorful visions of a spiritual nature, psychedelic patterns, all-over body sensations, a sense of extreme relaxation, euphoria and deep spiritual awareness. Thirteen to fourteen seeds are reportedly the maximum suggested dose.
The LSD-like effects typically last six to eight hours and vary in intensity. Tranquil feelings have been reported to last up to an additional twelve hours. Sleep is reportedly often deep and refreshing after the trip as well, but reports tend to vary widely.
The seeds that are most sought after; Hawaiian Baby Woodrose from Hawaii, are also the seeds that are most difficult to find. Be wary of online shops who offer only ONE type of Hawaiian Baby Eoodrose seed; there are multiple strains, which range from no LSA, to often extremely high concentrations such as the Hawaiian HBWR. Both Shaman's Garden and the IAmShaman Shop offer a wide variety of strains at a wide variety of prices, so it's best to educate yourself on each individual strain, including learning how to recognize the differences between them, especially in terms of what each strain looks like.
Seeds from Ghana are typically smooth and very light in color. Seeds from the Ayurvedic strain from India are typically more "pointed" and larger than most other Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds. Ones from India typically have less LSA content, but look roughly the same as the coveted strain from Hawaii, but don't have much "fuzz" on them, and they are also typically slightly smaller in size.