P. aselliformis is a well known medicinal peyote sold in the markets of San Luís Potosí, Mexico, and is used as a remedy for fevers and rheumatic pains. Extracts have also been shown to have antibiotic activity.
It was first described as a peyote by Britton & Rose who state that "it is said by the Mexicans to possess medicinal properties." Schultes, citing Britton & Rose, regards P.aselliformis as a plant "said to be either narcotic or medicinal." William Emboden, the author of Narcotic Plants, is the only one who has claims to have witnessed the efficacy of this plant as a "psychomimetic," a plant that mimics psychosis. Unfortunately Emboden fails to describe any particulars of the intoxication. Anderson regards it as "unclear if it was ever used ceremonially."
Mescaline levels are minimal, and it can be assumed other alkaloids, or non-alkaloidal properties, account for the plant's reputed psychoactivity.
Once rare in cultivation this very slow growing species can often be found grafted. P.strobiliformis (=Encephalocarpus strobiliformis) has also been informally mentioned as being a medicinal peyote species. Local names include: "Peote," "peyotillo," "peotillo," "peyote meco," "piote," "hatchet cactus."
Mescaline (less than .00002% - dry weight)TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: