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Ayahuasca: alkaloids, plants & analogs
assembled by Keeper of the Trout
Section 3 : Part 2 :
Phalaris : Effects of drying (or freezing) versus fresh material

Culvenor noted that while air dry samples of P. tuberosa contain 0.05% to 0.08% total alkaloids, fresh grass may contain twice as much alkaloid than would be present if it was dried. In addition there is a higher proportion of bufotenine and a lower proportion of the uncharacterized indoles of high Rf present in fresh grass.

[Drying has the greatest negative impact on young growth and on high alkaloid strains. The effects on older growth and on poor alkaloid producers is much less.]

Donker et al. 1976 reported that drying Phalaris arundinacea hay reduces alkaloid content by around half (reduced to 59% of original.)

Hovin et al. 1980 determined that when Phalaris arundinacea is used for silage that alkaloid concentration does decrease but remains at a higher level than when air drying as hay. They recovered 93% of the original alkaloid content in ensiled chopped reed canary grass.

[Ghosal noted that in D. gangeticum leaf, the alkaloid content was three times as high when green than if allowed to dry but that dry material had a higher percentage of 5-MeO-DMT.]

Barnes et al. 1971, studying several clones of P. arundinacea, found that the total alkaloid content was 2 to 6 times higher in fresh samples than in stored frozen samples. Also:
  • Levels of gramine were approximately double in the fresh harvest.
  • Levels of 5-MeO were about 4 times greater in the fresh harvest.
  • DMT levels in clone 6332 were greater in the fresh material but about the same in clone 6049 [Both were DMT/5-MeO-DMT producers]. [These numbers are from the gene pool at the University of Michigan.]
  • Relative amounts were roughly the same. [This has been found by Appleseed to be highly dependent on the variety. Some strains increase the 5-MeO-DMT to DMT ratio as they dry.]The total alkaloid amounts present in fresh versus frozen was much higher in the high alkaloid producers. [Low alkaloid producers were less affected by drying.]
Grass treated with ethanol immediately upon harvesting also gave higher returns. This is believed due to the action of the alcohol denaturing the enzymes responsible for the loss. [See Culvenor for details.]