Erowid References Database
Lyttle T, Goldstein D, Gartz J.
“Bufo toads and bufotenine: fact and fiction surrounding an alleged psychedelic”.
J Psychoactive Drugs. 1996 Jul-Sep 18;28(3):267-90.
This paper investigates the supposedly psychedelic Bufo toad and the allegedly psychedelic drug bufotenine, which is contained in the skin and glands of this toad. The bufo toad has held a place in human mythologies and medicines worldwide since archaic times. Used by ancient peoples for a variety of purposes, its most spectacular effects, according to lore, involve magical and shamanic or occult uses for casting spells and for divination. In the Middle Ages, the Bufo toad was celebrated as a panacea and persecuted as a powerful poison. More recently, in the 1960s the Bufo toad was resurrected as a countercultural icon, with people purportedly licking or smoking the secretions to get high. Bufotenine has been at the center of a scientific debate since its discovery in 1893. This paper examines the extensive literature surrounding the Bufo toad and bufotenine, and untangles many of the myths and the misinformation that continue to vex both science and popular reporting. Finally, to promote further investigation, a comprehensive bibliography is provided that charts the history of the Bufo toad and bufotenine.
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