Erowid References Database
“Visions of the Night: Western Medicine Meets Peyote 1887-1899”.
Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research. 2001;2:6-52.
[EXCERPT] This article outlines some of what I have thus far learned from a project I began some years ago to study the history of the earliest scientific investigations of peyote and its alkaloids. I have come across a number of intriguing features in this history, including particularly the personalities of many of the principal investigators. But I will focus on two main questions
1) What is actually known of the human pharmacology and psychopharmacology of the many alkaloids in peyote other than the most famous and abundant alkaloid, mescaline? Could these contribute in any way to the overall effects of regular peyote consumption as practiced by members of the Native American Church?
2) How did peyote affect the first non-Indians to ingest it? I was particularly interested in finding firsthand accounts from these earliest “psychonauts” (to
employ an anachronism) which might reveal significant differences in the response of non-Indians from Indians. My motives in looking for such differences and my reasons for expecting them are developed below.
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