Psychedelic Plants Found in Ancient Mayan Ballcourt

in Culture

Archaeologists studying the ruins of an Ancient Mayan city of Yaxnohcah, on the Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico, found evidence of at least four psychedelic or medicinal plants that were used in a ritual some 2,000 years ago during the Late Preclassic period.

It’s well known that psychedelic plants and fungi played a significant role in Mayan religion and culture as a whole, and researchers are narrowing down which species were used based on archaeological evidence. 

According to a study published April 26 in the journal PLOS One, Mayans at Yaxnohcah participated in a ritual at a ballcourt using four or more plants. After conducting a DNA analysis of soil samples from a spot on an elevated platform supporting a ballcourt, researchers identified several plants, the Smithsonian Magazine reports. These include a hallucinogenic flower known as xtabentun (Ipomoea corymbosa), as well as lancewood (Oxandra lanceolata), chile peppers (Capsicum sp.), and jool leaves (Hampea trilobata). All four have medicinal properties. The plants were likely wrapped up in a bundle tied or woven from jool leaves. All that is left is a dark patch showing particles of organic material.

It paints a colorful picture of Mayan religion. Xtabentun is a variety of the psychedelic morning glory flower, growing wild in the Yucatan. It had several uses in Mayan culture because it produces the pollen Yucatecan honey bees use to create the nectar needed to make traditional Mayan liquor, with a kick. Morning glory varieties have seeds that contain ergoline alkaloids such as the psychedelic ergonovine and ergine (LSA), chemically similar to the more potent LSD. Chile (or chili) peppers were used medicinally for a variety of purposes as well. Jool leaves are used to wrap up offerings and lancewood is used ceremonially as well.

Researchers believe the plants may have been used to “ …

Read More

Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest from Culture

0 $0.00
Go to Top