Devil's Root, Dumpling Cactus, Lophophora williamsii, Magic Mushrooms, Mescal Buttons, Mescaline, Pellote, Peyotl, Sacred Mushroom.
Peyote is a small cactus. The cactus crown has disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the plant, sliced, and dried. The dried buttons may be chewed. Or the buttons are soaked in water and the resulting liquid is used as a medicine.
Peyote is also used as a recreational drug because it can cause hallucinations. It contains a chemical called mescaline that has effects that are similar to LSD, but less powerful.
In the US, it is illegal to possess peyote.
How does it work?
There isn't enough information available to know how peyote works as a medicine.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Peyote is UNSAFE for use. It can cause nausea and vomiting, anxiety, paranoia, fear, and emotional instability. It can also raise blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate. Changes in vision, drooling, headache, dizziness, and drowsiness may also occur. Although it is rarely fatal, peyote can cause homicidal, psychotic, or suicidal behavior related to the hallucinations.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to use peyote if you are pregnant. The mescaline in peyote can cause birth defects.
Surgery: Peyote acts like a stimulant. Doctors worry that it might interfere with surgery by increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Stop taking peyote at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Stimulant drugsInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heartbeat. Peyote might also speed up the nervous system. Taking peyote along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with peyote.
The appropriate dose of peyote depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for peyote. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Padula, P. A. and Friedmann, L. W. Acquired amputation and prostheses before the sixteenth century. Angiology 1987;38(2 Pt 1):133-141. View abstract.
Blum, K., Futterman, S. L., and Pascarosa, P. Peyote, a potential ethnopharmacologic agent for alcoholism and other drug dependencies: possible biochemical rationale. Clin.Toxicol. 1977;11(4):459-472. View abstract.
Bullis, R. K. Swallowing the scroll: legal implications of the recent Supreme Court peyote cases. J.Psychoactive Drugs 1990;22(3):325-332. View abstract.
Calabrese, J. D. Spiritual healing and human development in the Native American church: toward a cultural psychiatry of peyote. Psychoanal.Rev. 1997;84(2):237-255. View abstract.
Carlini, E. A., Santos, M., and Sampaio, M. R. Potentiation of histamine and inhibition of diamine oxidase by mescaline. Experientia 2-15-1965;21:72-73. View abstract.
Carod Artal, F. J. [Neurological syndromes associated with the ingestion of plants and fungi with a toxic component (II). Hallucinogenic fungi and plants, mycotoxins and medicinal herbs]. Rev Neurol 5-16-2003;36(10):951-960. View abstract.
Dorrance, D. L., Janiger, O., and Teplitz, R. L. Effect of peyote on human chromosomes. Cytogenetic study of the Huichol Indians of Northern Mexico. JAMA 10-20-1975;234(3):299-302. View abstract.
Drug Enforcement Agency. Peyote and mescaline. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/concern/peyote.html. (Accessed 14 March 2004).
Franco-Molina, M., Gomez-Flores, R., Tamez-Guerra, P., Tamez-Guerra, R., Castillo-Leon, L., and Rodriguez-Padilla, C. In vitro immunopotentiating properties and tumour cell toxicity induced by Lophophora williamsii (peyote) cactus methanolic extract. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(9):1076-1081. View abstract.
Gilmore HT. Petoye use during pregnancy. S D J Med 2001;54:27-9. View abstract.
Halpern, J. H., Sherwood, A. R., Hudson, J. I., Yurgelun-Todd, D., and Pope, H. G., Jr. Psychological and cognitive effects of long-term peyote use among Native Americans. Biol Psychiatry 10-15-2005;58(8):624-631. View abstract.
Hashimoto, H., Clyde, V. J., and Parko, K. L. Botulism from peyote. N.Engl.J.Med. 7-16-1998;339(3):203-204. View abstract.
Henry, J. L., Epley, J., and Rohrig, T. P. The analysis and distribution of mescaline in postmortem tissues. J Anal.Toxicol 2003;27(6):381-382. View abstract.
Huttlinger, K. W. and Tanner, D. The Peyote way: implications for Culture Care theory. J.Transcult.Nurs. 1994;5(2):5-11. View abstract.
Keller, W. J. and Yeary, R. A. Catecholamine metabolism in a psychoactive cactus. Clin Toxicol 1980;16(2):233-243. View abstract.
Lu, B. Y., Woofter, C., and Escalona, R. A case of prolonged peyote-induced psychosis resolved by sleep. J.Clin.Psychiatry 2004;65(10):1433-1434. View abstract.
Nolte, K. B. and Zumwalt, R. E. Fatal peyote ingestion associated with Mallory-Weiss lacerations. West J.Med. 1999;170(6):328. View abstract.
Orzechowski, R. F. and Goldstein, F. J. Species variation in blood pressure responses to mescaline: evidence of histamine release. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1973;25(4):525-533. View abstract.
Pelner, L. Peyote cult, mescaline hallucinations, and model psychosis. N.Y.State J.Med. 11-1-1967;67(21):2838-2843. View abstract.
Strahlendorf, J. R. and Goldstein, F. J. Central antagonism of tyramine-induced systemic hypotension by mescaline. J Pharm Pharmacol 1977;29(11):699-700. View abstract.