Morning Glory Seeds: What Are They?
Morning glory seeds contain the alkaloid compound ergine, also known as D-lysergic acid amide (LSA).
LSA has a similar chemical structure to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and produces hallucinogenic effects. Therefore, some people view morning glory seeds as a legal alternative to the potent psychedelic. However, the fact that they are legal and widely available does not necessarily mean they are safe.
Here is our complete guide to morning glory and LSA, including their uses, effects, side effects, and more.
What Is Morning Glory?
Morning glory is a member of a plant family known as Convolvulaceae. They are creeping vines with heart-shaped leaves and trumpet-like flowers.
There are many different varieties of the plant, and morning glory flowers can be white, purple, or blue. One of the most common varieties is Heavenly Blue (Ipomoea tricolor), which is popular for its striking turquoise blooms. Therefore, Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds are widely available in garden centers and nurseries, along with other related species.
Their accessibility means that some individuals may consider using these seeds for their psychoactive effects. They contain a range of alkaloid compounds, including LSA, that can produce altered mental states and hallucinations.
Other plants that contain the same chemicals include Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) and Ololiuqui (Rivea corymbosa). A. nervosa is native to the Indian subcontinent and has a role in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This ancient healing system promotes its use for gonorrhea, difficult urination, ulcers, diabetes, and more.
Meanwhile, Ololiuqui is native to Central America, and the Aztecs and their neighboring tribes used it in religious ceremonies. They also recommended Ololiuqui for treating flatulence, venereal diseases, pain, and tumors.
However, there is currently little scientific evidence supporting the medicinal uses of either plant.
Morning glory seedlings look fairly similar to many other young plants. Therefore, correctly identifying wild morning glory seedlings can be difficult and is not recommended.
The best way to reduce the risk of confusing these plants with other species is by growing them from seed. However, readers should note that commercial morning glory seeds are usually treated with antifungals and other chemicals. Therefore, they may be toxic and should not be consumed.
Morning Glory Seeds Effects
According to a report by Albert Hofmann, the Aztecs used Ololiuqui to induce a delirious state and communicate with the Gods. They apparently saw visions and “terrifying hallucinations” and received supernatural messages during these rituals.
However, Hofmann described his own experience with the drug somewhat differently. He stated that it caused: “tiredness, apathy, a feeling of mental emptiness and of the unreality and complete meaninglessness of the outside world.”
Others have described feelings of indifference, a sensation of “sinking into nothingness,” and a desire to sleep.
These effects are primarily due to the seeds’ LSA content. A 2013 studyfound that LSA extract from A. nervosa interacted with serotonin and dopamine receptors to produce mild psychedelic effects.
A. nervosa, Ololiuqui, and morning glory contain many of the same psychoactive components. Therefore, morning glory seeds’ effects are likely to be comparable to the other two plants.
Morning Glory Seeds Side Effects
LSA-containing plants can also cause numerous unpleasant side effects, and there have been several reports of fatalities after using them. According to a 2017 publication, the side effects of eating morning glory seeds may include:
- Suicidal ideation
- Appetite loss
- Memory loss
- Schizophrenic relapses
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