Lysergic acid amide
Ergine, also known as d-lysergic acid amide (LSA) and d-lysergamide, is an alkaloid of the ergoline family that occurs in various species of vines of the Convolvulaceae and some species of fungi. As the dominant alkaloid in the psychedelic seeds of Turbina corymbosa (ololiuhqui), Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose) and Ipomoea tricolor (morning glories, tlitliltzin), it is often stated that ergine and/or isoergine (its epimer) is responsible for the psychedelic activity. However, this theory is debatable, as anecdotal reports suggest that the effects of synthetic LSA and iso-LSA are only slightly psychedelic, see Mixing the Kykeon below for a summary of human trials, and Chapter 17 and entry #26 of TiHKAL for further discussion.
A traditional use of morning glory seeds by Mexican Native Americans was first described by Richard Schultes in 1941 in a short report documenting their use going back to Aztec times (cited in TiHKAL by Alexander Shulgin). Further research was published in 1960, when Don Thomes MacDougall reported that the seeds of Ipomoea tricolor were used as sacraments by certain Zapotecs, sometimes in conjunction with the seeds of Rivea corymbosa, another species which has a similar chemical composition, with lysergol instead of ergometrine. Ergine was assayed for human activity by Albert Hofmann in self-trials in 1947, well before it was known to be a natural compound. Intramuscular administration of a 500 microgram dose led to a tired, dreamy state, with an inability to maintain clear thoughts. After a short period of sleep the effects were gone, and normal baseline was recovered within five hours.
Ergine is a component of the alkaloids contained in the Claviceps purpurea fungus which grows on the heads of infected rye grasses.
It is also found in the seeds of several varieties of morning glories in concentrations of approximately 10 µg per seed, as well as Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, at a concentration of around 0.13% of dry weight.
There are not any known deaths associated directly with pharmacological causes of ergine, but rather due to self-harm, impaired judgement, and drug interactions. One known case involves suicide after ingestion of Morning Glory seeds. Another instance is a death due to falling off of a building after ingestion of Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds and ethanol as well as the subsequent usage of cannabis.
- List of entheogenic/hallucinogenic species
- List of psychoactive plants
- Tlitliltzin (Ipomoea violacea)
- Bulletin on Narcotics 1971 1 3
- Mixing the kykeon – P. Webster, D. M. Perrine & C.A.P. Ruck
- TiHKAL (A & A Shulgin) #26