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‘Fear and Loathing’ in Early Pre-Colombian America

New studies reveal the modern people of Central America, still use the same drug treatments as their ancestors. These bizarre, fantastic and questionable substances may be shocking to some and obvious to others.


In the rural regions of  Central America many modern communities lack the access and facilities to treat their medical ailments. In a reaction to this problem, these rural communities are turning to local shamans and healers, to cure their afflictions. These healers utilize ancient remedies to cure any number of physical and psychological disorders and afflictions.

Ancient cultures all across the globe are known to have dabbled with intoxicating, mind altering substances. Weather it be to strike fear into the hearts of their adversaries, commune with the gods, or have a good time, it is a fact that ancient humanity used many different drugs for many different reasons. Viking Berserkers hallucinated on mushrooms and ran into battle nude, Greeks and Romans often imbibed in classy affairs of drunken debauchery and the pre-Colombian people ingested mushrooms, cacti, alcohol and the dried skins of toads, to alter their perceptions on reality.

What Types of Drugs Were the Pre-Columbians Using?

Some of the drugs are noted to hold hallucinogenic properties; peyote cactus and mushrooms. Other types of substances delivered other psychoactive effects, toad skins, alcohol, tobacco and toloache. The hallucinogenic drugs would be used induce wild and realistic hallucinations, were as the other substances like toad skins and toloache would be used for diffrent, altered states of consciousness.

But, How Often Did the Ancient Mesoamericans Hallucinate on Psychedelic and Psychotropic Drugs? 

Its is believed that the ancient people would ingest these substances predominantly at rituals and for other religious events. For example, studies show that when it was determined to be the right time for a human sacrifice, perhaps to insure a more substantial harvest or to thank the sun for “being there”, the priests who would perform the ritual may ingest a mystical potion that would contain peyote and alcohol. The human offering that would be presented as the sacrifice, could be administered the same cocktail or one that may have the natural, mild anesthetic, toloache.

Not only would these ancient people drink these drugs in a beverage, they were also known to inhale the smoke created by burning the drugs, as well as making a ‘soup’ of many different substances and administer them through an enema. To administer these drugs through an enema, the primitive people would consruct a syringe like device out of mud, clay and gourds. they would them fill the dvice with a mixture of alcohol as well as other types of mid alering substances.


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