Top 7 Controversial And Mind-Altering Plants
4 min

Top 7 Controversial And Mind-Altering Plants

4 min
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These seven interesting and sometimes mind-altering plants are the base product for some of the most powerful medicines and illicit narcotics on the planet. These substances and the control of their production and distribution have shaped the world we live in. Read on to discover where the drugs come from.

Of all the plant species on the planet, the 7 sinful seeds are the most infamous natural narcotics. Make no mistake, sowing any of these seeds can be dangerous, and in some cases, a deadly business. If you find the discussion of mind-altering drugs disturbing or are offended by facts that may contradict your beliefs, stop reading now. For those that can handle the truth, prepare yourself for the shocking reality about the 7 sinful seeds.



The Sumerians called it “Hul Gil” or the “joy plant”; we know it today as “smack” or heroin. The poppy has been with us for thousands of years. The red flower is still the symbol of WW1 remembrance for the British. Once upon a time, the Queen of England was the biggest narco-trafficker in the world and fought an Opium War with the Chinese for control of the trade. Twice! During the mid-19th century, the Opium Wars raged in the Far East from 1839–1842 and again from 1856–1860.

Poppy seeds continue to be sown for opium across an approximately 7,000km stretch of mountain ranges running from Central Asia, then cutting through Turkey, Afghanistan, and Myanmar. These crops are almost entirely refined into heroin and exported to the West.

Afghanistan is, by a significant margin, the number 1 opium producer. The best estimates from the Brookings Institute and the UN indicate 9,000+ metric tons of opium were produced in 2017. That’s a record even for Afghanistan.

Tasmania is the bulk legal opium producer, contributing as much as 40–50% to the global pharmaceutical supply. This opium is used for refinement into codeine and morphine.

Heroin was originally mass marketed by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer throughout the 1890s, who publicised it as a treatment for children suffering from bronchitis, coughs, and colds until 1912. Spoon-feeding kids heroin was advertised and recommended in newspapers internationally. It wasn’t until 1924 that the US FDA banned heroin.



Ayahuasca is the Spanish derivative of “ayawaska” from the Quechua languages of South America. Banisteriopsis caapi is a jungle vine common to the Amazon region, and the main ingredient in the hallucinogenic brew. Also referred to as yagé, ayahuasca is something of an ancient magic potion, with regional variances influencing ingredients and potency—not to mention the wide array of names for the hallucinogenic beverage.

Usually, a plant containing DMT, such as Psychotria viridis (chacruna), is added to the mix for the major psychoactive component. Anthropologists believe indigenous people have been using the brew for ceremonial and religious purposes dating as far back as 3,000 BC.

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In Brazil, it’s known as “hoasca” and always made using chacruna leaves by the União do Vegetal, the spiritual devotees/ayahuasca cult. This group has been legally drinking ayahuasca tea since 2010, when the Brazilian government recognised the ritual use. Andean shaman in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia may substitute other jungle vines containing DMT like Diplopterys cabrerana.

Skilled shaman can prepare ayahuasca that induces a 4–6 hour passage deep into the DMT reality. Some weep, others will vomit, most will enter a semi-conscious dream-like state. The shaman is also there to watch over those that journey. But a Brujos or sorcerer might prey on a vulnerable, nauseous tourist tripping on the ayahuasca trail.


The sassafras tree is endemic to eastern North America and eastern Asia. To look at sassafras plants is pretty unremarkable, except for their three-lobed leaves that kind of resemble mittens. But the high safrole content found in sassafras oil from the bark and roots is a precursor to MDA, MDMA, and MDEA. In 1898, it was first synthesised by German Chemist Fritz Haber to manufacture ecstasy, and later patented by Merck in 1914.

Known as “molly” in the US, MDMA has recently resurged as the party drug of choice. High demand for ecstasy has led to massive deforestation of sassafras trees. Unfortunately, to get the oil, you have to cut the tree down. Cambodia’s tropical forests are currently being destroyed to harvest the oil.



Magic mushroom art dates back thousands of years. 6,000-year-old rock art discovered in a cave near the town of Villar del Humo, Spain in 2011 depicts what experts agree are the local fungi Psilocybe hispanica. Before humans had even developed agriculture, people were shroom-hunting grasslands for cow patties with psilocybin mushrooms growing.

Recreational tripping has been common in the modern era since the 1960s counterculture movement. Medical research was halted by the War on Drugs. Recently, psilocybin is regaining lost mainstream medical acceptance as a viable treatment for depression and other illnesses. Psychedelic science is making a comeback. As Timothy Leary once said, “Just Say Know”.

View Mushmush Grow Kit 'McKennaii'



Syrian Rue dates back to Ancient Persia and is another contender for the sacred Soma drink. The Mazdean priests or Magi of Persia called their sacred plant Haoma. Contemporary psychonauts are now exploring the possibility that cannabis is not the obvious choice of ingredient for the Soma brew.

The strongest evidence is that marijuana is not a hallucinogen. Neither is Syrian rue, however, it is chemically very similar to the Banisteriopsis caapi used to orally activate DMT in ayahuasca. This is due to high concentrations of MAO inhibitor substances, rather than psychoactive alkaloids. Ground Syrian rue seeds are a popular ayahuasca analogue ingredient and reputed to be easier on the stomach than shamanic preparations.



Mimosa hostilis is a hardy plant species found throughout South America and even as far north as southern Mexico. The fern-like plants shed leaves that form a mulch and eventually humus on the forest floor. Moreover, plants are nitrogen-fixing and an important source of fodder for livestock. Furthermore, the tree makes excellent wood for fuel or carpentry. A high tannin content protects the wood from rot and is used to tan leather.

Psychonauts will be interested because of the presence of DMT and the potential to brew a custom psychedelic tea. In combination with the Syrian rue, it becomes orally active. The powerful, long-lasting trip is described as similar to the tribal ayahuasca brew, usually concocted for the DMT experience rather than for a spiritual experience or healing.


View Mimosa Hostilis (10 Grams)



Chewing of the coca leaf with lime for an energy boost is a habit going way back to 6000 BC with the Andean tribes of western South America. To the natives, it’s a common stimulant like a cup of coffee. Cocaine is derived from the same leaves of the Erythroxylon coca bush.

Mate de coca or tea from the coca leaves is sold packed in tea bags in South America and widely believed to be a healthy drink. Coca leaf is actually rich in essential minerals and vitamins. On the dark conspiratorial side of the coca leaf, it would appear that some powerful secret network has ensured that cocaine will be sticking around. Recently discovered mysterious varieties of coca like Boliviana negra are actually herbicide-resistant. Speculation that this strange “supercoca” was created in a lab still persists.

Top-Shelf Grower

Written by: Top-Shelf Grower
Veteran cannabis cultivator originally from Dublin, Ireland and currently on the loose in southern Spain. 100% committed to Top-Shelf reporting until captured or killed.

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