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Hawaiian baby woodrose

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Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa), not to be confused with the Hawaiian woodrose (Merremia tuberosa), is a perennial climbing vine, also known as Elephant Creeper and Woolly Morning Glory. Native toIndia and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. There are two botanical varieties. Argyreia Nervosa var nervosa described here, and Argyrea nervosa var speciosa, as species used in ayurveda, but with little to no psychoactive value.


The plant is a rare example of a plant whose hallucinogenic properties have only recently been discovered by non-Hawaiians. While its cousins in the Convolvulaceae family, such as the Rivea corymbosa (Ololiuhqui) and Ipomoea tricolor (Tlitliltzin), were used in shamanic rituals of Latin America for centuries, the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose was not traditionally recognized as a hallucinogen. Its properties were first brought to attention in the 1960s, despite the fact that the chemical composition of its seeds is nearly identical to those of the two species mentioned above, and the seeds contain the highest concentration of psychoactive compounds in the entire family.

Traditional use of the var. speciosa plant in India usually employed the leaves and roots of the plants, which are not psychoactive, as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory drugs.


A slight nick should be made away from the germ eye. After this is complete, it is recommended to soak the seeds in water for approximately 24 hours, or at least overnight. If nicked properly, the seeds swell.

Some people place approximately 1 to 2 inches (2 to 4 cm) in rich potting soil with a good drainage system. It is very important during the first stages of growth to keep the soil moist, though well drained, as saturation will cause root rot and possibly rot. It is important to keep the mix well aerated. If the leaves receive too much light they will scorch or wilt; this is also seen with lack of watering.

Within the first one to two years of growth, this plant grows into a compact bush. After that, some of the leaves will fall off and it will elongate into vines. The vines have been known to grow up to 31 feet (10 m) in length. If consistent water availability is not maintained, these vines may die out before reaching that point and new ones will have to start. The vine will dry out to the closest node during this point. It is very well adapted to a dry tropical climate such as areas near rivers and creeks but with a distinct wet and dry season. It is not naturally found in the Wet tropics.

A 5-gallon bucket is suitable for starting two healthy plants. The massive root system of this plant can cause the plant to become rootbound within the first year or so. For example, a 5-year-old plant in a 15-gallon pot (after only six months) will begin to show signs of becoming rootbound. It is suggested to use a 55-gallon drum or a feeding trough (commonly used for livestock and horses).

The plant can start growing flowers as early as 18 months from seed. For this to occur, there must be sufficient watering and adequate room for the roots to grow; it can take up to five years for the first signs of flowering to become visible.

The seeds will be found in the pods of the dried flowers. These cannot be harvested until completely dried. There are 3 to 5 seeds, commonly 4, per woodrose.

Human consumption

The seeds of the plant can be consumed to produce psychedelic effects.[1] As seeds are often sold with a purposeful warning against their consumption, guarantees as to their mind altering effect are not often given by suppliers. It is possible to mix genuine Argyreia nervosa var. nervosa seeds with those from inactive plants such as the related Argyreia nervosa var speciosa and so convince users that they lack these effects, but most seeds on the market, especially from Hawaii and Australia, are the genuine variety.

Volumes of seeds consumed often begin at just a few, 5 to 6 being recommended, but experienced users have taken upwards of ten to twenty-five.

The taste of the seeds is not repulsive, being earthy and nutty in taste, but neither is it palatable to many.

Consumption of the seed is often but not always accompanied by the onset of stomach discomfort within an hour or two. This may remain as a mild side effect when only a few seeds are consumed, but can progress to intense and prolonged nausea that may, in some instances, last for a significant percentage of the experience and induce vomiting. After vomiting has occurred, the sensation of sickness will often rapidly subside.

The sensations of dryness and light sensitivity may occur particularly at higher doses as the experience progresses. The individual’s mouth and skin may feel excessively dry, with the former holding a distinctive, soapy taste from the seeds if they were chewed. However in most cases these are not felt.

A curious effect of the seeds is an urge to stretch and extend limbs and muscles in the arms and legs, similarly to LSD; this may be present as slow and controlled writhing, stretching or muscle rubbing whilst laying or sitting down. This sensation has been likened to itching or tingling in the muscles and can make it physically impossible to sleep. A curious sensation of the ability to see within and beneath the layer of skin to the internal tissues of ones own, or anothers body may also be experienced.

A similar contractile effect may be noticed in the abdominal muscles.

It is interesting to note that muscle cramping and abdominal contraction are both symptoms of cyanide and ergot pharmacology, and is due to altering acetylcholine (ACh) function, particularly at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ).

It is worthy of mention that serotonergic, dopaminergic and adrenergic drugs can produce vasoconstriction. It is very likely that the sensation of tightness in the limbs can be attributed to this. Also worth noting is the fact that the stomach and intestines have dopamine and serotonin receptors that are very likely activated by these drugs, producing this nausea effect.

Numerous suggestions have been made as to the contents of the seeds and how they produce their effects, with it being the present belief that they contain a potential precursor to LSD, ergine, (among a series of other ergolines. Some reports suggest they contain cyanogenic glycosides in minute traces. There are also suggestions that the seeds only contain one of these two (either no LSA or no cyanide) and there are numerous methods proposed to ease their consumption, including shelling the seeds, soaking them in wine or soaking them in lemon juice. Other reports hold that merely chewing and swallowing seeds is sufficient and that no undue adverse effects are to be expected. The first assumption of toxicity relies on the principle that the cyanide/cyanogenic compounds are present only in the shell its self, and they may in fact be present in such minute quantity as to cause ill effect. There is not enough information on the composition of the seeds to support these methods and their consumption is not widespread enough for many to have tried such preparations; with many having problems getting the seeds to produce any effect.

Oddly, the seeds are not continuous in their nausea inducing effect, and doses that would otherwise cause extreme nausea in an individual may be entirely lacking in this effect when a second, but still psychoactive, collection of seeds is consumed. Smoking cannabis or taking ginger will generally counter-act the nausea. This popular belief is merely motivated by the recent research done on the antiemetic properties of cannabinoids.

Provided genuine Argyreia nervosa var nervosa seeds are consumed, what may be classed as light open eye visuals may be produced at quantities ranging from five to ten seeds. These may include colour, contrast and brightness distortions that may or may not be as vivid as those produced by what would be considered a light to regular dosing quantity of Psilocybe mushrooms. The variety as well as freshness, amount and mode of ingestion all have major impacts of effectiveness. Those with experience of this may recognise that reflecting objects appear to sparkle. The experience may be closer likened to that produced by mescaline, in its organic texture, calmness, yet potentiality for deep, sometimes disturbing, internal insight.

Sensory effects do not appear to increase in a linear fashion as more seeds are consumed, with twenty five producing very little more positive effect than fifteen. The effects of consumption have a significant duration, lasting four to six, rarely twelve hours and may include tingling in hands and feet. Some users are particularly more sensitive than others and effects can potentially last up to fourteen hours, but reports of this are not as common.

The seeds may induce labour, or cause miscarriage, in pregnant women[{{fullurl:{{wikipedia:FULLPAGENAME}}}}#endnote_]


  1. Erowid Psychoactives - Natural Highs FAQ:

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Hawaiian baby woodrose. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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