Straight Trippin' ?!
By. Leslie Whaylen
Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as passionflower or maypop, is a fast-growing vine that grows here on our island and has large, intricate purple flowers, small red fruits containing many seeds, and a tart edible juice. This tropical plant received its name from Christian missionaries in the Amazon. Its flowers are pollinated by bumblebees, carpenter bees, and hummingbirds, and its leaves are larval food for several butterflies, including being the sole food source for our native Gulf Fritillary.
The Cherokee used passionflower for millennia as an herbal medicine for anxiety, insomnia, and hypertension. Additional, traditional uses in Europe include diarrhea, dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), and burns. Originally approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter sleep-aid or sedative, the agency withdrew the approval in 1978 due to a lack of information. Passionflower leaves contain high amounts of flavonoids that have high antioxidant properties. Passionflower is known as the Great Enhancer, prolonging and elevating psychoactivity of psychedelics taken with it, such as mushrooms. Note: Passionflower may interact with MOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), a class of drugs containing anti-depressants.
By. Eric Grunhauser
Musa acuminata, or the common banana, WON’T MAKE YOU TRIP! Rumors of bananas as narcotics began swirling around the hippie scene in the mid-1960s. “Young people in the ’60s were looking for new ways to get high. It was a highly experimental era driven perhaps most by LSD and by growing pot use,” says the historian William Rorabaugh.
While it is true that bananas contain some amount of serotonin, it is too slight to cross the blood-brain barrier. Nonetheless, the rumor quickly gained traction based on word of mouth.
Coincidentally, in early 1967, the Scottish songwriter and recording artist Donovan’s song “Mellow Yellow” was making its way to the U.S., and at the time, many people assumed that it was about smoking banana peels. Donovan would later state definitively that the song was actually written about a yellow vibrator, but lyrics such as “Electrical banana / Is gonna be a sudden craze / Electrical banana / Is bound to be the very next phase,” didn’t help.