Ipomoea species

Ipomoea violacea; Ipomoea tricolor; Pearly gates; Wedding bells; Heavenly blue; Blue star

Background Information: Morning glory is a climbing vine with blue, white, or red trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon. The leaves are green and heart shaped. A papery thin pod holds small black seeds.

Exposure Routes and Pathways: Exposure is via ingestion. The seeds must be pulverized (chewed) to induce toxicity because the intact seed coat prevents absorption.

Mechanism of Toxicity: Morning glory seeds contain the toxin lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide. To avoid abuse of morning glory seeds, commercial seed producers treat the seeds with essential oils, which are irritants, which induce nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

A few morning glory seeds are unlikely to cause significant problems. Several packages of seeds must be eaten to produce toxic effects in adults; however, nausea and vomiting generally precede its psychedelic effects. The contents of the seeds are not absorbed unless chewed. Three hundred seeds have a potency equivalent to 200–300 g of LSD, an amount sufficient to produce an altered state of consciousness. Twenty to fifty seeds may result in increased sociability, restlessness, and alertness followed by a period of relaxation. About 100–150 seeds result in hallucinations, perceptual changes, and improved mood lasting up to 4 h. About 200–500 seeds will cause euphoria, hallucinations, and philosophical thought. Adverse side effects are likely at this dose and include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue peripheral temperature, and sensation changes.

Acute and Short-Term Toxicity: ….. Morbidity and mortality generally result from complications of hyperthermia including rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. … Sedation with benzodiazepines is usually sufficient to treat the excess agitation and muscle activity; however, occasionally hyperthermia may require more aggressive therapy with active cooling measures and muscle relaxants. Excessive physical restraint should be avoid

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Jan-Mar;45(1):79-93.

Recreational use of D-lysergamide from the seeds of Argyreia nervosa, Ipomoea tricolor, Ipomoea violacea, and Ipomoea purpurea in Poland. Juszczak GR1, Swiergiel AH.

Recently, there are important changes in recreational drug use. The aim of the present study was to analyse reports published on a recreational web site by drug users who ingested seeds of plants belonging to the Convolvulaceae family and to compare them with available medical case reports. We have also included reports describing the effects induced by "druids fantasy," which is a new drug allegedly containing the same alkaloid as the seeds of A. nervosa. Our search reveals the reoccurrence of recreational use of I. tricolor and violacea (morning glory), which had not been reported in medical literature since 1968. We have also found that drug users are experimenting with other species, such as I. purpurea, whose psychoactive properties are unknown. Symptoms and doses reported by drug users were comparable with the few available medical case reports. The most worrying symptom was suicidal ideation reported by two subjects who ingested A. nervosa and Ipomoea seeds. Effects induced by druids fantasy were comparable with the effects induced by A. nervosa and various Ipomoea species. The ingestion of seeds was frequently associated with taking drugs such as cannabis and hashish, although other combinations, for example with dextromethorphan, were also reported.


From "Altered States of Consciousness, A Book of Readings" edited by Charles Tart BF311.T28

Of the naturally occurring plant alkaloids used in ancient and modern religious rites and divination one of the least studied is ololiuqui. The

earliest known description of its use is by Hernandez, the King of Spain's personal physician, who spent a number of years in Mexico studying the

medicinal plants of the Indians and "accurately illustrated ololiuqui as amorning glory in his work which was not published until 1651" (Schultes,

1960). In his words, "When a person takes ololiuqui, in a short time he loses clear reasoning because of the strength of the seed, and he believes he is in communion with the devil" (Alacon, 1945). Schultes (1941) and Wasson (1961) ha ve reported in detail on the religious and divinatory use of two kinds of morning-glory seeds, Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea, among the Mazatec and Zapotec indians. The first of these is assumed to be the ololiuqui of the ancient Aztecs.

In 1955 Osmond described personal experiments with Rivea corymbosa seeds and reported that the effects were similar to those of d-lysergic acid

diethylamide (LSD-25). He suggeted (1957) that the word psychedelic (meaning mind-manifesting) be used as a generic term for this class of substances to refer to their consciousness-expanding and psychotherapeutic function as contrasted with the hallucinogenic aspect. In 1960 Hoffman reported that hehad isolated d-lysergic acid amide (LA) and d-isolysergic acid amide from the seed of both Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea. LA is very similar to LSD in its psychological and physiological manifestations but is reported to have about one twentieth the psychological effectiveness of LSD (Cerletti & Doepfner, 1958).

The work of these investigators led us to a preliminary study of the psychedelic properties of species of Ipomoea which are commonly found within

the continental United States. The seeds of Ipomoea purpurea, the common climbing morning glory, resemble the seeds of Ipomoea violacea and have been found to have similar psychedelic properties. Recent analysis by Taber et al. (1963) has verified that LA is present in the varieties used and is probably the primary active agent.

The effects of the seeds of Ipomoea purpurea (varieties Heavenly Blue and Pearly Gates) in a total of 45 cases are summarized below. The subjects are all normally functioning adults and the majority had previous experience with LSD. The onset of effects is about half an hour after the seeds have been chewed and swallowed and they last from five to eight hours.

Low Dose, 20-50 Seeds (11 Subjects)

This dosage rarely produces any visual distortions, although with eyes closed there may be beginning imagery. Restlessness, evidenced by alternating periods of pacing about and lying down, may be present. There tends to be a heightened awareness of objects and of nature, and enhanced rapport with other persons. A feeling of emotional clarity and of relaxation is likely to persist for several hours after other effects are no longer noticable.

Medium Dose, 100-150 Seeds (22 Subjects)

In this range the effects resemble those reported for medium-dose (75-150 micrograms) LSD experiences, including spatial distortions, visual and

auditory hallucinations, intense imagery with eyes closed, synaesthesia and mood elevation. These effects, which occur mainly during the period of 1 to 4 hours after ingestion, are typically followed by a period of alert calmness which may last until the subject goes to sleep.

High Dose, 200-500 Seeds (12 Subjects)

In this range the first few hours may resemble the medium-dose effects described above. However, there is usually a period during which the

subjective states are of a sort not describable in terms of images or distortions, states characterized by loss of ego boundaries coupled with

feelings of euphoria and philosophical insight. These seem to parallel the published descriptions of experiences with high doses (200-500 micrograms) of LSD given in a supportive, therapeutic setting as reported by Sherwood et al. (1962).

All the subjects who had previous experience with LSD claimed the effects of the seeds were similar to those of LSD. Transient nausea was the most commonly reported side effect, beginning about one half hour after ingestion and lasting a few minutes to several hours. Other reported side effects not commonly found with LSD were a drowsiness or torpor (possibly due to a glucoside also present in the seeds) and a coldness in the extremities suggesting that the ergine content of the seeds may be causing some vascular constriction. (If this is the case, there may be some danger of ergot poisoning resulting from excessive dosages of the seeds.) The only untoward psychic effect was a prolonged (eight hours) disassociative reaction which was terminate with cholorpromazine [Thorazine]. The possibility of prolonged adverse reactions to the psychological effects of the seeds is essentially the same as with LSD, and the same precautions should be observed (Cohen & Ditman, 1963).

Additional Notes:

Ipomoea purpurea is sold as the "Heavenly Blue" variety of morning glory.

"Ipomoea tricolor" is the trade name used for that variety. It is identical

with the species of morning glory described above.

The seeds must be chewed or ground in order to be effective. Soaking the

ground seeds in water for several hours, filtering out the grounds,

and then drinking only the water portion of the mixture can reduce

some of the stomach-upset symptoms if such occur.

Unpleasant LSD and morning glory trips can be smoothed out or even

stopped by taking niacin (in the form of nicotinic acid, vitamin B-3 or

"niacin"). Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the incidence of paranoia and

prevent depletion of the vitamin from the adrenal glands during LSD trips.

There have been reports that commercially available packets of morning

glory seeds from some distributors are coated with fungicides or

other chemicals to increase shelf life or discourage the practice

of eating them. Seeds from plants grown in one's own garden will

be safe as long as you do not spray them with insecticides.