How to Self-Administer Sacred Amazonian Hape Medicine Step by Step

In April 2019, a homicide investigation was opened into the death by “severe cerebral edema” of a young person who had taken kambo toxins in Chile; the import of the frog and its secretions is illegal in Chile. In October 2021, Australian man Jarred Antonovich died at a festival in New South Wales from a perforated oesophagus suspected to be caused by excessive vomiting after being administered kambo and n,n-dimethyltriptamine. After a car accident in 1997 from which he had to learn to walk and talk again, he was left with lasting impediments, the inquest heard, which may have contributed to the esophageal rupture. Mescaline can be detected in the urine for one to four days after use, but it’s not included in either standard or extended drug screens. Virtually all labs require a specific test for the substance, so unless your employer is a real stickler and worried that you’ve been spending your free time at peyote ceremonies, you should be fine. This shortage of peyote endangers native traditions that have been in practice for generations.

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Interest spiked again in the 1990s, presumably due to the Mexican government’s 1991 listing of peyote as an endangered species and the 1994 amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Published mentions steadily decreased over the next decade or so, possibly because of the rising popularity of other psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin. The first non-natives to encounter peyote use in the Americas were probably Catholic missionaries and conquistadors during the 16th century. Spanish friar Bernardino de Sahagún, for instance, described a Huichol peyote ceremony held in the desert and estimated that such practices may have been at least 1,980 years old. More recently, with evidence from the Shumla Caves site in Texas, researchers have been able to date ceremonial peyote use to at least 5,700 years ago.

THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO CEREMONY:

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The Tarahumara, for example, have used it for long-distance endurance foot races and as a topical treatment for wounds, burns, and painful joints. Among the Huichol, it has also been used by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Peyote only grows naturally in Northern Mexico and small areas in South and West Texas. It’s also a slow-growing cactus, taking more than 10 years to mature from seed. Add to the mix the rampant and ongoing issues of unsustainable harvesting practices, the black market, and the prohibition of peyote cultivation, and what you get is a rapidly declining population lacking the ability to replenish.

Medical claims

You should be in the hands of someone who can guide and care for you appropriately. Remember that kambo also leaves permanent scars, so you truly are putting your body in the hands of your facilitator. Other risk factors are Addison’s disease, epilepsy, or a weak immune system. People on immuno-suppressants, or any medications that heavily strain the liver, should avoid kambo. Kambo deaths involving people who are left unattended are likely due to poor facilitation, and could possibly have been avoided. Similarly, when people are allowed to drink too much water after a ceremony, this indicates a facilitator who has failed to educate and care for their participants.

In Canada, although extracted mescaline is illegal, fresh peyote and other mescaline-containing cacti are specifically exempt from scheduling. Peyote is also a Schedule I substance in Mexico, where harvesting the plant from the wild is controlled due to peyote’s endangered status. Surprisingly—and rather promisingly for such a powerful psychedelic—the legality of peyote is often ambiguous. In fact, studies suggest that mescaline may increase blood flow and activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain in charge of planning, problem-solving, emotional regulation, and behavior. It is hard to be precise, however, due to the varying levels of mescaline in any given peyote button. Growing location and season of harvest can also affect their potency, as can age—older peyote tends to be more potent. If you’re now interested in learning how to administer a soplada of hapé to someone else, check out our step-by-step guide here.