The San Pedro Cactus is a succulent plant with its origins in the Andes Mountain Ranges. That makes it ideal to grow at high altitudes ( between 1,000 and 3,000 meters high) at temperatures that can sometimes fall below freezing.
Cactus San Pedro is a fast-growing columnar cactus native to the Peruvian Andes. It’s often called Echinopsis pachanoi by botanists and its proper name in Latin is Trichocereus pachanoi .
The fruit is edible with a sweet taste. The green parts of the plant contain mescaline, Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic drug and entheogen, which is used in Andean traditional medicine. It also makes an edible and (non-psychedelic) fruit.
The plant is easily confused with the more common Peruvian torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana).
Echinopsis pachanoi, San Pedro Cactus, grows in the natural habitat of Peru. It’s a tall cactus with several fruits bearing shriveled flowers.
The cacti can also bloom at night, bearing red fruit sometimes. However, this plant only grows to about 5 meters in height (16 feet ).
What is the San Pedro Cactus Fruit Like?
The San Pedro cactus is a columnar, highly branched plant with a green stem. It is a species that can grow 5 meters or more.
The flowers of the San Pedro cactus are typically born near the top of the stems. They’re white and measure around 20 centimeters. Their life cycle is brief as they usually last one or two days before wilting and falling off.
The fruits are edible, dark green in color, and about 5 to 6 cm long.
Due to the presence of mescaline, a hallucinogenic substance, both the fruits and the San Pedro cactus itself has hallucinogenic properties when ingested.
The cactus contains mescaline. This can cause several effects, such as tachycardia (an increase in the rate of beating of the heart), mydriasis (dilation of the pupils), and vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels). It is important that its consumption should be taken into account, especially if the effects it might have on each person’s body are unknown.
Considerations to Have About the San Pedro Cactus
Hallucinogens, also known as psychedelics, were originally used in the rituals of the original peoples. Hallucinogens were originally used in ritualistic dances and songs by indigenous peoples.
The medicinal qualities of the San Pedro cactus have been around for decades and in small doses, these compounds produce hallucinations that alter perception, feelings, and thinking.
In any event, it is not recommended to consume the San Pedro cactus without professional supervision and advice from a medical practitioner in order to prevent serious complications.
Recently, many psychedelic drugs were outlawed (e.g., LSD, magic mushrooms). Certain hallucinogens were banned because significant legal concerns were raised and their usage became so widespread that it became impossible to manage them.
Mescaline is a natural alkaloid that has been used in shamanic ceremonies for centuries due to its psychedelic properties and was a popular medicinal drug among the Native Americans.
This is the formula for mescaline, a hallucinogen found in the San Pedro cactus
Research has shown that mescaline can be helpful in cases of depression, anxiety, headaches, and addictions to certain substances like alcohol.
These Are the Popular Beliefs About the San Pedro Cactus
In addition to the effects that San Pedro has on the mind and body, there’s also been folklore associated with this plant.
According to some cultures, when planted in a pot, it serves to protect the home, since it is considered a guardian who warns of the arrival of strangers.
It is also believed that the San Pedro cactus is a protective plant, as “everything reached the spine and not the person.”
Additionally, some cultures believe the San Pedro cactus will protect them from evil spirits and bring them luck in their homes by bringing more prosperity.
Finally, the San Pedro cactus that has a 7-ribbed stem is believed to be the best making it more desirable than others.
Internal Use of San Pedro Cactus
The cactus is consumed in a ritualized manner for divinatory purposes. Its effects are said to be similar to those of peyote.
Specifically, the cactus fruit is what some consider entheogenic, which means that it can be used to alter one’s consciousness into a visionary state. This could either be done on its own or ritually combined with other ingredients put together to make potions or elixirs.
Pedro Cactus Fruit is good for people suffering from neurotic diseases, circulatory diseases, hypertension, and joint problems.
It was consumed in a drink called Wachuma reserved for shamans. The church fought against this practice but it persisted, as it does today.
Shamans distinguish several varieties of Pedro cactus, depending on the number of sticks used to make them. Certain four-sided forms are said to have very distinct supernatural powers.
What are the Medicinal Uses of the San Pedro cactus?
In Andean indigenous medicine, San Pedro cacti were believed to have curative powers for a wide range of maladies.
Studies have shown that Pedro cacti can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. In addition to potential anti-hypertensive effects, san Pedro cactus preparations also have anti-inflammatory properties.
The cactus has been found to cure anxiety and reduce inflammation. It is also a powerful antimicrobial plant, preventing the growth of more than a dozen strains of penicillin-resistant bacteria.
The cactus contains high concentrations of mescaline, the same psychoactive compound found in peyote.
Before using the San Pedro cactus for medicinal purposes, it is necessary to check to make sure your country’s laws allow the use of this plant.
Is San Pedro Cactus Poisonous?
The San Pedro Cactus is NOT poisonous nor is it lethal. It is a natural medicine that has a long history of medicinal use by the indigenous people of the Andes. It has been used for over 2000 years for the treatment of physical and mental conditions.
It is a powerful medicine that has been used for many centuries to help people heal from addictions, depression, and PTSD.
The San Pedro cactus is a psychoactive plant that produces what is called ‘astral projection’ or ‘conscious dreaming.’ It is not a recreational drug but medicine that can help people overcome a lot of problems in their life.
Are San Pedro cactus Flowers Edible?
A San Pedro cactus doesn’t flower until it is ten years old. The flowers are gorgeous white with a hint of purple, 20 cm in diameter, and have magnificent colors. They also have a strong sweet scent, which attracts hummingbirds at night. Fruits appear following certain pollinated flowers; they are red and very sweet and edible.
Are All San Pedro Cactus Psychoactive?
San Pedro cactus can be psychoactive but it depends on the amount of mescaline it contains. If a San Pedro cactus has a high concentration of mescaline it is psychoactive. The concentration of mescaline can vary from place to place, season to season, and even from plant to plant.
Many kinds of cacti are known to be magical. The magic in them is a chemical called mescaline. The plants we use most for magic are San Pedro.