uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Prehistoric peyote use: alkaloid analysis and radiocarbon dating of archaeological specimens of Lophophora from Texas
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Division of Pharmacognosy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Show others and affiliations
2005 (English)In: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ISSN 0378-8741, E-ISSN 1872-7573, Vol. 101, no 1-3, 238-242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two archaeological specimens of peyote buttons, i.e. dried tops of the cactus Lophophora williamsii (Lem.) Coulter, from the collection of the Witte Museum in San Antonio, was subjected to radiocarbon dating and alkaloid analysis. The samples were presumably found in Shumla Cave No. 5 on the Rio Grande, Texas. Radiocarbon dating shows that the calibrated 14C age of the weighted mean of the two individual dated samples corresponds to the calendric time interval 3780-3660 BC (one sigma significance). Alkaloid extraction yielded approximately 2% of alkaloids. Analysis with thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) led to the identification of mescaline in both samples. No other peyote alkaloids could be identified. The two peyote samples appear to be the oldest plant drug ever to yield a major bioactive compound upon chemical analysis. The identification of mescaline strengthens the evidence that native North Americans recognized the psychotropic properties of peyote as long as 5700 years ago.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 101, no 1-3, 238-242 p.
Keyword [en]
Lophophora williamsii, peyote, mescal buttons, mescaline
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-102048DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.022ISI: 000232312200036PubMedID: 15990261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-102048DiVA: diva2:213885
Available from: 2009-04-29 Created: 2009-04-29 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed
By organisation
Division of PharmacognosyDepartment of Physics and Astronomy
In the same journal
Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 198 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link