From the lush unexplored jungles of Mindanao to the cool, pine shrouded mountains surrounding Baguio, the Philippines is beautifully biodiverse. Not common knowledge to many, the Philippines is home to an abundance of psychoactive plants. The evidence of historical shamanic and ethneogenic of the use of these plants is scarce, however anecdotally stories exist of vines, leaves and flowers that facilitate dream or trance like states for the purposes of healing, cursing, divinity or communing with a higher source. A wealth of knowledge may exist in the minds of traditional healers, albularyo, that still remains relatively unknown today.
Whether your a traveler to this beautiful realm, or a local, hopefully this collation of information can enlighten you on the psychedelic potential of the Philippines.
Plants native to the Philippines
Psilocybe cubensis, Panaeolus cyanescens, Panaeolus tropicalis, Panaeolus timctulus
Mushrooms with psychoactive properties can be found in every province of the Philippines. Prevalent species in the Philippines include Psilocybe Cubensis, Panaeolus (Copelandia) Cyanescens, Panaeolus Tropicalis, and to a lesser extent, Panaeolus Cinctulus. Some sources suggest that Copelandia Cyanescens originated in the Philippines. In my experience, I’ve found plenty of Panaeolus Cyanescens and some Cubensis mushrooms in various provinces in the Philippines.
These mushrooms thrive in fields where water buffaloes (carabao) or cows graze, as they grow on their manure. Rainy season, between June to December are the best times to go hunting. They seem to spring up a day after two it rains. Mushrooms may also be purchased in tourist areas, however correct identification is still necessary. Venture outside of Manila, and into the provinces, and Mushrooms will be much easier to come across. Kabute is the Filipino for mushroom. Amanita Muscaria is reported to grow in and around Baguio.
Correct identification is important as you could like die if you ingest the wrong one.
Otherwise known as Datura or Angel’s trumpet, it’s ethneogenic use has spanned millennia. Talumpunay induces delirium, thorough its tryptamine alkaloids scopolamine and hyoscyamine. It is believed that the Moros, the indigenous Muslim group from the Philippines ingested Talumpunay before going to battle.
A common hallucination that datura facilitates is that of other humans, and it is said to enable communication with the dead. Hallucinations caused by Talumpunay, for many are difficult to distinguish from reality. Unlike other popular psychedelics, the barrier between what is ‘real’ and what the spirit of the plan has induced are blurred. Insight is lost. Trip report of Datura Metel are particularly interesting:https://www.erowid.org/experiences/subs/exp_Datura.shtml i read a report of a guy cutting his dick off after taking Datura. I would not like this to happen to me.
Common methods of ingestion are brewing a tea, chewing seeds, or mixing datura flowers and leaves with cannabis and smoked. Talampunay is also referred to as Kachibong and Taubibong in the Visayas. All parts of Talampunay contain toxic alkaloids. Talumpunay can be easily identified by its gracile, drooping flowers. It is distributed throughout the Philippines.
Small Philippine Acacia
A large potential exists to extract DMT from the prevalent species of Acacia Confusa. This particular species contains one of the highest DMT concentrations found in root bark (1.43% N-methyltryptamine, 1.15% NN-dimethyltryptamine).
The native payang-payang (Desmodium Puschellum) also houses 5-MeO-DMT, and small quantities of DMT.
A suitable MAOI inhibitor, similar to the Caapi Vine of Ahayusuca in order to make DMT orally active may be present in the Philippine jungle. Perhaps a spirit of a new plant, parallel to the revered Caapi is waiting to be rediscovered.
Unlike in Thailand and Cambodia, no one seems to be aware of the effects that Mambog can have. Mambog is commonly known as Kratom in Thailand, and is a relative of the coffee tree. Mambog acts both as a stimulant and sedative, dependent on dosage and the context. It is commonly reported that Mambog has opioid like effects. Be mindful that the word Mambog may refer to a completely different type of tree in the Bicol region (yes i chewed on some random leaf, waiting for effects).
Traditionally in Cambodia and Thailand, fresh leaves are chewed after removing the centre vein. Leaves can also be dried, mixed with water and drank for easier ingestion. Mambog can also be brewed into teas. Mambog is common throughout the Philippines, and can be seen not so far from some main highways.
Plants not native to the Philippines
Grows well in cooler climates such as Baguio. Introduced to the Philippines as an ornamental plant. There are reports of Salvia plants growing wild in Quezon.
These seeds contain the psychoactive compound lysergic acid amine, LSA. SD is widespread in the Philippines. LSA has been described as an “LSD experience with extreme lassitude”. LSA is similar in chemical structure to LSD, and can facilitate marked changes in perception and thought.
A relative of Salvia, the psychoactive status of Coleus Blumei is mixed. Locally known as Mayana, the leaves of this plant are said to be the most potent psychoactive component. Leaves are dried and smoked or blended with warm water and the tea is drank. Coleus seems to produce a mild effects – from feelings of euphoria and sedation, with small perceptual changes. Coleus is also known to induce vivid, memorable and lucid dreams.
Schultz & Hoffman 1980 li 327, says of the flowers of CS that flowers “could enable one to see spirits… And produce levitation”. Only anecdotal evidence exists of CSs potential. A traditional Chinese preparation methods is soaking the flowers in water and making a tea.
Puto can be found in Isabela and the Benguet Provinces in Luzon, in thickets about limestone cliffs and boulder, at altitudes of 1,200 meters.
Damong Maria (Mugwort)
Historically, mugwort has had many uses. From helping to induce lucid dreams or to facilitate meditative trances.
Entada rheedi, Entada phaseoloides
Also known as African a Dream Herb, it was traditionally prepared in African medicine by chopping and drying the inner meat of the seed and ingesting. It induces vivid, lucid dreams. It can also be mixed with tobacco and smoked. It can act as a relaxant and produce subtle mood changes.
A lesser known psychoactive substance, Elemi oil is extracted from Pili nuts that are native to the Philippines. Elemi Oil is most commonly exported for use as an ingredient in cosmetics and skin care, as such funding Elemi Oil in the Philippines can be difficult.