Toxicology Q&A Answer: Morning Glory
Answer: Morning glory.
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Ipomoea tricolor, violacea, and others. PHOTO: Jason Hack (Oleander Photography)
Morning glory is often referred to by its variety—including Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, Flying Saucers, Blue Star, Summer Skies, and Wedding Bells. This hardy annual climbing vine has single-colored funnel-shaped flowers spaced along its course, with deep green heart-shaped leaves. It blooms in early summer until the first frost.
“Morning” references that the flowers roll themselves closed every evening and unfurl in the morning.
The seeds of many species of morning glory contain a naturally occurring tryptamine, lysergic acid amide (LSA), which is chemically similar to LSD and has similar effects. Seeds are used for their strong psychedelic or hallucinogenic mental effects.
Often, the seeds are crushed and swallowed or made into teas to induce intentional intoxication.
Common names: Heavenly Blue, Flying Saucers, Blue Star
PHOTO: Jason Hack (Oleander Photography)
Apart from the desired hallucinogenic effects, patients often exhibit dilated pupils, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness of the limbs, and muscle spasms.
Culturally, the hallucinogenic effects have been ceremonially used by the Aztec people in various rituals, and they referred to the plant as “Rivea corymbose” or “ololiuqui.”
Other South American cultures have used the seeds to diagnose illnesses and foretell various future events.
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