As it turns out, there is a psychedelic plant - and food - world beyond jimson weed, THC, and other iconically trippy vegetation. Evidence suggests that many hallucinogenic foods may already be waiting for you in your local grocery aisle, or even in that seemingly harmless, run-of-the-mill ham and rye sandwich. In other words, foods with psychedelic side effects - or that can at least get you high, period - might just be as easily accessible as alcohol, if not more so, according to recent reports. (Which doesn't necessarily mean that indulging in them is an idea that's guaranteed to catapult you down an ecstatically surreal rabbit hole, of course: it may turn out to be a serpent's hole instead)
Read on to find out why the family of foods that can make you hallucinate is far more expansive, and connected, than you likely ever imagined.
Mulberries may be famously sweet, but waiting until they attain their famous deep red-indigo color is a must, if you're looking to avoid psychedelic interruptions. The author of Tom Brown's Guide to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants describes the effects of a green berry-variation that he once ate as a child ... one that quickly turned into a romp with the green fairy, ala absinthe:
"When I finally got up off my knees and began to walk home, I felt strangely sick and dizzy. The landscape felt as if it were made of liquid and I was a small boat. Everything was moving up and down. Animal and bird voices sounded strange and mystical... Out of the corner of my eye I began to see things move; shadows became animated, and colors strange. The sickness continued until I fell to the ground vomiting, yet laughing at the overall hilarity of the situation."
"Mad honey" is probably one of the most enigmatically hallucinogenic foods out there. It's also an elixir that's not likely to already be in your pantry, as its hallucinogenic phenomenon/alchemy occurs mostly in Turkey and other countries in eastern Europe/western Asia. As Modern Farmer explains, these tainted stashes of honey occur because of the presence of an ingredient distilled from "a rhododendron nectar called grayanotoxin - a natural neurotoxin that, even in small quantities, brings on light-headedness and sometimes, hallucinations. In the 1700s, the Black Sea region traded this potent produce with Europe, where the honey was infused with drinks to give boozers a greater high than alcohol could deliver."
In other words, the flowers sabotage the stash; and then the stash sabotages you.
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What's better than drugs? An IRL Everlasting Gobstopper, which is exactly what "Miracle Fruit" has been described as being. Just imagine...
"...drinking Tabasco sauce and thinking it tasted like a sugary glaze, or drinking a bitter beer that your taste buds are certain is chocolate. Imagine having a magic pill that could turn lemons into candy... Like a magical treat straight out of Willy Wonka’s candy factory, the berry known as 'miracle fruit' has the odd ability to rewire the way the tongue perceives bitter and sour flavors for up to two hours after consumption."
People have even started throwing "flavor tripping parties" to explore the final frontiers of their taste buds with friends. The future is here, and it's in Wonka-Vision.
Extremes in temperature - whether hot or cold - will eventually start muddling (or psychedelically clarifying) the mind. Just ask Lisa from The Simpsons, who claimed to be able to "see through time" after she consumed inferno-level Thai food.
According to Bon Appétit, a British physician named Ian Rothwell had a similar experience. After he "successfully" consumed what was said to be the world's hottest, or spiciest, curry, he claimed to have experienced a 10-minute "chile-induced hallucination that sent him wandering out of the restaurant and down the street."