Image for  Peyote (spp.)
Peyote (Lophophora spp.)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Cactaceae (family), cactus methanolic extract, Lophophora, Lophophora williamsii, mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Lophophora williamsii, also known as peyote, is found primarily in dry regions from central Mexico to Texas, particularly in regions along the Rio Grande (1). Peyote is commonly used in rituals and as a hallucinogen. In 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states may prohibit the use of peyote for religious purposes (2). Although peyote is illegal, the Dona Ana cactus, Coryphantha macromeris (Engelm.) Br. and R. and its runyonii (Br. and R.) L. Benson variety have been promoted as natural and legal psychedelic agents with about one-fifth potency of peyote (3).
  • The hallucinogen mescaline is found in peyote and San Pedro cacti (4). In a survey of middle-class, predominantly white adolescents in a drug treatment facility, 18% of the respondents indicated that they had taken mescaline. The effects of equipotent doses of mescaline and LSD are almost indistinguishable. Few studies to date have addressed illicit (i.e., nonceremonial) peyote use among Native Americans (5).
  • To date there are no available clinical trials investigating the use of peyote for any indication. However, preliminary study investigating the long-term safety of peyote has not found significant differences between peyote and control groups in cognition, although more study is needed to make any firm conclusions about peyote's safety.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.