So, I was hesitant to leak this news.... but I just couldn't hold it in any longer!
Yes, its true... the Arizona State Flower grows atop a Psychedelic Cactus!
This is one of those interesting Herbal Secrets that has been, all along, hidden right under our noses! When I was first told about this I could hardly believe it. The very Symbol of the Desert is a Mind Altering Herb! Its called Carnegia Gigantea, also known as the Saguaro Cactus (that G is pronounced like a W).
For years I have been getting to know this Cactus which is often referred to as a Desert Tree. Its Fruits, which ripen in late June and early July are perhaps the most delicious of any flowering plant on Earth! They have traditionally been an important nutrient source for the Tohono O' Odham (and many other) peoples of the Sonoran Desert, who would use these fruits for food, jams, and jellies, as well as ferment them for 2-4 days to create a fruit wine that was Inextricably Linked to their cultural LifeWays.
Many of my Friends today, in the Desert South-West, harvest this fruit (beginning at dawn and finishing before the heat of the day) in the early Summer with long pruning poles, and dry into a fruit leather that is a delicacy like no other.
For the last few years I have been using the Cactus Flesh as a "NooTropic" herb, and though information on these properties are scarce, I have found the psychoactive alkaloids referenced as "Gigantine", "Carnegine",and "Arizonine".
I want to be clear here, I am Not Recommending that you harvest Saguaro for this use. It is protected and considered an endangered species. Damaging the plant in anyway is considered unlawful. Be wise and cautious. This species is ancient, and these Desert Trees deserve our uptmost Respect... Tread Lightly!
However... here is what I have discovered. The inner bark is a Dark Green, and very bitter due to the concentration of Alkaloids it contains. I have found that it makes a great beverage when blended with Spring Water, Lime Juice, Agave, Aloe Vera, and Salt, and a pinch of Cayanne. The dose that I began with was around a Tablespoon of inner bark per person.
No amount of sweetening can really mask the bitterness of the Saguaro, but then again, would you really want to? Like the Peyote and San Pedro Cactuses, the bitterness is inherent and an indicator of its Alkaloid Content... in other words, potency.
My Personal Experiences were like waves of Visionary and Kinesthetic Alteration, a bit like Walking on the Moon. There is a Dreamy Quality, like the space between wakefulness and dreams.
A distinct sense of the Intelligence and Ancient Wisdom of the Desert Eco-Range is imparted from the Alkaloids to the Consumer. The Modulation of Time-Space feels a bit more appropriate to this Barren Desert LandScape than does the "Normal Waking State", though the accompanying nausea makes frequent or habitual use less than Exciting!
The Relationship and Bond that Consuming this Forbidden Food has forged betwixt myself and this Tree will last a Lifetime. It is just one of the Numerous Medicines that this Plant (and Planet) offers Us. I present this with Humble Gratitude to a Species who has Mastered Life in one of the Harshest Climates on Earth!