The Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (HBWR) is otherwise known for its scientific name, Argyreia nervosa. It is different from another plant species called Hawaiian Woodrose. Aside from the aforementioned names, it is also known as either Woolly Morning Glory or Elephant Creeper.
A climbing vine, this perennial plant originates from the Indian subcontinent. This species could invade huge patches of your garden since they proliferate quite well. But they are generally pleasing to the eyes and are always valued for aesthetical purposes.
The plant was introduced to various parts of the world such as Africa, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. It has, since then, achieved tremendous popularity. Its immediate and main claim to fame is its seeds which contains LSA, an analog of LSD.
Although plants which could induce hallucinogenic effects are numerous and prolific, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is different because unlike others, its effects have only been discovered quite recently. Other and most hallucinogenic plants have histories dating back to ancient times. Many have been used to induce vision by shamans of ancient civilizations hundreds of years ago, used for holy and spiritual rituals. HBWR, however, has a relatively modern date of discovery -1960s – and that is what makes it stand out from its peers.
Prior to its recognition as a hallucinogen, HBWR was already known to be related to other hallucinogenic plants in the family Convolvulaceae, Ipomoea tricolor and Rivea corymbosa among others. Even before it was known to be a hallucinogen, it was gathered and utilized by the people in the Indian subcontinent for Ayurvedic medicinal treatments where it remains in use for the same purpose even as of today. Some of its uses include treatments for boils, sores, tumors, and carbuncles and even for reducing body fat.
HBWR’s identification has been confirmed and agreed upon on 1941 and in fact, few scientists have knowledge of the plant before this date. However, it was only nineteen years later, in 1960, that its chemistry and properties were determined. Dr. Albert Hofmann was the one responsible for the discovery and confirmation of the presence of LSA in HBWR. The same man is responsible for the creation of LSD, LSA’s chemical analog.
The seeds are the ones which contain the LSA and hence are the most prized. That is only a term used however, as HBWR seeds are generally low-cost. In truth, it is most well-known for being a cheap substitute for other hallucinogenic plants and alcohol. Use of HBWR seeds as hallucinogen is especially popular in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Haiti. It is currently recognized as the most potent hallucinogen in the family Convolvulaceae. This is due to the fact that it has the highest psychoactive substance contents among the hallucinogenic members of the family.