[top]Introduction to Sinicuichi
is a genus of two species of shrubs in the family Lythraceae that grow predominately in South America, Latin America, and Texas. The two species are Heimia Salicifolia and Heimia Myrtifolia, which can grow up to 3 meters and 1 meter tall respectively. This article will focus on Heimia Salicifolia as it is more commonly used for psychoactive
As for its history, little is known about the use of Sinicuichi among the Aztecs or other peoples indigenous to the Americas. The flower was identified by Richard G. Wasson on the statue of Xochipilli, which also contained engravings of other psychoactive plants used by the Aztecs in sacred rituals. Today Sinicuichi is known as the “Sun-Opener”, referring to the golden tinged vision people can get after a day’s use. It is still used as a divination tool by some shamans in Central and South America, and is also seen used as a medicinal tonic given to remedy a variety of illnesses or symptoms.
Aside from anthropological and anecdotal reports about use of Sinicuichi for mind-altering purposes there is little known about the plant and how it interacts with the human body. A sparse few research studies have been performed on Heimia Salicifolia, revealing some of its alkaloids such as cryogenine
, lythrine, and nesodine and investigating their basic physiological effects, but no research has been done as yet on the psychoactive effects of this substance.
[top]Effects of Sinicuichi
The specific psychoactive effects of Sinicuichi on humans aren’t very well known, and some of them are controversial in nature. The physiological effects are more defined, though not much research has been attempted on them either. Below, all the known effects of Sinicuichi are listed followed by an explanation of the more arguable ones.
Cooling of Body
Darkening of Vision
Dilation of Coronary Vessels
General Drowsiness and Relaxation
Golden Tinge to Vision the Day After
Improvement of Memory
Reduction of Blood Pressure
Skeletal Muscle Relaxation
Soreness of Muscles
Of these effects the claim that Sinicuichi causes auditory hallucinations is one of the most widely contested. Some people claim that it is a myth spurred from an article written by Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D. called “In Xochitl, In Cuicatl: Hallucinogens
and Music in Mesoamerican Amerindian Thought” from the book Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy published in 1984. This is certainly possible, though as information about Sinicuichi is difficult to find it is quite hard to verify. Certainly a small group of people do seem to experience auditory hallucinations during Sinicuichi use, though empirical research is needed to say if this is an actual effect stemming from use of the Sinicuichi or simply a placebo effect from hearing of such hallucinations before use.
Another questionable effect is the golden tinged vision some claim to experience the next day, or sometimes even while under the influence of Sinicuichi. Only a small number of people report experiencing this and as there has been no research on the psychoactive effects of Sinicuichi it is hard to tell whether this is an actual effect caused from use of the substance or if its just a placebo, this time rooted in one of the commonly used names for Heimia Salicifolia; “the sun opener”.
An effect not so much controversial but worth mentioning is the extreme fatigue and soreness of muscles some people report experiencing while under the influence of Sinicuichi. Many people report having aching muscles after drinking the tea, while others don’t mention any such effects. Review of anecdotal reports on Heimia Salicifolia shows a correlation between consuming higher doses then normal and increased feelings of soreness and fatigue. As such, it is suggested that persons proceed with caution when consuming Sinicuichi for the first time as many anecdotal reports of first time use portray the experience as unpleasant due to such effects. As with any substance, it is advisable to start with a low dose and work up to avoid taking too much and inducing a negative experience.
Concerning long term effects of recreational Sinicuichi use, little is known. It has been suggested that short-term memory can be impaired with chronic use but no studies have been attempted to corroborate this claim. If a person consumes Heimia Salicifolia on a frequent basis they do so at their own risk!
As to the recommended dose to use for recreational use of Sinicuichi, it is quite hard to suggest. People have experienced varying degrees of effects with similar doses, and without empirical research it is impossible to account for this. It is advisable to start out with a low dose of the substance and work up towards higher doses until a suitable level is found.
Heimia Salicifolia has a history of medicinal use in the Americas, and some empirical research performed on the topic shows that there might be reason to believe this use can be scientifically supported.
According to Calderbn and Standley, “the plant has been used to treat bronchitis and other chest ailments, inflammation of the womb, Rhus-induced dermatitis, slow-healing ulcers and wounds, dysentery and indigestion.”
A more recent study of cyrogenine and nesodine also turned up interesting results; "Two alkaloids from Heimia salicifolia, cryogenine [vertine] and nesodine, were respectively 2.48 and 2.24 times as potent as aspirin as inhibitors of prostaglandin synthetase prepared from bovine seminal vesicles. Reference compounds, indomethacin and phenylbutazone, were respectively 2800 and 8.75 times as potent while a synthetic analogue of cryogenine, JB-1-0, was 0.656 times the potency of aspirin. This activity may help to explain the traditional medicine use of H. salicifolia in the Americas." (Prostaglandin synthetase inhibition by alkaloids of Heimia salicifolia. Lema WJ, Blankenship JW, Malone MH)
Still, it is not advisable to attempt using Sinicuichi for medicinal purposes as there is a great lack of scientific research on the subject and anecdotal evidence is far from united in support of the plant’s supposed medicinal effects.
[top]Forms of Sinicuichi
Fresh Leaves: The fresh leaves of the Sinicuichi plant are used in the traditional tea left to ferment in the sun for a day. Information on how to make the tea is provided on the How To Use Sinicuichi page.
Dried Leaves: The leaves of Heimia Salicifolia are often sold dried. They can be smoked, or used in the traditional tea preparation. If used in the tea mixture it is important to note that the dried form of Sinicuichi leaves ought to be heated in water before left to ferment.
Extract: The extracted form of Sinicuichi can be used much like the leaves can, though care should be taken to closely monitor the dosage used, as Sinicuichi is much more potent in this form. The extract of Heimia Salicifolia can be smoked or used in tea.
Sinicuichi can be consumed in a number of different ways. A tea infusion is the traditional preparation method, but some have found smoking to be enjoyable as well, though with different effects.
The traditional method of preparing Sinicuichi for consumption takes about a day to complete. Leaves are picked from the plant and allowed to wilt slightly. They are then crushed and dropped into cold water. Take the mixture and let it sit out in the sun for a day. Strain out the leaves and then squeeze any remaining juice out of them. Drink the remaining liquid.
If only dried material is available hot water can be used instead of cold.
This method is the traditional way to consume Sinicuichi but it is also the easiest way to over consume the substance as well. Caution is necessary while measuring doses to avoid an unpleasant experience.
Some people have also reported experiencing effects through smoking the leaves of Heimia Salicifolia. This can be done by simply crumbling the leaves into smaller pieces and rolling them into a cigarette. A Sinicuichi cigarette emits a bit more smoke than a regular tobacco
cigarette would but tastes sweeter and smells more pleasant. However, this method may use a larger quantity of Sinicuichi to achieve the same effects the tea would, and no research has been done on the effects of Sinicuichi smoke on the respiratory system.
As smoking several Sinicuichi cigarettes at a time to feel noticeable effects feels cumbersome and inefficient to some, extractions of Sinicuichi have also been attempted.
Here is an general description of how to perform a crude extraction of Heimia Salicifolia.
- Begin to boil Sinicuichi leaves as though you were making a tea.
- Once the water is heated up let it continue to boil while the water level in the pot decreases.
- Eventually you will see a mushy brown substance accumulating at the bottom of the pot.
- After the water has boiled away, take the pot away from heat and let it cool down.
- After cooling the residue in the pot should be hardened. Use a sharp implement to scrape it off and then store it in something, such as a bag or tupperware.
- You can now try smoking or ingesting the substance, though be sure to start out with low doses to gauge potency!
More advanced extraction techniques can be researched within the forums.
Extra caution is required when attempting extraction and use of the resulting substance. Strength can vary greatly depending on the technique used, and it is much easier to take a larger than necessary dose. It is advisable to attempt Sinicuichi Tea and regular Sinicuichi Cigarettes before moving on to attempting extraction.
[top]Legal Status of Sinicuichi
As of yet Heimia Salicifolia is not a controlled substance, and is legal to possess in all 50 US states. It isn’t approved for consumption and it isn’t legal to be marketed as a marijuana
substitute, but law enforcement agencies have paid little attention to Sinicuichi in general and there have been no legal problems reported as yet. We at drugs
-forum aren’t sure about the status of Sinicuichi in every country, though there has been no evidence yet of a law regulating use of this substance anywhere in the world. Should you come across such a law please contact a forum moderator and let them know of it.
[top]More Sinicuichi Sections
[top]The latest Ethnobotanicals threads