Botany After Dark Podcast, Episode 1: Morning Glory [CC]

Botany After Dark Podcast, Episode 1: Morning Glory [CC]


Just a quick thing before we get started with
the video. For those who don’t know, I started a podcast,
called Botany After Dark. All the links will be in the description down
below. This is the text version, so for anyone who
has difficulty hearing, this will all be closed-captioned. It’s the full podcast, but there will be text
on the screen for ya. So, there ya go. Hope you enjoy. Greetings guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Welcome back to Botany After Dark! My name is Kate,
and I will be your host for this journey. Today, we venture into the wonderfully weird
world of Morning Glories. *cue dramatic spooky intro music* For any listeners outside the US,
I am speaking of the plant. I know from my time in England that the term
“morning glory” is also a colloquialism for a morning erection,
and while the plants (meant flowers) open in the morning, as do most plants, it’s
not *quite* the same thing. To clarify, I will be using that term throughout
this episode, as that is the term I most know the plant by. There are about 1,600 unique species
under the “morning glory” umbrella, from 59 distinct genera, though the term
most frequently is used to refer to the around 1,000 flowering species in the Ipomoea
genus. These include, but are not limited to, morning
glory, water convolvulus or kangkung, sweet potato, bindweed, and moonflower. And yes, at least some of these will be revisited
in later episodes. The genus is found throughout both tropical
and subtropical climates and is mostly populated by twining, climbing plants with a vine-type
growth pattern that can be either annual or perennial, depending
on the species and environment. For today, I will preface this with a caution
to not ingest strange plants, lest you are sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt
that you have identified it correctly. I know I will repeat that in other episodes,
but it is certainly relevant here. As with any group, especially one so vast,
there are representatives from many ecosystems and biomes present within
the Convolvulaceae family, of which the morning glory is a member. While many have potentially indigestible components,
for the purposes of this episode, we will be talking about the toxic ones, their
properties, how to recognize them, and their side effects. I strongly recommend not testing this for
yourself. You have been warned. *dramatic spooky music intensifies* According to many reports, the trumpet-shaped
flowers, stalks, heart-shaped leaves, and roots are often edible. Even the seeds, sometimes are consumable in
small quantities, though for most it is highly recommended to
cook the plant material before consuming. Again, this depends highly on the species
in question, and while the benign species are fascinating as well,
that is not what we are here to discuss. Today, we focus specifically on the Morning
Glory, or rather the mature seeds of the Morning
Glory. Immature seeds are sometimes reported to have
mild psychoactive effects. Mature seeds, however, are an altogether different
topic. While there are others that might display
similar entheogenic effects, indicating that they are, or have been used
in a spiritual, religious, or otherwise ritual capacity,
two distinct species stand out. These are the Mexican morning glory (tlitliltzin,Ipomoea. tricolor), a vibrant blue, and the Beach moonflower (Ipomoea.
violacea), a stunning white. Also of note is the “Heavenly Blue Morning
Glory,” which appears to be a genetic hybrid cultivar of the two
and is rather similar in appearance to the Mexican species. It is also this variant that is most widely
referred to when discussing psychoactive properties of the plant’s seeds. Though from the standpoint of chemical analysis
most compounds present seem to have marginal differences, at least between these three. We will come back to that in a moment. This is further supported by the historical,
ethnobotanical associations of the two main species, as both have been used in Aztec and Zapotec
shamanic practice and divination. The Aztecs also sometimes used the plant’s
inherent properties as a poison, making someone go on a so-called “horror
trip,” known more colloquially as a “bad trip.” This would denote often terrifying hallucinations
and sometimes extreme nausea. Such attributes are most often seen with substances
like hallucinogenic mushrooms and LSD. According to research analysis, they contain
lysergamides, or lysergic acid compounds,
which are precursors to the array of ergoline alkaloids found in ergot fungus
and Mexican Ipomea tricolor morning glories. While general garden-variety morning glories,
i.e. Ipomea purpurea, or the purple morning glory,
generally found at garden centers, contain particular compounds including Ergine(LSA),
isoergine, D-lysergic acid N-(α-hydroxyethyl)amide and
lysergol, and it was long thought that these were the
main cause of hallucinogenic effects, studies have instead concluded that while
these compounds are psychoactive, they are not notable hallucinogens. Instead, in their 1997 book, TiHKAL: The Continuation,
in which the acronym means “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved,”
Alexander and Ann Shulgin, suggest that ergonovine, or ergometrine,
as it’s sometimes called, is instead responsible. Alexander is credited with introducing MDMA,
or ecstasy, to psychologists for psychopharmaceutical use in the late 1970s. Though ergot and ergot derivatives have been
used medicinally for centuries, this compound was
first isolated and obtained by the chemists C Moir and H W Dudley in 1935. Side effects largely seem to depend on the
person consuming the substance. However, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are
commonly reported. Additionally possible are, abdominal pain,
headache, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, bradycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, rashes, and
shock. Prolonged exposure can also induce not only
expected hallucinations but dementia. Ergonovine is also contraindicated in pregnancy,
meaning that it is highly not advised to be used while an individual
is pregnant and is a potential abortifacient, though it has
been used to tremendous success to treat heavy bleeding post-childbirth. Also of note: I would caution against obtaining
commercially-available seeds to test this for yourself. Not only would you contend with the plant’s
inherent side effects, but the seeds are commonly treated with methylmercury. This is both a preservative and a cumulative
neurotoxin, added to decrease potential for recreational use. Likewise, there is no legal requirement in
the United States to disclose such a coating, nor is it able to be washed away. It is a heavy metal that is toxic and causes
both severe nausea and abdominal pain. In conclusion, while the many species of morning
glory are beautiful, they also hold potential dangers,
just like many other wild things do. If you have not been trained in proper usage
and dosing, do not self-medicate by trying this yourself at home. Even then, it is often “safe and natural”
compounds that cause the most problems, because people become lax with safety. I should not have to say that “natural”
does not mean “non-toxic.” Likewise, though there are historical precedents
for using Ipomea seeds to treat particular conditions,
including as abortifacients and treatment for postpartum bleeding,
for our purposes this is entirely academic and not recommended. To quote a popular Canadian PSA, “If you
don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your mouth.” Truly words to live by. If you look in the episode description, there
are links to my blog and YouTube channel, where I talk about more plants, as well as
my Patreon and relevant social media links. Also, if you’d like to start your own podcast,
I’d recommend Pinecast. It is the platform I’m using and while I’ve
only been posting for a short time, creator support has been comprehensive and
swift, and the interface is easy to navigate. Though
the service is free, that version only allots for the upload and
posting of 10 episodes at a time. If you do decide to upgrade, you can use coupon
code r-a19fe9 for 40% off for 4 months, and support Botany After Dark. To all my listeners at home, work, or somewhere
in between, thank you for tuning in. I’ll talk to you next week about tomatoes.
Should be an interesting show. Have a good one. This is Kate, signing off. *dramatic spooky outro music intensifies*

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