This evergreen tree is known variously as
California laurel, California bay, California olive,
Oregon myrtle, pepperwood, headache tree, and
California sassafras (Fuller and McClintock 1986,
184*). Its leaves are rich in an essential oil with a
high concentration of safrole; the principal
constituent, however, is umbellulone (Fuller and
McClintock 1986, 184*). The bark of the trunk is
said to contain 5-MeO-DMT (Rob Montgomery,
pers. comm.). No traditional psychoactive use of
this plant is known (cf. Sassafras albidum). The
leaves are· used in folk medicine for headaches
(hence the common name headache tree), colic,
and diarrhea (Grieve 1982, 716*). In California,
the leaves are used as a spice in place of those of
the true bay tree (Laurus nobilis).

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