This edible cycad is from Mexico, where it is

known as chamal. It is reputed to have psychoactive

or even hallucinogenic effects (Schultes and

Farnsworth 1982, 187*; Schultes and Hofmann

1980,367*). This assumption is apparently due to

the fact that in Mexico the plant is also known as

hierba loca, "crazy herb" or "crazy-making herb:'

and is said to cause animals to act strangely (Reko

1938, 185*). No other details suggesting any actual

psychoactivity are known (Aguilar Contreras and

Zolla 1982, 91*). The large seeds yield a good

starch flour (Bartels 1993, 59*). In Mexican folk

medicine, the seeds are utilized to treat neuralgia

(Martinez 1994, 409*). The plant contains the

biflavones amentoflavone (main component),

bilobetin, sesquioflavone, ginkgetin, sciadopitysin,

7,4',7",4" -tetra-0-methylamentoflavone, and diooflavone

(Dossaji et al. 1973,372).

Dossaji, S. F., E. A. Bell, and J. W. Wallace. 1973.

Biflavones of Dioon. Phytochemistry 12:371-73.

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