|This African sea lily, known as kwashi, is said to be
a popular hallucinogen among the Bushmen of
Botswana. Cut into slices, the bulb is rubbed into
incisions made on the scalp (de Smet 1996, 142*).
Among the some fifteen species in the genus,
this species is considered the most poisonous; it
contains a variety of cardiac toxins (Schultes and
Hofmann 1992, 52*). A Russian study isolated
trisperidine, tacettin, hippeastrine, pancratine,
galanthamine, lycorine, hordenine, and two unidentified
bases from the bulb (Munvime and
Muravjoza 1983). The main alkaloid in the bulb of
the Mediterranean Pancratium maritimum 1. is
lycorine (Sener et al. 1993). Lycorine, which is
present in many amaryllis species, causes paralysis
of the central nervous system (Roth et al. 1994,854*).
Munvime, F. D., and D. A. Muravjova. 1983.
Alkaloids of Pancratium trianthum Herb.
Sener, B., S. Koenuekol, C. Krukl, and U. K. Pandit.
1993. Alkaloids oflycorine and lycorenine class
from Pancratium maritimum L. Archiv furPharmazie 326:61-62.