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,


Munvime, F. D., and D. A. Muravjova. 1983.

Alkaloids of Pancratium trianthum Herb.

Farmatsiya 32:22-24.

Sener, B., S. Koenuekol, C. Krukl, and U. K. Pandit.

1993. Alkaloids oflycorine and lycorenine class

from Pancratium maritimum L. Archiv fur

Pharmazie 326:61-62.

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