In Papua New Guinea, the fruit of an as yet
unidentified Pandanus species is said to be used or
to have been used as a hallucinogen. Unfortunately,
we have no dependable ethnographic or
ethnobotanical information about this. The fruits
of several Pandanus species have been found to
contain N,N-DMT (Schultes and Hofmann 1992,
52*). The species Pandanus antaresensis St. John is
used in Papua New Guinea as an analgesic (Ott 1993, 401*). The Australian Aborigines make a
wine from the fruits of Pandanus spiralis R. Br.
(Bock 1994, 147*).
In Nepal, the screw pine (Pandanus nepalensis
St. John [syn. Pandanus furcatus auct. non. Roxb.])
is considered sacred to Ganesha, the Hindu
elephant-headed god. The leaves of the kevada or
aromatic screw pine Pandanus odoratissimus L.
[syn. P. tectorius auct. non. Soland. ex Parkinson],
which is called ketaka in Sanskrit, are offered to his
father Shiva (Majupuria and Joshi 1988, 170f.*).
In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves are used as a
tonic aphrodisiac, while in Thailand they are
often used as a cooking spice (Norman 1991,66*).
In Hawaii, root tips that grow above the ground
are used together with sugarcane juice to make a
tonic (Krauss 1981, 6*). The flowers contain a
stimulating essential oil composed of benzyl
benzoate, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, geranol,
linalool, guiacol, phenethyl alcohol, and aldehydes
(Majupuria and Joshi 1988, 171*). In India, the
ripe spadix of Pandanus tectorius Parkins. ex Du Roi
[syn. Pandanus odoratissimus 1. f.] is the source of
the so-called kewda perfume, one ofwhose uses is to
aromatize smoking tobacco (Nicotiana rustica,
Nicotiana tabacum) (Bartels 1993, 122*).
In the Seychelles, a number of species known
as vacoa are regarded as aphrodisiacs (MiillerEbeling
and Ratsch 1989, 72*).