Many species of this genus, which encompasses

some 1,300 species and is found throughout the

world, are said to be psychoactive (Schultes and

Farnsworth 1982, 188*; Schultes and Hofmann

1992, 56*) or are at least associated with psychoactive

plants or preparations (see Lophophora

williamsii, Trichocereus pachanoi). The Mexican

species Senecio cardiophyllus Hemsl. is even

referred to as peyote (Martinez 1994,384*). Many

Senecio species are used in South America as ritual

incense (Aldunate et al. 1981*). In the Andes

regions, they are known as cundur-cundur and

appear to be mythologically associated with the

condor, an animal sacred to the Indians. A Senecio

species known as chula-chula is chewed together

with coca (see Erythroxylum coca). Many Senecio

species contain alkaloids of the pyrrolizidine type

(Roder and Wiedenfeld 1977; Schultes and

Hofmann 1992, 56*). Cyanoglycosides have also

been found (Schultes 1981, 43*). The alkaloid

jacobine, together with other pyrrolizidines,

passes into the honey that is produced from these

plants (Frohne and pfander 1983,66*).

In Nepal, various yellow-blooming crucifers

are used as ritual offerings. A psychoactive use is


Roder, Erhard, and Helmut Wiedenfeld. 1977.

Isolierung und Strukturaufklarung des Alkaloids

Fuchsisenesionin aus Senecio fuchsii.

Phytochemistry 16:1462-63.

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