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Phalaris arundinacea

phalaris_arundPhalaris arundinacea is Uncontrolled in the United States, however, it is not approved for human consumption. This is a gray area of the law because the plant contains DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, which are classified as Schedule I drugs.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown

Mechanism of Action: Increases Serotonin when combined with an MAOI


Phalaris arundinacea is also known as reed canarygrass, gardener’s-garters, ribbon grass, variegated grass, alpiste roseau [French], Rohrglanzgras [German], kusa-yoshi [Japanese], caniço-malhado [Portuguese], hierba cinta [Spanish], and pasto cinto [Spanish]. Phalaris arundinacea has reportedly been used along with an MAOI in order to evoke psychedelic effects similar to traditional ayahuasca (Erowid, 2007).

Simons et al. (1971) reported that Phalaris arundinacea contains 5-MeO-DMT, DMT, and gramine. In addition to these chemicals, Williams et al. (1971) found hordenine, N-monomethyltryptamine, and 5-methoxy-N-monomethyltryptamine present in Phalaris arundinacea. Gander et al. (1976) also found β-carbolines in Phalaris arundinacea. The concentrations of these chemicals vary depending on the plant strain. Also please note: gramine is toxic to mammals, insects, and plants (Yoshida, 1993). Nonetheless, it is unclear as to what extent the consumption of low concentrations of gramine may cause negative health consequences in humans.

Phalaris arundinacea is a vigorous, productive, long-lived, perennial, sod-forming grass. It is a widespread species native to North America, Europe, and Asia. The numerous broad, moderately harsh, erect leaves are dominantly basal. The coarse, erect stems may reach a height of 6 to 8 feet. Seed is born in an open panicle which ripens from the top down and shatters readily as it matures. The seed has a short storage life, up to 5 years, and should be checked for germination within 6 months of its use. Reed canarygrass has excellent frost tolerance and is well suited to wet soils that are poorly drained or subject to flooding. It also has good drought tolerance. Growth begins in early spring and continues through the growing season. Regrowth following mowing or grazing is rapid on fertile sites.

Phalaris arundinacea is currently legal to buy, sell, and possess in the United States.


General MAOI warnings. When ingested orally, MAOIs inhibit the catabolism of dietary amines. Sufficient intestinal MAO-A inhibition can lead to hypertensive crisis, when foods containing tyramine are consumed (so-called “cheese syndrome”), or hyperserotonemia if foods containing tryptophan are consumed. The amount required to cause a reaction exhibits great individual variation and depends on the degree of inhibition, which in turn depends on dosage and selectivity.

The exact mechanism by which tyramine causes a hypertensive reaction is not well understood, but it is assumed that tyramine displaces norepinephrine from the storage vesicles. This may trigger a cascade in which excessive amounts of norepinephrine can lead to a hypertensive crisis. Another theory suggests that proliferation and accumulation of catecholamines causes hypertensive crises.



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