Drunk On Mushrooms

By Leo Gura - January 25, 2017

Distillation of alcohol wasn’t invented until the 12th century, in southern Italy.

Without distillation, there’s no high-proof alcohol. No vodka, no rum, no whiskey, no scotch, no tequila, nor gin. The most you can get through basic fermentation techniques is 15% alcohol content. Not strong stuff.

But the ancient Greeks and Romans tell stories of how their wine was so strong it could drive a grown man to madness, or even death from over-consumption.

But how is this possible? Especially given that the ancient Greeks and Romans diluted their wine heavily with water?

Maybe those were just tall-tales?

Maybe not!

Turns out that the Greco-Roman notion of “wine” was a lot more than just fermented grape juice. Their wine was infused with various exotic psychoactive herbs, including things like mandrake, henbane, datura, belladona, and psilocybin mushrooms! Alcohol was probably far from the main active ingredient. Ancient wine was more like liquid mushrooms! No wonder it could drive people to madness.

Just goes to show, A) how pussified modern culture is, B) how careful we have to be about defining our terms, and C) how careful we have to be about seeing the world through our limited cultural norms.

Wine ain’t what it used to be. What the ancients lacked in technology, they made up for in spirit.

Credit: Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, Carla Ruck — The Road to Eleusis

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