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DIARIO DE XALAPA: The traditional medicine of the ancestors based on toad poison

The indigenous people had different rituals, beliefs, practices, etc. one of the most popular was the use of Bufo Alvarius, a medicine that the ancestors used based on toad poison, we will tell you everything about this little animal and the use that was given to it.

It should be noted that toads are frequently the protagonists of legends, myths and even in healing arts of various peoples.

What is Bufo Alvarius? According to ICEERS (International Center for Education, Research and Ethnobotanical Service), the Bufo alvarius is a semi-aquatic amphibian that lives in the Sonoran desert (the largest number of this species in Mexico lives there). These little animals produce a milky-colored poison that has psychoactive alkaloids.

The Mayan, Olmec and Aztec cultures used this substance for medicinal and psychic purposes. In fact, archaeological remains of the Olmec culture of San Lorenzo, Veracruz, typical of the aforementioned species, have been found, which are quite old, dating from 1250-900 BC.

What do they use toad poison for? Several shamans and even psychiatrists use this substance for various purposes because it alters consciousness (it is hallucinogenic), its effects are similar to those of Ayahuasca. The use of this substance without the supervision of a professional who is accredited for it, can cause serious consequences in the health of people and even cause death. According to Johns Hopkins University, toad venom can help people suffering from anxiety or depression. "It is important to examine the short-term and long-term effects of the hallucinogen (5-MeO-DMT), as it can increase a person's overall mood but can also be negative for those individuals who experience clinically significant negative mood," said one of the specialists of the aforementioned institution. On the other hand, Octavio Retting, Surgeon specialized in addictions, affirmed that with this substance he has treated people who were addicted to strong drugs, such as cocaine. For the peoples of the Sonoran desert, the toad is very important culturally speaking, with rituals, dances and other traditional practices that venerate this little animal.