As we all probably know, drugs aren't new. They've been around for thousands of years. Even elephants have been known to eat narcotic plants before taking long treks across deserts! Just to note, the purpose of this page is not to encourage or endorse the use of drugs, but to explore medieval recreation. So now, what were some of the narcotics used? Here's just a sample of what they had access to:
- Hemp - yes. I'm sure many of you have seen/experienced the effects of this plant. Psychedelic.
- Khat - A stimulant of East Africa and Arabia, containing opium alkaloids. (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/bulletin/bulletin_1956-01-01_4_page004.html)
- Lobelia - a.k.a. Indian tobacco (not everyone is entirely convinced of its narcotic properties though)
- Syrian Rue - contains the hallucinogenic alkaloids.
- Belladonna - In the nightshade family. Hallucinogenic, well known throughout medieval Europe. Poisonous.
- Henbane - hypnotic, native to Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia.
- Fly agaric mushroom - one of the oldest known hallucinogens...
- Turkestan Mint
... more to come.