Report on the eating of psychoactive worm intestines
This old (1984) report in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology
describes the unpublished accounts by the explorer Augustin de Saint-Hilaire (1779-1853), who supposedly encountered the Malalis, a people indegenous to the Brazilian province of Minas
Gerais, using a particular worm species as a type of psychedelic. According to Saint-Hilaire (quoted in the article):
When strong emotion makes
them sleepless, they swallow, they say, one of these worms dried, without the head
but with the intestinal tube; and then they fall into a kind of ecstatic sleep, which often
lasts more than a day, and similar to that experienced by the Orientals when they take
opium in excess. They tell, on awakening, of marvellous dreams; they saw splendid
forests, they ate delicious fruits, they killed without difficulty the most choice game;
but these Malalis add that they take care to indulge only rarely in this debilitating
kind of pleasure.
The article further speculates that the worm in question might be the larvae of the moth Myelobia (Morpheis) smerintha
, and that it may contain the first ever discovered hallucinogen of insect origin.