- bananadine and hallucinations
- The neologism bananadine is indebted to the noun banana. It was introduced in 1967 in an article by Max Scherr, editor of the US underground newspaper Berkeley Barb, to denote a fictional alkaloid with hallucinogenic properties allegedly present in the inside of banana peels (Musa x sapientum). However, biochemical analyses show that banana peels contain no significant amounts of any known psychoactive substances other than serotonin (or its precursor, trypto-phan), which is considered inactive when ingested orally or via the lungs. During the late 1960 s the news from the Berkeley Barb article was amplified through numerous additional publications in the popular media, and through the attention generated by the US Food and Drug Administration's initiative to determine whether bananas should be classified as illicit drugs. Eventually the banana-dine story was unmasked as a hoax, but the myth that the smoking or oral ingestion of dried or baked banana peels can produce hallucinations persisted in certain circles, and continues to resurface from time to time.ReferencesDonald, L. (1967). Cool talk about hot drugs. The New York Time Magazine, August 6, p. 188.Rätsch, Chr. (2005). The encyclopedia of psy-choactive plants. Ethnopharmacology and its applications. Translated by Baker, J.R. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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