In the 9th century, the feared Viking berserkers-known for entering battle in a state of madness, impervious to wounds that would cripple an ordinary man-would consume the Amanita mushroom, a psychedelic mushroom containing bufotenine
, which has been known to cause hallucinations and psychophysiological effects similar to those described in Norse sagas about the Berserkers.
Their presence is widespread both in the vegetable kingdom (N,N-dimethyltryptamine or DMT found in Amazonian lianas), the fungi (psilocybine in fungi of the genus Psilocybe) and even the animal (bufotenine
isolated from the skin of batrachians of the genus Bufus) (Dolengevich-Segal, Gomez-Arnau Ramirez et al, 2015).
Chemically, DMT is closely related to psilocybin and psilocin (4-hydroxy-N-dimethyltryptamine), as well as to bufotenine
Toad toxin mainly consists of derived steroids (bufadienolides and bufotoxins) and biogenic amines (epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, bufotenine
, and dihydrobufotenine) [3-6].
The isolation of bufotenine
from Piptadenia peregrina.