There are many plants/fungi which are being currently known for their capacity to produce mind-altering effects on humans. Some of these are even said to have a long history of association with religious purposes.

My question is:

  • What mind-altering plants/fungi are mentioned in our scriptures? (Briefly describe each of the fungi/plants' specific effect on the mind and what religious purpose each served quoting relevant verses)
  • 1
    It is to do more with science, ayurveda etc., rather than hindu religion.
    – Narasimham
    Dec 28, 2017 at 18:55
  • @Narasimham I disagree - for instance, one of the plant based concoctions known as Soma takes a central role acc. to the Vedas in rituals and lots of descriptions are supposed to have been given for this plant's effects. So mind-altering plants/fungi are central to our religion and its practices to a considerable extent. Dec 29, 2017 at 4:14
  • *Amanita muscaria" has been typically mentioned in Rakesh Joshi's answer.
    – Narasimham
    Dec 29, 2017 at 16:08
  • The topic is strongly interdisciplinary/technical for this site Some plants and fungi are hallucinogenic. Some are addictive, some divert one to God and some may lead one astray. Some can lead to highly spiritual and sublime attitudes of the mind. It is all in their chemistry just as our own bodies are chemical factories. Somayajis are said to consume a well tested (fermented/concocted liquid?) during Yagnas taken in with a Deeksha/project motive. Some mushrooms are outright poisonous. Pharmacopoeia determination clinical trials and thoroughness is yet to be seen.
    – Narasimham
    Dec 30, 2017 at 15:00


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