The Morning Glory Vine: A Shamanic & Psychedelic Garden Variety

Modern analysis has revealed that a compound found in morning glory called LSA has similar effects to LSD — albeit a lot more sedating.

By Patrick McConnell Last Updated: June 18, 2023
Last Updated: June 18, 2023

The morning glory vine (Ipomoea purpurea, Ipomoea tricolor, and others) is a small, creeping annual flower with heart-shaped leaves and trumpet flowers. It was originally from Central Mexico and the Caribbean but has since naturalized in gardens all over the world.

The seeds of this plant contain a compound called LSA (lysergic acid amide), which is closely related to LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and various other members of the lysergamide family of psychedelics.

There are three main differences between LSA and other popular lysergamides like LSD:

  1. LSA is naturally occurring — LSD is synthetically altered from LSA
  2. LSA is much less potent — the active dose is around 400 mcg compared to 80 mcg for LSD
  3. LSA is sedative — it induces sleep and a trance-like state

Because of the profound psychedelic effects of the morning glory vine, it was considered an essential part of Central American shamanism.

Here, we’ll explore several types of morning glory and compare their psychedelic profiles. We’ll also cover LSA extraction, morning glory seeds’ effects, cultivation tips, and more.

Morning Glory: Specs & Technical Details

Active IngredientLSA (Ergine)
Level of RiskLow
Most Common Side-EffectsNausea, Body Load, Sedation
Duration of Effects6–8 hours
LegalityThe plant is legal globally but concentrated LSA, a controlled substance in most parts of the world

Guidelines for the Responsible Use of Morning Glory

  1. 🐍 I understand why psychedelics should be treated with respect
  2. ⚖️ I’m familiar with the laws surrounding psychedelics in my country & state
  3. 🍄 I’m familiar with and confident in the dose I’m taking (the dose range for Morning Glory is ~100 seeds  (2.5g)
  4. 💊 I’m not mixing any medications or other substances with Morning Glory
  5. 🏔️ I’m in a safe & comfortable environment with people I trust
  6. 🐺 One of the members of my group is responsible and sober (AKA a trip sitter)
  7. ⏳ I have nothing important scheduled for after the trip
  8. 🧠 I’m in a sound & healthy state of mind

History & Medical Use of Morning Glory

Writings by Albert Hofmann, the man who discovered LSD and LSA, suggest that morning glory was perhaps even more important than psilocybin mushrooms or mescaline-containing cactus peyote in terms of spiritual significance for indigenous cultures in Mexico [1].

Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes compiled the early writings on Morning Glory in “A Contribution to Our Knowledge of Ololiuhqui of The Aztecs.” Several species of morning glory contain LSA and many other ergot alkaloids. These plants have a history of use with the Maya, Aztec, Mixtec, and Zapotec peoples of Mexico [2].

Examples of morning glory species used in Mexico by their Nahuatl names:

  • Ololiuhqui or Coatl-xoxouhqui — (Ipomoea corymbosa), also called “green snake.”
  • Tlilitzin — (Ipomoea violacea) is found in garden centers today but is less common than Ipomoea purpurea or Ipomoea tricolor.

Long revered and cultivated, these varieties of morning glory connect shamans to the spirit world. In altered states, the practitioners could divine the future or communicate with deities to learn the true nature of their patients’ ailments.

Sometimes patients, rather than the shaman, would take the morning glory themselves, spend the night alone in a dark room, and emerge healed or with a new understanding of their condition.

Writings of early colonial missionaries document extensive magical preparations by priests, which included morning glory. These often involved venomous insects burned to ash and mixed with other plants as offerings and spells.

Medical Use of Morning Glory

Richard Evans Schultes’ studied the medicinal uses of morning glory in detail. His writings focused on one particular variety of morning glory, Rivea corymbosa, known as “oloiuhqui.” The word oloiuhqui refers to the plant’s seed, meaning “round thing.”

An extensive list of reported medical uses exists, including:

  1. Aphrodisiac & sexual debility
  2. Arthritis
  3. Cold/flu
  4. Dislocation & bone fractures
  5. Gas & bloating
  6. Pain & inflammation
  7. Pelvic pain & cramping in women
  8. Poor eyesight & blindness
  9. Syphilis
  10. Tumors
  11. Venereal disease

Morning Glory in the Western World

In 1947, Albert Hoffman received samples of morning glory seeds and analyzed their contents. He shared his findings and shocked the conference attendees with his insight that one of the most common garden weeds was also a potent source of psychedelics.

Ergot alkaloids are the precursors to LSD, PRO-LAD, ETH-LAD, LSZ, and various related psychedelics.

These alkaloids occur in a fungus, which commonly grows on grain, such as rye, called Claviceps purpurea. Some speculate that ergot is the source of ancient psychedelic alcoholic fermentations dating back over 10,000 years [3].

In 1956, the CIA experimented with LSA as part of the infamous MK-ULTRA mind control projects. The CIA allegedly used LSA extracts from Ipomoea corymbosa obtained in Mexico and Cuba.

Morning glory remains mostly obscure as a psychedelic in the Western world, largely due to the sedative effects and higher risk of nausea and griping compared to more “modern” psychedelics like LSD.

Morning Glory Active Ingredients

The primary active ingredient in morning glory seeds is LSA — but other ergot alkaloids are present that contribute to the overall effects as well. Some of these ingredients are also responsible for the adverse side effects of the plant.

Like other tryptamine-based psychedelics, LSA binds to the 5HT2A receptor — which produces a cascade of effects responsible for the psychedelic experience.

LSA also serves as a precursor for other semi-synthetic psychedelics, including LSD:

  1. Lysergic acid amide (LSA or Ergine) — The known and established psychedelic compound in morning glory.
  2. Ergonovine (Ergometrine) — used to inhibit bleeding after birth or abortion
  3. Chanoclavine — stimulates dopamine receptors in the brains of mice [5]
  4. Elymoclavine — found to have stimulating effects in animals [6]
  5. Lysergic Acid — many ergot alkaloids which have uses in medicine, including LSD, come from lysergic acid
  6. Lysergol — like lysergic acid, this alkaloid is a precursor to other alkaloids used in medicine
  7. Agroclavine — a precursor for the synthesis of other ergot alkaloids
  8. Lysergic acid α-hydroxy-ethylamide — the effects of this alkaloid in humans remains unknown
  9. Ergobalansine — this alkaloid hasn’t been studied since the 1950s but is believed to have little psychedelic effects

Alkaloids Found in Different Species of Morning Glory Vine [4,8]:

Ergot AlkaloidIpomoea corymbosaIpomoea asarifoliaIpomoea violaceaIpomoea purpureaIpomoea tricolor
Lysergic acid amide (Ergine)
Ergonovine (Ergometrine)
Lysergic acid α-hydroxy-ethylamide (LSH)✖️✖️

Morning Glory & Ergot Fungi Symbiosis

Recent studies show that the ergot alkaloids found in morning glory result from a symbiotic relationship between various Periglandula spp. (an ergot fungus) and the morning glory plant [7].

It’s the fungi that produce LSA, not the plant itself. This was made clear in a study that treated morning glory seeds with a fungicide and found the harvested plants contained none of this psychoactive compound.

The ergot fungus lives inside the plant and shares some sort of symbiosis (the details of this relationship remain unknown).

Effects of Morning Glory: What Does It Feel Like?

The effects of morning glory are comparable to that of LSD but much less potent. It also creates a strong sedating effect, which many describe as “dreamlike” or “trance-like.”

Users may feel as though their depth perception is off and experience visual hallucinations (patterns and textures appear to be moving and merging).

About halfway into the trip, morning glory causes an undeniable urge to rest. Users may not fall asleep immediately, but they will feel a sense of “heaviness” that forces them to find a comfortable place to lie down.

People who fall asleep on morning glory experience wild, vivid, and sometimes even lucid dreams. For this reason, morning glory and other LSA-containing plants like Hawaiian baby woodrose are often used as oneirogens (dream-inducing substances).

The effects of a standard dose of morning glory seeds typically last about 6–8 hours or until you wake up the following morning. Some people report a lingering sense of lucidity about 24 hours after the experience.

Morning glory also has some unwanted side effects that are pretty common at psychoactive dosages. The main side effects, besides sedation, are nausea and vomiting. This is likely due to a cocktail of other alkaloids in the morning glory plant — some of which are toxic.

Other side effects include a heavy “body load,” meaning strong physical sensations (such as cramping or general discomfort) and a sense of heaviness.

Morning Glory Seeds Dosage

Typically, one consumes morning glory seeds by eating the seeds or grinding them up and putting them in capsules.

However, with the intent of avoiding nausea, many will extract LSA from the seeds. There are several methods of extraction, including tinctures, cold water extraction, and acid-to-base (A/B.)

The easiest way to take morning glory is to simply chew and swallow the seeds. Normally, the dose is around 50–150 seeds or about 1–3 grams.

Alternatively, some users prefer to make a liquid extract of the seeds first (instructions provided below). The dose of this extract depends on the concentration. A 1:1 extract should follow the same dosage guidelines as the raw seeds but converted to milligrams. A 1:2 extract will require twice as much liquid as the desired dose. And so-on.

Morning glory seeds each weigh, on average, about 25 mg and contain 10 mcg of LSA.

Morning Glory Seed Dosage Chart

 Approximate Number of SeedsApproximate Weight of SeedsApproximate Dose of LSA
Microdose10 Seeds250 mg100 mcg
Threshold Dose50 Seeds1.2 g500 mcg
Standard Psychoactive Dose100 Seeds2.5 g1 mg
Heavy Dose ⚠️300 Seeds7.7 g3 mg

How to Extract LSA From Morning Glory

Because of nausea associated with morning glory, LSA extraction has become a common practice. There are many methods to reduce the side effects, from eating sprouted seeds to full-blown chemical extraction of alkaloids.

The most popular methods include the following:

1. LSA Cold Water Extraction

This is a longstanding technique still used in Mexico. The seeds are essentially ground and soaked in water.

To perform cold water extraction of LSA:

  1. Grind the chosen dose (typically 100 seeds or 2.5 grams) into a fine powder with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
  2. Fill tea bags with the powder or bundle them inside a coffee filter. Be sure the powder is sealed inside.
  3. Put the powder inside 1 cup of water and wait three hours.
  4. Remove the tea bags and consume slowly. Take a small amount (around a quarter) and wait 30 min. Then repeat.

2. Extract With Alcohol

This is an active LSA tincture made from an alcohol extraction of morning glory.

A tincture must have an established ratio to be safely dosed. We recommend a seed-to-liquid ratio of 1:5 (seeds to liquid), meaning that 1 mL of tincture is about 5 g of seeds.

When making a tincture, be sure to only use 100% petroleum ether (commonly called naphtha) in the wash step. Additional compounds can be a health risk.

Here is how to make a morning glory tincture:

  1. Grind the chosen dose into fine powder.
  2. Wash the seeds with a nonpolar solvent like petroleum ether to remove unwanted compounds. Combine 5 g of seed powder with 250 mL petroleum ether inside a jar and shake well. Let sit for 1 -2 hours.
  3. Pour the mixture through a coffee filter and spread the remaining seed powder on a flat surface to evaporate the ether. It must be completely dry with zero smell, which can take a few days.
  4. Add the seed powder to a jar with ethanol and let it sit for several days. This extracts the LSA.
  5. Pour the mixture through a coffee filter and keep the liquid. The remaining liquid is the tincture.

Is Morning Glory Legal?

Morning glory seeds are legal worldwide; however, LSA is a scheduled substance. As an established cultivar, growing morning glory is easy and common. In fact, it is difficult to stop morning glory from growing in many areas.

The seeds in garden centers are sometimes coated with fungicides, as morning glory is susceptible to fungal infections. Some companies coat the seeds to prevent consumption of LSA, as fungicides cause an increase in gastrointestinal upset.

Morning Glory FAQs

1. Which Species of Morning Glory Contain LSA?

​​Most research and anecdotal reports support the idea that Ipomoea tricolor (AKA “Heavenly Blue”) and Ipomoea purpurea (AKA “Morning Call”) contain the highest concentrations of LSA by weight.

However, the concentration of LSA will vary depending largely on growing conditions. Most species contain psychoactive alkaloids but are too low to produce notable psychedelic effects without also causing negative side effects.

2. What Morning Glory Seeds Have the Most LSA?

The species most used traditionally were Ipomoea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea, even though these species contain relatively low levels of LSA. Between them, Albert Hoffman’s original 1947 analysis found that Iopmea violacea has six times the LSA of Ipomeoea corymbosa.

3. Do All Morning Glory Seeds Contain LSA?

Not all morning glory seeds contain LSA. This is because the ergot fungi are not present in all species of morning glory. Even when ergot is present, there is variability between seeds. However, across many seeds, the amount of active alkaloids often seems to even out.

4. Are There Other Plants That Contain LSA?

Morning glory contains LSA because of the ergot fungus growing within it. Ergot also occurs in the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia Nervosa) and sleepy grass (Achnatherum robustum.) There may be other plants with ergot that have yet to be discovered.

5. What Does Morning Glory Look Like?

Morning glory typically found in garden centers is Ipomea violacea and Ipomea tricolor. These annuals are grown for their beautiful funnel-shaped white, blue, and purple flowers on long vines. The plant tends to bloom in the early morning, hence the name.

6. Are Morning Glories Easy to Grow?

It is very easy to grow, often climbing trellises several meters in a single season. Many know the plant as a weed because it spreads rapidly in certain conditions as a groundcover. A common name for morning glory in North America is “bindweed.”


  1. Hofmann, A. (1971). Teonanácatl and Ololiuqui, two ancient magic drugs of Mexico. Bull. Narc, 23(1), 3-14.
  2. Schultes, R. E. (1941). Contribution to Our Knowledge of Rivea corymbosa.
  3. Muraresku, B. C. (2020). The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name. St. Martin’s Press.
  4. Steiner, U., & Leistner, E. (2018). Ergot alkaloids and their hallucinogenic potential in morning glories. Planta Medica, 84(11), 751-758.
  5. Watanabe, H., Somei M., Sekihara, S. I., Nakagawa, K., & Yamada, F. (1987). Dopamine receptor stimulating effects of chanoclavine analogues, tricyclic ergot alkaloids, in the brain. The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, 45(4), 501-506.
  6. Yui, T., & Takeo, Y. (1958). Neuropharmacological Studies On a New Series Of Ergot Alkaloids Elymoclavine As a Potent Analeptic On Reserpine-Sedation. The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, 7(2), 157-161.
  7. Beaulieu, W. T., Panaccione, D. G., Quach, Q. N., Smoot, K. L., & Clay, K. (2021). Diversification of ergot alkaloids and heritable fungal symbionts in morning glories. Communications Biology, 4(1), 1-11.
  8. Nowak, J., Woźniakiewicz, M., Klepacki, P., Sowa, A., & Kościelniak, P. (2016). Identification and determination of ergot alkaloids in Morning Glory cultivars. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 408(12), 3093-3102.