Vases hanging above The Stone of Anointing (Stone of Unction) in the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These vases contain water with rose essence.

Getting High with the Most High: Drugs in the Bible

(Read the article on one page)

As the Bronze Age grew old, some of its oral traditions were recorded by poets with gods in their quills and drugs in their gardens. The Odyssey and the Vedas include verses still recited today that describe psychoactive plants and their effects, but the most impressive stash is in the Bible:

Thy plants are an orchard of Pomegranates, with fresh and pleasant things; Henna, with Spikenard. Spikenard and Saffron; Kaneh-bosem and Cinnamon, all trees of Frankincense; Myrrh and Agarwood, with all the chief spices.

Myrrh and Frankincense

Of the ‘chief spices' (literally ‘head spices’) listed in this paradisiacal garden from the Songs of Solomon, eight are identified and seven of them are known to tweak the brain. Both of the resinous gifts of the Magi, for example, are classed as tranquillizers today, though the label doesn’t do them justice. Myrrh targets mu- and delta-opioid receptors (like opium), and frankincense contains dehydroabietic acid which works on GABA receptors (like Valium).

The mode of action on the receptors, and therefore the resulting experience, is quite different from Valium, but the proof of that pudding is in the eating. You can chew up about the size of two peas to start with and go gently beyond that because at some point your intestinal flora will be offended. I think frankincense is lovely, Dioscordes wrote that it could cause madness. You have been warned.

Myrrh. (Author provided)

Myrrh. (Author provided)

Frankincense also contains incensole acetate, which works on the TRPV3 ion channel. In skin cells, TRVP3 is involved in temperature sensation, but it is also widely distributed in the brain where its functions remain a mystery. Whatever it does, since at least the 16th century BC people felt that it justified a 1,500-mile, six-month camel trek across bandit-infested deserts. It seems rather too much trouble just for a posh whiff, no?

Frankincense. (Author provided)

Frankincense. (Author provided)

Other Chief Spices from the Garden

In Islamic jurisprudence, saffron is classed as one of the permissible “drugs that cause joy”. It contains the GABA agonist safranal, as well as safrole which is used in the manufacture of MDMA. Safrole is also found in Cinnamon, along with eugenol, which is another MDMA precursor. Agarwood is sedative and analgesic. Spikenard (pronounced “spick ‘n ‘ard”) is the ointment rubbed on Jesus’ feet, much to the annoyance of Judas who betrays his master immediately afterwards (John 12, Mark 14). It boosts neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and GABA, and is classed as a nootropic, meaning that it assists in memory formation. Pomegranate is rich in serotonin, melatonin, and other tryptamines. Henna is the one plant without any known psychoactive chemicals, though maybe the ancients knew something we don’t.

Saffron. (Author Provided)

Saffron. (Author Provided)

Making Holy Oils

While modern pharmacology seeks to isolate chemicals, traditional plant lore works with complex synergies:

YHWH spake unto Moses, saying: “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure Myrrh 500 shekels, and of Sweet Cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of Kaneh-Bosm 250 shekels, and of Cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin (several litres):  And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. (Exodus 30: 23-5)

Anointing Oil. (Author Provided)

Anointing Oil. (Author Provided)

The combination of Myrrh, Cinnamon, and Cassia contains a wide range of psychoactive allylbenzenes, including myristicin, linalool, elemicin, eugenol, estragole, and saffrole. Even high doses of these psychoactive chemicals taken alone would have at best a mild effect, because the enzymes of the cytochrome system break them down before they reach the brain - but there are ways to inhibit enzymes.

In the alchemy of the rainforest, DMT-containing chacruna gives up her light only in the presence of the ayahuasca vine, which supplies the MAO enzyme inhibitor. With allylbenzenes, however, many more enzymes are involved. There are no plants that contain a broad enough spectrum of chemicals to block the cytochrome system (with the exception of nutmeg, only found on tiny islands thousands of miles off the spice route.) Myrrh, Cassia, and Cinnamon each individually inhibit enough enzymes to potentially cover much of the spectrum, given the right conditions. The synergy was known to Egyptian apothecaries and mixed into a massage oil for the exclusive use of Pharaoh.

Massage dilates capillaries and increases absorption, especially with concentrated spicy cinnamon (caution: if you make it you might consider leaving some body regions off-limits!). The anointing oil was called shemen ha-mishchah , where mashach is to wipe or paint, and thought to be the root of the word ‘massage’, as well as ‘messiah’, ‘an anointed one’.


So basically all regions are based off of some form of drug addiction that converts to sever mental health issues for the followers such as depression when the leaders of the drug cults don't get what they want and invoke passages of God's wrath.

sever should be severe.

Fly Agaric will most certainly connect one to the divine as it has done for many thousands of years.It must be kept in mind that partaking of this mushroom will turn your face as red as the mushroom appears amoung the pine trees of which Moses went to when up in the hills. He forbade his people to follow him. When he did finally come back he needed to cover his face with a mask otherwise his people would have sussed what it was he was up to and his street cred would be gone. Don’t believe me, read Exodus 34.29    


How could it be forgotten the Burning Bush, in the story of Moses?
It was an Acacia tree, known to be as rich source of DMT.


Several notions, such as Judas, are not indicating the latest writings, such as the Gospel of Judas,
which re-arranges the traitor to a best friend. Hmm?

Check everything you read.


Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Ancient Places

Devils Tower Star Trails. S
Devils Tower in Wyoming, USA holds both historical and ancestral importance. This magnificent geological feature has long been considered sacred by the many of the Native American tribes who have lived in the area and it was the first landmark declared a United States National Monument.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article