Peyote cactus - Lophophora Williamsii (Cactaceae)

Medicinal Use of Peyote – Lophophora Williamsii (Cactaceae)


Cactus growing to 2 in (5 cm). Has a squat gray-green body with tufted hairs, and pink or white flowers.

Habitat & Cultivation

Peyote is native to northern Mexico and the southwestern region of the U.S.

Part Used

Whole plant.


Peyote contains alkaloids, principally mescaline, which is a powerful hallucinogen.

History & Folklore

Peyote has been used in Native American religious ceremonies for over 3,000 years. Its use as a hallucinogen was popularized by Aldous Huxley in his book The Doors of Perception.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Peyote is a shamanistic plant, taken in Native American rituals to deepen spiritual understanding. It plays an important part in the emotional and mental state of the community. It is also used to treat fevers, as a painkiller for rheumatism, and to treat paralysis. It is applied as a poultice for fractures, wounds, and snake bite. Peyote is also used to induce vomiting.


The use of peyote and mescaline is illegal in most countries.