Night-blooming cereus.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
From: (Michael Moore)
Date: 19 Nov 1995 19:14:18 GMT
Subject: Re: Night Blooming Cerius

> I am looking for info on Night Blooming Cerius, alternative names, scientific name, where it can be found either in the wild or a supplier.

Night-Blooming Cereus is a name applied to several genera of closely related cacti. The term was originally Cereus (Cactus) grandiflorus. You must undersand that the Cactaceae are undergoing CONSTANT revision (it must smart like hell). The current latin name is Selenicereus...and MOST of these Caribbean cacti interbreed is an amorphous genus of long, spindly, hillside-growing 'vine' cacti. I have been able to tincture and try at least six of them and they all work splendidly.

A close relative or two have adapted to desert circumstance by exchanging the masses of stems for one or two (supported by the shrubs it grows amongst ... like Cleavers), and forming often MASSIVE tubers (up to 50 pounds). This is Peniocereus greggii of Northern Mexico, Arizona and SW New Mexico (with one subspecies endangered). This plant TOO works well, although at about half the potency. Hylocereus from Hawaii has also been used recently (it is VERY tough getting a good remedy) ... I find it poor, others like it fine.

The proper medicine is a tincture of the FRESH stems, made by slicing up, say, 8 ounces of the stems, covering it with 16 ounces of 95% ethanol, and letting it sit, bottled, for 10-14 days. This makes a 1:2 fresh plant tincture. This is the ONLY bioactive preparation. Although a SPLENDID medicine, the form of this plant that was dispensed by bored pharmaceuteucal manufacturers between 1920 and 1950 was the dried inspissated sap ... a virtually inert (but efficient) preparation. This bore as much resemblance to "Cereus" as powdered Aloe does to the Aloe vera we all use for lesser burns ... NONE.

To quote myself (Specific Indications in Clinical Practice):

Tinnitus with nervous tachycardia.
Functional dyspnea with pale face, palpitations, cardiopathies, neurosis, fear.
Emphysema with poor pulmonary circulation.
Tobacco heart; functional neurocirculatory disorders with depression, hypochondriasis, necrophobia.
Palpitations and arrhythmias with agitation, neurotic (with Cypripedium/Epipactus).
Mitral regurgitation.
Nausea from motion sickness, excitation.
Menopause, with cardiac arrhythmias.

and from my Materia Medica 5.0:

CEREUS GRANDIFLORUS (Selenicereus, Peniocereus, Night-Blooming Cereus)
FRESH STEMS. Fresh Tincture [1:2], 5-15 drops (Selenicereus spp.); 10-25 drops, (Peniocereus greggii). Either one to 4X a day.

You will find photographs (as JPEGS) of BOTH plants on my web site, an engraving of Selenicereus grandiflorus (c.1926) as well as the manuals I quoted from on my web site (see below).

Briefly, I use Cereus when someone has palpitations and rapid pulse arising from recent relationship or job stress, for both adrenal-dominated folks and for the "mesomorph" who has been drinking too much coffee, smoking too many cigarettes, maybe with a history of coke or meth usage, and is wondering why he/she has these odd moments of chest-clutching terror. I have also found it helpful for the palpitations of the adolescent (usually early evening) and the menopausal women who is NOT sweating as well.

Cereus works quickly, often in a minute or two, and is best used in CNS/CVS fugue states. It doesn't CHANGE shit ... it stops the guitar-amp feedback, and lets the person calm down. A person in this anxietous state will find that it is calming and "grounding" ... it has no OTHER uses for emotional distress. The calming comes from its effect on sympathetic ennervation of the SA/AV nodes. It wont help OTHER causes of anxiety. It is also NOT appropriate for any organic cardiac dysfunction.

It is for functional cardiac agitation ... it is an herb that effects the Central Nervous System and Sympathetic Adrenergic functions ... NOT, directly, the heart.

Put it on the Pulsatilla, Sepia, Avena, Gelsemium, Rescue Remedy and smelling salts shelf, away from the Crataegus, Lycopus ... or Digitalis shelf.

> I am also interested in hearing other folk's suggestions on the BEST herb reference guide on the market. Thanks.

I don't know about the BEST, but my web site is the CHEAPEST source of herb references ... 35 megabytes the last time I looked.