An ancient South American empire called the Wari Empire may have used a hallucinogenic beer to maintain its power.
The Wari people brewed a beer-like drink with seeds from the vilca tree, which contain a psychedelic compound called bufotenin (one of the substances found in toad venom!).
Archeologists believe that Wari leaders served the drink at feasts to strengthen social connections with guests from surrounding regions. Guests likely had a euphoric or spiritual experience, compelling them to “acknowledge the power of their hosts or feel the need to owe them a favor in the future,” explains one archeology expert.
Could this be why the empire maintained political control for hundreds of years? 🤔