(redirected from Cactus Juice)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms.


(pāō`tē), spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii), ingested by indigenous people in Mexico and the United States to produce visions. The plant is native to the SW United States, particularly S Texas, and Mexico, where it grows in dry soil. The plant is light blue-green, bears small pink flowers, and has a carrot-shaped root. The mushroomlike crown, called a peyote, or mescal, button (but unrelated to the liquor mescal), is cut off, and chewed, brewed into a concoction for drinking, or rolled into pellets to be swallowed. The active substance in peyote is mescaline, one of several naturally occurring hallucinogenic drugshallucinogenic drug
, any of a group of substances that alter consciousness; also called psychotomimetic (i.e., mimicking psychosis), mind-expanding, or psychedelic drug.
..... Click the link for more information.
. An alkaloid, mescaline tastes bitter, causes an initial feeling of nausea, then produces visions and changes in perception, time sense, and mood. There are no uncomfortable aftereffects, and the drug is not physiologically habit-forming.

Peyote has been used by Native Americans since pre-Columbian times and was regarded as a panacea. It is important in the Native American ChurchNative American Church,
Native American religious group whose beliefs blend fundamentalist Christian elements with pan–Native American moral principles. The movement began among the Kiowa about 1890 and, led by John Wilson (Big Moon), soon spread to other tribes.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which fused Christian doctrine with peyote-eating tribal ritual. The use of peyote is said to produce a mental state that allows celebrants to feel closer to their ancestors and their Creator. In 1970, the state of Texas legalized peyote for use by Native Americans in religious ceremonies; a federal law confirming this protection was enacted in 1995. Aside from this use, peyote is a controlled substance, illegal in all 50 states.


See W. La Barre, The Peyote Cult (rev. ed. 1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cactus Juice Insect Protection contains a blend of prickly pear cactus extracts, emollients and moisturizers to shield and protect skin from insects, as well a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 20.
While natives of these areas skillfully harvest, peel and juice the spiny and barbed prickly pear fruit, even novices can enjoy cactus juice as it is now available commercially.
Zola's cocktail list changes regularly, and last spring's version included ginger-infused lemonade and hibiscus syrup as part of the Leninade, lavender-infused Ciroc vodka in the Lavender and Lace Martini, and ingredients like rose-water and cactus juice as well.
waiters): The Bahamarita, a signature Margarita made with fresh purees of mango, strawberry and kiwi, Cuervo Gold tequila and a sidecar of DeKuyper Cactus Juice Margarita Schnapps ($3.95); a Pina Colada with the standard pineapple and coconut mixture layered with Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, Myers's dark rum, strawberry puree, bits of mango and other tropical juices, sprinkled with toasted coconut and garnished with sugar cane, fresh pineapple, red seedless grape and a pineapple leaf; and Aruba Red, a hand-crafted amber beer made for the chain by Anheuser-Busch ($2.25 for 20 ounces).